Country not preparing for disaster

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 2, 2006

Schumer criticized the Department of Homeland Security after the agency analyzed America&8217;s preparedness should another huge natural disaster strike. What the report found was frightening. Despite the massive national spotlight on New Orleans, the city ranked at the bottom all major cities studied. New York City and Washington, D.C., both sites of terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, also rated marginal in terms of preparedness. In fact, only 10 states were rated as having a sufficient response plan. &8220;If we ever needed proof of the hypocrisy of the Department of Homeland Security, we just go it,&8221; Schumer said last week. &8220;Today they say that New York, despite the efforts of the mayor and the city, is still not adequately prepared for disasters including terrorism, and yet they dramatically shortchanged our funding. They are not even reading their own reports.&8221; To make matters worse, Homeland Security Undersecretary George Foresman said although the agency has spent $18 billion to get state and local governments prepared, &8220;very little of it has gone to planning, training and exercise.&8221; Wow. Even a New York liberal can see how ridiculous that is.

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