MIAMI — Gov. Jeb Bush took the blame Wednesday for frustrating delays at centers distributing supplies to victims of Hurricane Wilma, saying criticism of the Federal Emergency Management Agency was misdirected.
"Don't blame FEMA. This is our responsibility," Bush said at a news conference in Tallahassee with federal Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who oversees the agency.
Many Floridians were still struggling to find food, water, ice and gas on the third day of recovery from Wilma, waiting in line for hours - sometimes in vain. Miami-Dade's mayor called the distribution system flawed and said at least one relief site of 11 in his county ran out of supplies.
....Frustration with Florida's relief effort flared Tuesday, when trucks carrying the first wave of relief - food, ice and water - either arrived much later than local officials expected or didn't show up at all....."We did not perform to where we want to be," Bush said.
The governor added, however, that people seeking relief should have done more to prepare for the storm.
"People had ample time to prepare. It isn't that hard to get 72 hours worth of food and water," said Bush, repeating the advice that officials had given days before Wilma hit.