Storms Test New FEMA System

'Dynamic' approach distributes response burden
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Sep 8, 2008 10:04 AM CDT
The effects of Hurricane Gustav are seen from a US Geological Survey plane at the Bird's Foot Delta near New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008.    (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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(Newser) – With three big storms hitting the US within about a week, FEMA is attempting to stay a step ahead, planning emergency response strategies and deploying supplies. The agency's new "dynamic regrouping" plan represents a real-time collaboration between military, civilian, and volunteer personnel, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "The depth of resources nationally, it's not a deep bullpen there," says a Red Cross adviser.

FEMA's two-branched approach calls for coordinating relief efforts while monitoring approaching storms to better anticipate aid needs. The system seems to be working, but with so many moving parts, the outlook for Hurricane Ike is less clear. "There is a certain limit on how many volunteers you can get into a state, so we'll be looking for folks to step forward," says another Red Cross official.