I was Director of FEMA for eight years and in that position responded to 350 Presidential disaster declarations.The reports from Puerto Rico remain dire.
Disaster responses are about people - not politics.
Shortly after the initial responses to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Florida and Texas, I was asked if I would give the Trump Administration and FEMA an A+ for those responses. I said I would, on both hurricanes. This was prior to hurricane Maria in Puerto Rica and the Virgin Islands. Even today it is yet to be determined whether the ultimate response to that hurricane will get an A, C or F or something else. As time goes by that will become apparent.
Disaster responses in the continental United States are made easier by our systems of highways, power repair and water supply and the large number of people and specialized equipment which can react with great speed.
Puerto Rico and the Virgin islands, and our citizens there, are not as easy to reach as Florida or Texas, and present special and substantial issues of planning, logistics, and shipping, offloading, housing, water and adequacy of medical facilities.
James Lee Witt
Former FEMA Director