New FEMA chief praises Hurricane Hunters



 Disaster is nothing new to Craig Fugate.

It’s been nearly a year since he was appointed to run FEMA, but before that he led Florida’s emergency-management operations for eight years.

He was there in 2004 for Hurricane Charley. And Francis. And Ivan. And Jean.

Fugate visited the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base on Thursday morning, touring the C-130J plane and getting updates on the squadron’s missions. Before that he spoke in Biloxi at the Inclusive Hurricane Preparedness Conference, which helps groups that help people with disabilities during a storm.

Fugate commended the reservists on their efforts to collect weather data and feed it to the National Hurricane Center so forecasts will be more up-to-date.

“The better the forecast, the better decisions we can make, especially about evacuations,” Fugate said.

Fugate knows there’s no such thing as planning too early or too much.

“We all know that no matter how good the forecast is, if you’re not prepared, you can’t change the outcome.”

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