Addition: See important conversation in comments below.
Reasonable people can disagree as to the proper balance between the state and federal governments when it comes to disaster planning and recovery.
What frustrates me is the reflexive, by some, defense of FEMA its current form. I have spent time studying FEMA and devote a fair amount of space to it in Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather. My conclusion: FEMA is a mess.
With eight days' (!) "heads up" (European model) and 4.5 days solid notice that Hurricane Sandy was going to strike a densely populated area, they have already run out of water??!! Before you complain about whether Breitbart is "neutral" or not (what news organization is, these days?), I've gone to FEMA's "rumor" page where they dispel rumors and falsehoods about FEMA and they do not deny it.
I can cite chapter and verse about petty bickering between FEMA regions, mis-alocation of resources, and their utter failures in Katrina, Andrew, and other storms. Want to fix FEMA? Great. Want to defend it in its present form? Indefensible.