- Ben Smilowitz: FEMA administrator's role is crucial as Hurricane Katrina showed
- Trump should remember George W. Bush's FEMA appointee and look for a pro, he says
Ben Smilowitz is founder and executive director of the Disaster Accountability Project. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
(CNN)Eleven years ago, the shameful response to Hurricane Katrina was dubbed a "failure of initiative." While managing relief sites along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I saw how a country that was capable of "shock and awe" overseas failed to marshal and coordinate the awesome assets of this nation to help Americans during their darkest hours. The post-disaster autopsy pointed to many causes, including inept political appointees at the helm of agencies with life-saving responsibilities.