FEMA and DHS Policy Statements
Source; House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. Hearing on the Fiscal 2009 Budget for the Department of Homeland Security (Transcript). Wash., DC: 10 April 2008.
DHS Secretary Chertoff: “I think we need to continue to work with FEMA particularly to get them focused on the issue of emergency management. As I said a little bit earlier to Congressman Rodriguez, in terms of planning and capability for emergencies, FEMA is light years ahead of where I found it when I came on board shortly before Hurricane Katrina. But I would also tell you that the burdens that have been placed on the agency have expanded dramatically to include major reconstruction efforts, including efforts that may be years ultimately before they're concluded, efforts that require sophisticated case management for communities that are in distress, require a lot of medical attention, require essentially urban redevelopment. And I'm taking a somewhat uncharacteristic position of a cabinet secretary and suggesting that some portion of the domain of my department maybe does belong in another department. This was an issue which Fran Townsend put in her White House lessons learned from Katrina. That once the emergency is over and once we've dealt with the urgency of action, in those rare occasions when we are reconstructing a city or reconstructing part of a city and we're talking about redeveloping housing, redeveloping medical capabilities, case management for people who have a whole lot of problems apart from the disaster, there may be other parts of the government that are better equipped through their capabilities of the people and the capabilities of the department itself to take a handoff of that and continue to move it forward.”