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Michael Brown,

former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), found a bit of vindication in February, when he testified before a Senate committee that he had informed the White House the day Hurricane Katrina struck, on Aug. 29, 2005, that levees in New Orleans had been breached and the city was flooding. Bush administration officials had said they did not learn of the scope of the disaster until Aug. 30. He also said the Department of Homeland Security and the White House were not at all prepared for or focused on natural disasters. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Brown was blamed for the inept response to the disaster.

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