How Long Does It Take to Drive From Shreveport to New Orleans?

Tom Foreman, a Washington reporter for CNN, reported on American Morning (3 September) that FEMA had boasted prior to Hurricane Katrina’s landfall that they had “pre-positioned” supplies and personnel in an arc throughout the South so that they could respond as soon as Monday evening.

They even put out a
press release
about it.

Homeland Security Prepping For Dangerous Hurricane Katrina
Residents in path of storm “Must take action now”

Release Date: August 28, 2005
Release Number: HQ-05-173

. . .

“There’s still time to take action now, but you must be prepared and take shelter and other emergency precautions immediately,” said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “FEMA has pre-positioned many assets including ice, water, food and rescue teams to move into the stricken areas as soon as it is safe to do so.”

. . .

FEMA is moving supplies of generators, water, ice and food into the region for immediate deployment once the storm passes. FEMA’s Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) are also staged for immediate response anywhere in the region. The funding and direct federal assistance will assist law enforcement with evacuations, establishing shelters and other emergency protective measures.

FEMA has deployed USAR teams from Tennessee, Missouri and Texas to stage in Shreveport, LA.. USAR teams from Indiana and Ohio are staged in Meridian, MS. Two teams each from Florida and Virginia and one team from Maryland are on alert at their home stations.

A total of 18 DMATs have been deployed to staging areas in Houston, Anniston and Memphis. There are 9 full DMATs (35 members per team) and 9 strike teams (5 members per team) in these staging areas.

. . .

FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.