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FEMA and the Federal Family

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Perhaps just a coincidence, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency picked the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall -- perhaps the low point in FEMA's controversial history -- to publish on Monday an impressive time line of actions by the entire "federal family" in response to Hurricane Irene.

A bonanza for future historians, it begins on Aug. 19, when FEMA began monitoring the building storm. Over 10 days it ropes in actions by agencies ranging from Homeland Security to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the Energy Department. It ends with President Obama signing a disaster declaration for Vermont.

That's one way to put out the message that times have changed since the name FEMA was in many a curse.

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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