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July 13, 2018

Ranking Member Thompson Statement on FEMA’s 2017 After Action Report

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the release of the Administration’s 2017 Hurricane Season FEMA After-Action Report:

"This report shows us what we have already known for almost a year: that the 2017 hurricane season was devastating for the country and markedly catastrophic for the people of Puerto Rico. FEMA was simply unprepared.  While this reflection is welcome, this Administration's actions at every step of the way this past year counters the realization that it has to fundamentally change how it prepares and responds to disasters.  This report shows the President's constant praise of FEMA's response to Hurricane Maria was unwarranted. The President was in denial about the gravity of the disaster, and he still fails to recognize that the affected Americans still need help from our government."

"This report still does not explain how or why Puerto Rico was clearly treated differently than the states that faced natural disasters last year.  Just this week as the island faced its first major threat of the 2018 hurricane season, plans were being made to remove power generators. It is also concerning that Administrator Long is reiterating his ‘extreme’ pride for his agency's response to Hurricane Maria while FEMA still does not have an official death toll, which by most accounts is undeniably grave. I sincerely hope that FEMA has learned serious lessons from its inadequate response to Hurricane Maria, but with this year's hurricane season well underway, FEMA has not shown us that it is ready for anything resembling what we faced last year.”

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978