FEMA Doing Great Despite Challenges

Oct 3, 2017

A former deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services is complementing FEMA for its response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. “[W]e may find that FEMA did a more Herculean task, in some ways in Maria, in terms of the distance they had to travel, the amount of logistics they had to bring, and the propping up of the local response effort,” said Tevi Troy. Puerto Rico has proved to be a challenge to FEMA. FEMA not only has to bring materials to the island, but the agency is having to take over the local response effort. “[T]he first responders in the situation are victims themselves, which means they’re not necessarily showing up to work and doing the distribution and the reducing and all the other stuff that takes place as part of recovery.” Troy said that the poor economy in Puerto Rico and a struggling government “made the federal response to Puerto Rico’s problems more difficult.” Texas and Florida have two of the strongest response networks in the country according to Troy.