U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, today released this statement following the announcement by FEMA that it will not meet its deadline to release its updated National Response Plan.
“The National Response Plan (NRP) establishes a comprehensive all-hazards approach to enhance the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents, whether natural or man-made. In the aftermath of the inadequate response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs issued a comprehensive, bi-partisan report that revealed, among other things, serious flaws and gaps in the NRP.
“Since the hurricanes that devastated our nation’s Gulf Coast, the Department of Homeland Security has worked diligently to revise and update the NRP. For example, the Department has established an NRP working group — consisting of relevant stakeholders – to complete a wholesale re-write by June of this year.
“I commend the Department for its efforts. Nevertheless, I am disappointed to learn that the Department will not meet this important deadline, especially given recent predictions of a heavy hurricane season. While I understand the importance of getting this right the second time around, I do not believe the country can afford to wait much longer for a final version of the NRP. I therefore urge the Department to complete its revisions to the NRP as soon as practicable.”