Leslie Turk

FEMA says La. gluttonous over MREs

by Leslie Turk

In the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, Louisiana residents quickly ran out of FEMA-supplied food, namely Meals Ready to Eat and water. Gov. Bobby Jindal's been frustrated with the federal agency ever since, but The Times-Picayune reported this weekend that FEMA says storm-struck Louisianans were just too greedy.

Nearly five months after Hurricane Gustav, the public relations battle between Gov. Bobby Jindal and FEMA continues over who was to blame for the exasperating depletion of emergency food and water supplies soon after the storm.

At stake is a clear understanding of how to prepare for disasters.

FEMA's argument, contained in a retort to comments made by Jindal last week, is that basically the responsibility for the problem lies with the storm victims of Louisiana, who gobbled up food and water at an "extraordinary" rate after Gustav swept through.

The federal agency said it worked closely with state officials to pre-position what was believed to be an adequate supply of Meals Ready to Eat packets, water bottles, ice and tarps, but the actual demand was far greater and resupply efforts stumbled.

"FEMA brought up this same assertion during the storms, and the governor made it clear that it is nutty to tell the people of south Louisiana that we are simply eating too much and are choosing MREs over our terrific local cuisine," Jindal's spokeswoman Melissa Sellers said.

Read the rest of the T-P story here.