Acting FEMA Director

By  | 

The acting head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency promises a "big difference" in its response to Hurricane Rita from the previous response to Hurricane Katrina.

The Florida Keys was largely spared from the storm that grew much stronger after swiping the island chain.

Rita's eye and most destructive weather passed south of the Keys Tuesday when it was a Category Two storm. By this morning, it was a Category Four hurricane with 140-mile-an-hour top sustained winds. But it's heading to Gulf Coast areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

FEMA Acting Director R. David Paulison says all communications are being taken "very seriously."

He also says the agency is depending much more heavily on the Defense Department and the National Guard.

He stresses that communication between agencies is imperative to an efficient response to another hurricane crisis. He says his top priority would be ensuring that Texas has adequate safeguards in place to cope with any level of damage.