Witt Associates and IEM

by Henry Farrell on September 6, 2005

I received the following rather short and non-specific press release yesterday, a result, I presume, of my previous “post”:https://crookedtimber.org/2005/09/02/3741/ on Innovative Emergency Management. Clearly, James Lee Witt and company are looking to disassociate themselves from IEM. I have no specific knowledge of what their relationship was; I suspect that there’s an interesting story here, but your guess is as good as mine as to what it involves.


bq. In May of 2004, IEM included James Lee Witt Associates, LLC in their proposal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for developing a FEMA Catastrophic Plan for Southeast Louisiana and the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

bq. After the proposal was submitted to FEMA, James Lee Witt Associates was not approached again by IEM, nor did JLWA have any involvement whatsoever in the project.



Thomas 09.06.05 at 3:22 pm

Henry, please don’t let a lack of specific knowledge keep you from spinning out terrific theories. No one else around here does.

As I understand it, JLWA wants to make it clear that, while they cooperated with IEM in IEM’s getting the bid, they weren’t in fact involved in IEM’s negligent work. But that still makes them an accessory to IEM’s homicides, as I read it, which, under common law principles, means they’re every bit as guilty as IEM of the horrible crime committed here. (In case you’re wondering, I’m referring to the crime as described in Henry’s previous post on the subject.) Burn them.


Sven 09.06.05 at 5:52 pm

Jon Cohn has a post on IEM at TNR.


Stephen M (Ethesis) 09.06.05 at 7:25 pm

btw, anyone know if this list is accurate:



Stephen M (Ethesis) 09.06.05 at 7:58 pm

BTW, more on the New Orleans infrastructure, just information to help understand the debates:


and, something that appears to explain what is happening in politics right now:



Urinated State of America 09.08.05 at 12:59 pm

“As I understand it, JLWA wants to make it clear that, while they cooperated with IEM in IEM’s getting the bid, they weren’t in fact involved in IEM’s negligent work.”

No, it sounds more like a bait-and-switch by IEM. IEM probably approached JLWA thus: “Can we put you on the proposal as a subcontractor”; JLWA consented, but IEM then didn’t give them any piece of the work. Happens regularly in consulting.


cinnamonape 09.11.05 at 12:22 am

I have been able to access the Innovative Emergency Management website and looking under their Press releases have found that there is a footnote to their Release on their FEMA Grant Announcement regarding the NOLA Emergency Response contract.

That footnote says that James Lee Witt & Associates were not partnered with IEM for the actual project.


Apparently IEM either used JLW&Assoc. to spruce up their application, or perhaps there was a parting of the ways after JLW discovered that one of IEM’s consultants on the Indian Wells, NY Nuclear Reactor Evacuation Plan had a conflict of interest.


BTW Looks as if IEM also was involved in planning the bus evacuation of New Orleans.


So I suppose that the plan was handed to New Orleans after the “Hurricane Pam” simulation. It was FEMA’s “ideal model” and NOLA and the State pretty much had to accept it…any variance would not likely be certified.

But it also appears that Nagin made some additional plans for temporary shelters of those that were planned to “fend for themselves” under the IEM/FEMA plan. There was no plan to evacuate people to temporary tent cities in New Orleans because, as FEMA Director Mike Brown said “Americans don’t live in tents”.

That’s why Nagin used the Superdome as a “staging area”. He thought the National Guard/Coast Guard, etc. would be available with a day or two to initiate evacuation and provide security and services. But the Federal support didn’t materialize until days later…contrary to the IEM/FMA plan. And without security Red Cross and other personell couldn’t move in.

But Negin’s effort likely saved thousands, despite the horror stories.

Comments on this entry are closed.