FEMA's vaunted "lean forward" strategy that called for advanced staging of supplies for emergency distribution failed to live up to its billing in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
In fact, the agency appears to have been completely unprepared to distribute bottled water to Hurricane Sandy victims when the storm hit this Monday. In contrast to its stated policy, FEMA failed to have any meaningful supplies of bottled water -- or any other supplies, for that matter -- stored in nearby facilities as it had proclaimed it would on its website. This was the case despite several days advance warning of the impending storm.
FEMA only began to solicit bids for vendors to provide bottled water for distribution to Hurricane Sandy victims on Friday, sending out a solicitation request for 2.3 million gallons of bottled water at the FedBizOpps.gov website. Bidding closed at 4:30 pm eastern.