Once of the advantages of decades of experience is the recollection of previous situations where the federal response and recovery endured major clashes with state and local officials. The example that comes to mind is Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992.
Then President George Bush appointed a key aide, Andrew Card, to a newly created position, which was above that of the Federal Coordinating Officer. The response and recovery was complex and conflict-ridden, but Card helped sort it out and expedited matters. See the article from NYTimes, dated Aug. 29, 1992: HURRICANE ANDREW; BREAKDOWN SEEN IN U.S. STORM AID. One excerpt:
Even though the emergency management agency was created in 1978 to coordinate the Federal response to disasters, Mr. Bush on Wednesday appointed Transportation Secretary Andrew H. Card as the head of a separate inter-agency group, the Task Force on Hurricane Andrew.
NOTE: The Diva has been rethinking this suggestion based on comments from readers. More leadership and decisiveness are needed for the recovery, but not in the form of a czar.