UPS Sends Two Liaisons; FEMA, Governors Still Not Speaking

FEMA still hasn’t figured out to make nice with the folks it’s supposedly trying to help. As UPS, the shipping giant, tries to aid in Gulf Coast relief, it sounds as if FEMA still isn’t talking to the governors. UPS:

UPS today announced it had begun working directly with the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to support the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

In Louisiana, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has organized a team to help direct the state’s emergency relief effort. UPS is supporting the distribution and logistics efforts of that team.

In consultation with Gov. Blanco and also with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, UPS has placed individual liaison officers at the command of the state governments. Two hurricane relief officers have been assigned to each of the two states, one to the governor and a second to the top Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official in the state. These UPS managers will remain accessible at all time to ensure that any emergency movement of food or supplies is handled as promptly as possible.

Can you say, “duplication?” Very good! Now can you say, “FEMA incompetence?” I thought you could!

As the federal government struggles to accomplish anything beyond roughing people up and justifying its poor performance, at least UPS is “gittin’ ‘er done.”

Over the past 10 days, UPS has transported more than 4 million pounds of relief supplies for federal, state and private relief organizations responding to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The effort, with starting points ranging from California to Vermont, has involved both air and ground movements and focused primarily on the transportation of water, medicine, baby formula, non-perishable food items, emergency supplies and paper goods.

Beyond those items, UPS also has moved a mobile kitchen for the U.S. Park Police; a mobile hospital from Reno, Nev., to New Orleans, and child-sized cots from California to Dallas. The company now is arranging the move of a mobile water treatment system from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Gulfport, Miss.


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