Massive FEMA supply chain failures have resulted in shortages of bottled water, food, gasoline, shelter,power and clothing across New Jersey and metropolitan New York, where victims of Hurricane Sandy are angrily calling President Obama's response no better--and in some regards worse--than President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.
The unfolding debacle, broadcast around the country and the world in graphic and compelling images, has swept away any political advantage the President may have received from his brief 90 minute photo op in New Jersey this past Wednesday, October 31, where he promised to deliver needed supplies and "cut the red tape."
Despite the President's promises, on the following day, Thursday, November 1, three days after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island, a solitary FEMA employee strolled through stacks of bottled water stored in the vast FEMA warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia, (pictured above) located more than 800 miles from the Lakehurst, New Jersey Naval Air Station that had been designated as a FEMA "advance staging" location. These supplies, which included pre-packaged meals as well as bottled water, should have been delivered to New Jersey days before the storm, but three days after the storm they languished in FEMA's Georgia warehouse.
The Obama administration and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate talked a good game in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but their on-the-ground performance has failed to match their promises. Despite FEMA's highly publicized "lean forward" strategy, which claims the agency will "advance stage" needed inventory supplies near anticipated storm locations prior to the the storm's arrival, the agency failed to have bottled water or any emergency supplies positioned in Lakehurst, or any other "advance staging" locations until Tuesday, October 30, the day after Hurricane Sandy hit shore last Monday. [...] continues...