Federal Emergency Management Agency's Office of National Preparedness, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Economic Develpment, Public Buildings and Emergency Management of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventh Congress, April 11, 2002   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the opening statement of Steven C. LaTourette: Today marks the seven-month anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks on America. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families that suffered because of the actions of terrorists. I also want to express, on behalf of the subcommittee, our sincere gratitude for those first responders involved in the recovery effort. Today I want to welcome our witnesses, Mr. Bruce Baughman of FEMA, Ms. Deborah Daniels from the Department of Justice, and Mr. Randall Yim from GAO [Government Accountability Office]. Thank you all for appearing before the subcommittee today. We are here to receive testimony on the creation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Office of National Preparedness. On May 8, 2001, the President established the Office of National Preparedness at FEMA and charged it with coordinating national preparedness efforts to respond to any emergency or disaster, including an act of terrorism. We're pleased to see the action taken by the Administration. The subcommittee held hearings on April the 21st and May the 9th and received testimony from Members of Congress, the Executive agencies, the Department of Defense, GAO, research institutes and State and local emergency management organizations. The hearings identified unnecessary overlap and duplication among multiple Federal agency terrorism Preparedness training courses and Federal response teams. In addition, concerns were expressed about the Nation's ability to effectively communicate and coordinate amongst Federal agencies the State and local response efforts. Legislation considered by this subcommittee, H.R. 525, would have helped to alleviate many of those concerns. As many are aware, it is what you do in the first few hours of a disaster that will shape how successful the response and recovery efforts will be. If the response is quick, with properly trained and equipped personnel, you can meet and overcome virtually any disaster. This was true in New York and at the Pentagon. After the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center, fire police, EMS [Emergency Management Service], and trained civilian volunteers, the first responders from New York City and the metro area were on the scene to begin with the recovery effort in minutes. At the Pentagon, it was the traditional first responders, as well as the highly trained officers and soldiers of the military that worked at the Pentagon and immediately began the recovery efforts." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Bruce Baughman, Deborah J. Daniels and Randall A. Yim.

Report Number:
Serial No. 107-72
Public Domain
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Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/
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