Figure 9:  Tractor Trailers Pick Up Supplies For Disaster Victims 
FEMA officials said that they are currently pilot testing a Total Asset 
Visibility System to track shipment and distribution of essential commodities 
such as ice, water, and food.  Such a tracking system should provide FEMA 
with the capability to track assets real time, across federal, state, and local 
organizations.   
Management Practices Contribute to Systems Operations Problems
FEMA's disaster response culture has supported the agency through many 
crisis situations, such as the 2004 hurricanes.  However, its reactive approach 
encourages short term systems fixes rather than long term solutions, 
contributing to the difficulties that FEMA encounters in efficiently and 
effectively supporting response and recovery operations.  Without taking the 
time to fully define and document systems requirements, it is difficult for 
FEMA to evaluate effectively viable alternatives to its custom designed 
systems.  Further, the reactive manner in which IT systems are funded and 
implemented has left little time for proper systems testing before they are 
deployed.   
NEMIS Requirements Not Consistently Updated 
Office of Management and Budget Circular A 11 directs agencies to reduce 
project risk by involving stakeholders in the design of IT assets.  Users can 
play an important role in helping to define systems requirements to meet 
Emergency Preparedness and Response Could Better Integrate Information Technology  
with Incident Response and Recovery 
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