Congressman Serrano Responds to FEMA Post Hurricane Report Assessment Report
Washington, DC – U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano released today the following statement in response to FEMA’s After-Action Report for the 2017 Hurricane season:
“The post assessment report released by FEMA confirms what we all knew all along: FEMA was completely unprepared to respond to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and millions of Puerto Ricans suffered as a result. The report’s list of failings is damning: supply needs were severely underestimated, and not enough was stored on the island prior to the storm; FEMA was not prepared to remedy this by getting supplies quickly to the island after the storm; and there were not enough personnel in place to address the logistical challenges of getting help where it was needed after the hurricane hit. Additionally, disaster preparedness planning was well out of date, thus underestimating what was actually needed to respond to a disaster of this magnitude. All of these challenges were worsened by the fact that the agency wasn’t prepared for many of the challenges that Puerto Rico faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria - including the serious transportation, electrical, and health care challenges.
“FEMA’s lack of planning and coordination made a bad situation worse, and many Puerto Ricans needlessly suffered as a result. We can’t allow a crisis like this to happen again. I will be working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that FEMA uses the findings of this report to upgrade their capacity to help Puerto Rico and other areas in the aftermath of future natural disasters.”
Congressman José E. Serrano has represented The Bronx in Congress since 1990. He is a Senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.