Senate confirms new FEMA administrator

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WASHINGTON – The Senate voted 95-4 on Tuesday to confirm Brock Long as the next head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

His confirmation comes at a time when Congress is considering several bills to reform and re-authorize the National Flood Insurance Program, which is run by FEMA.

"I'm a diplomatic leader that has dedicated nearly two decades of service to helping communities prepare for, respond and recover from disasters," he testified during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on June 7.

He will succeed former FEMA director Craig Fugate, who resigned Jan. 20 when President Trump was sworn in. Fugate was known for restoring faith in FEMA following its poor response to the flooding in New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

Long was working for FEMA in 2005 "when the agency learned that it is only as good as its weakest link and its last disaster," he said during his confirmation hearing.

In 2007, the governor of Alabama appointed Long to run the state's Emergency Management Agency, where he helped lead Alabama's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In 2011, he left FEMA to become the vice president of an emergency management firm, Hagerty Consulting, based in Evanston, Ill.

"The combination of his work for FEMA, state emergency management, and the private sector makes Brock Long well suited for this nomination by the president. Because of his experience, Brock understands it is the work done before a storm that saves lives," said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., on Monday in supporting Long's confirmation by the Senate.

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