The 9/11 chairs on what Katrina means ...
"There was nobody in charge," observed Kean, who said the Bush administration should now require states to establish clear chains of command for disaster situations in exchange for federal security dollars.
"There have got to be clear lines of authority because if there isn't somebody in charge, it costs lives. It cost a lot of lives in New Orleans," he added.
Kean said the Department of Homeland Security, a sprawling bureaucracy set up after the 2001 attacks, failed to produce two mandated risk assessments to U.S. transportation and infrastructure including levees such as the ones that failed after Katrina, swamping New Orleans.
"One report was due April 1. The other was due in early summer. Neither report has been done," he said. Homeland Security officials were not immediately available to comment.
Kean and Hamilton both said communications problems occurred between New Orleans emergency crews because of congressional failure to give first-responders nationwide their own segment of the U.S. broadcasting band.
"It is a glaring error four years after 9/11. Still exists. Not resolved. There are bills pending in Congress but they're far from enactment," Hamilton said.
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