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Michael Chertoff

The Department of Defense took 40 years to get where it got.

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First, we did rank everybody by risk, and New York comes out number one.

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And if we make the process political, if we start to make it personal, we're actually going to frustrate good public policy, in terms of managing this money.

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So, all during the '90s and, you know, for the first half of this decade, we had opportunities to get evacuation plans in place, better communications in place.

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Well, I mean, Congress did originally set the formula for the state grants, and they guaranteed every state a minimum formula. So that was a congressional decision.

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I think the idea that you can go this alone is - was a huge mistake. And unfortunately, there was a price paid in terms of suffering and pain for people in New Orleans.

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We've done it in intelligence sharing and certain elements of security. There were parts of the department, in fact, that worked very well in Katrina, like the Coast Guard and TSA.

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Well, I'm not excusing the fact that planning and preparedness was not where it should be. We've known for 20 years about this hurricane, this possibility of this kind of hurricane.

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And one of the things I want to say, Wolf, is we're 100 days from hurricane season, and we've got to start focusing on what we're going to do to make ourselves ready for the next hurricane.

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Now, I'm not suggesting we're going to wait 40 years or even four years, but I think we have to put in perspective the fact that we've come quite a distance. We have quite a distance to come - go, as well.

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