Citing national security concerns, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has refused to turn over "gap analyses" conducted on 18 coastal states, from
The Times-Picayune first asked for the gap analyses in June after FEMA Director David Paulison announced at the start of the 2007 hurricane season that the state-by-state reviews were part of the agency's new approach to ensuring disaster readiness.
After the much-maligned federal, state and local responses to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, FEMA decided to review "core readiness capabilities" in six major areas: evacuation, medical services, debris removal, commodities, sheltering and fuel. Modeled after an assessment developed by
Paulison has mentioned the "Gap Analysis Initiative" at news conferences and in congressional testimony since the process was launched in March. But his agency has refused to provide specifics. "FEMA agreed with the states not to release this data due to the potential release of critical infrastructure data," James McIntyre, a spokesman for the agency, said. "In addition, we find the data to be of a sensitive nature that could be misused if widely available."…