When I founded FEMA "we put it together with three specific commitments," Carter remarked. "One, that it would be led [by] highly trained professionals in dealing with disasters. Secondly, that it would be completely independent and not under another agency that would submerge it. And third, that it would be adequately funded."
The former president said the key reason for creating the agency was to respond to governors who asked for a consolidation of the 16 bureaucracies previously responsible for emergency relief efforts. Carter said he hoped that the changes he ordered would have remained permanent, allowing for a more effective response to a hurricane now claiming upwards of 1000 lives.
Carter agreed with Bush on one point: "I think that now is the best time not to look back on blaming about Katrina, but to try to correct the defects that have evolved in recent years and make sure it is not repeated."