Allen Outlines Disaster Response Lessons for Feds – CQ Homeland Security

After struggling with Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf Coast oil spill, the federal government has learned some choice lessons about disaster response that it is unlikely to ever forget, former Coast Guard commandant Adm. Thad Allen said Tuesday.

“We will never have a large crisis response in this government again without public participation,” said Allen, who served as the federal government’s point-man during the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Allen said federal authorities made macro-level errors in thinking when addressing recent catastrophes. The government needs to improve its ability to clearly identify the problems it confronts, select the best agency to lead its efforts and communicate its actions to the public and to its state and local partners.