...Blanco declared a State-level emergency on the 26th, Bush declared it a Federal emergency on the 27th. So far, so good.
No, neither DHS nor FEMA are or can be "in charge," nor did Blanco request such a thing. They coordinate. There's a difference. At all times, the National Guard of the State of Louisiana remained under the direction of Governor Blanco. There were discussions held to federalize these troops, and indeed the entire effort, but Blanco refused. This means she was in charge.
Did you read what Blanco specifically requested from the feds on the 28th? Read it; I can tell you didn't. It's about funding, and after-the-fact assistance for people who lost their homes and so on. There's nothing in there like "send us 1,000 boats" or "send us 100,000 MRE's." Nothing like that. The only thing in there that required immediate attention from Bush was the request for 100% (as opposed to 75%) federal funding. Bush declared that the next day.
Did you read those things about "don't self-dispatch?" That's to keep well-meaning free-lancers from going down there, unknown to anyone, and becoming more load on the rescue system. All they say is, "work through the Red Cross or the Salvation Army." It's not like they told people not to do anything. They just don't want a bunch of stray people wandering in there to "help."
Aaron Broussard has the credibility of a snake. Wal-Mart was sending in water "a week ago (Saturday)?" Yeah, sure it was. And FEMA was there to turn them back a week ago? Yeah, sure it was. Who knows if he's telling the truth about anything?
You're the second guy in here today that seems to think that FEMA is some kind of domestic 'army' that's supposed to parachute in and save the day. That's not what they do. They fund things. They "coordinate." They've got a few guys with rescue boats, and some guys who can set up communications, but past that they're bureaucrats who sit in front of computer screens and telephones and try to hire contractors and tell the Red Cross where to set up, and stuff like that.
All this stuff like dropping MRE's from helicopters is what the National Guard does... and that reports to Blanco. The only serious federal assets that can run around rescuing civilians in the US belong to the Coast Guard, and as well all saw, the Coast Guard helicopters were there as soon as the gale-force winds were gone and the Sun was up... which was Wednesday morning...