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  • FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

    Hey guys, it's me your local neighborhood Rajun Cajun. I know that most of you might not know who I am, but I've been playing CS:S for a while. I won't make this thread to make you guys feel sorry for me because there are far more people who are in worse off condition than me, but to give you a semi-dramatic, first hand account of how the system works. Well, I was enrolled at the University of New Orleans (UNO), and had just moved in to my on-campus apartment, just bought the first month of internet, cable, and had paid the semester of rent. On top of that I bought over $150 of food, ketchup, mayo, salt, pepper, milk, and Tabasco sauce, and another pile of cash on bathroom items, etc. I had my $1200 custom built trick bike, a 32" TV, PS2, X-Box, Game Cube, Microwave, and other kitchen appliances. Finally, I just got our carpet cleaned. So I invested a heaping amount of cash into this place. Well, the Friday before the hurricane hit I paid for cable, and the cable guy was going to connect it in the afternoon. I had NO clue that Katrina existed. My roommate from New Hampshire ironically asked, "What would happen if a hurricane would hit here?" I instinctually said, “It won’t be bad. Hurricanes hit before, and there was ever really that much damage. There will be just a bunch of trees broken, and shingles missing. We only have to evacuate about once every 2 years.” I think I jinxed it. Well, I went home for the weekend and found out about the hurricane. I freaked out and realized that I left EVERY thing I owned in N.O. (Except my computer, which was being repaired in NY.). I even left my wireless router that I just received from an RMA from Linksys (Yes, the same router that kept me from playing CS:S for two months).

    Well, new paragraph time. So I’ll try to end it quick because by now most of you have selected “Next Thread.” So UNO is closed for this semester and I had to enroll in another college, Nicholls State University (NSU). Since I don’t have a scholarship here like I did at UNO I have to pay everything out of pocket ($500 books, $915 meal ticket, $1000 rent, tuition, etc.) In Louisiana there is program called “TOPS” that pays for tuition, but it won’t reimburse me until I graduate. Still, that is $3000 less in my possession as far as my balance as of now. So, I get settled in to my new dorm which is a 12’x20’ box with bunk beds. I am not griping about the living arrangements, but I am griping that I have to pay single unit apartment price for it. ”Because that is what you were paying before,” they told me. I can’t do anything about it; I need a place to live.

    In the aftermath, I apply to FEMA, you know them, they are the government organization that will help everybody!! First, I open up Firefox and start applying I spent like 20 minutes getting SS #’s, addresses, phone #’s, and other information. I go to click submit, and a message appears, “In order to effectively complete your application you must use Internet Explorer 5 or newer. To get IE 5+ go to www.microsoft.com.” Well, thanks a bunch. So I apply to FEMA on IE 5+ again. The same data input, but when I get to the end there is a prompt that reads, “This SS # has already been used unsuccessfully in the past 24 hours please try again later.” OK, so the next day I apply to FEMA the right way. I did it, over, bam, done. So I help my NSU roommate apply, he is from Kansas and felt no effect of this storm because he went back to Kansas. He gets $2000 in the mail the next day. His process is over; he got the cash for having nothing at all happen to him besides a new roommate (me). So I go to www.fema.gov to check the status of my application. Pending… Ok, that’s fine. I’ll try again tomorrow. Pending… Ok, well maybe another time. Next day, correspondence... Finally, something is working in my favor. So I get an E-mail that says they won’t pay for anything except the cost that it took me to evacuate to Lafayette (A 2 hour drive from my home) that cost is about $50. I am happy that they are giving me money, but I am confused how my roommate gets $2000 for expenses, food, housing, clothes, and stuff. I get $50 for gas and Burger King?

    I know there are people in worse condition than me, but I want to get my story out, let you guys know why I didn’t play CS:S in a while, and tell you how messed up the system is. Take care all, and don’t let this happen to you!!


  • #2
    Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

    So did everything you have get destroyed in N.O.? If so you should try to contact them asap.


    - -

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

      My apartment didn't get flooded, but from the images I saw, it looks like I might have rain damage. I can't get back to UNO anyway becasue the mayor suspended entry into N.O. until Rita passes.

      Also, yesterday I tried to contact FEMA via phone, but I was put on hold for 6 hours, and at NSU the single call limit is 6 hours.
      Last edited by .143 Beth©; 09-22-2005, 02:54 PM. Reason: More Info.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

        Well, my family has decided to evacuate for Rita, so I'll see you guys when I get back.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

          My house got screwed up like hell by.. whatever the first hurricane last year was. The roof is so screwed up we have rain damage everywhere, everything in the attic is ruined, and not to mention the roof itself will cost about 4 grand (or more, I forget) to replace.

          FEMA won't do anything. I am not sure why, but I do know we applied and got nothing out of it.

          All I can say is gg nore

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

            Well it is 1:30 Central time and the power is out at my house, and I am running off of 56K, and a 27Kw generator that powers our house + the refigerator of my Grandmas. The wind is blowing about 20 substained with 50 mph gusts. Not so bad, I got this Shizat on lock down. I'm once again in survival mode, and I moved EVERYTHING out of my dorm this time to be sure I don't have to go through that haslt again.

            In reply to Azzman:
            FEMA seems to be helping all the people who don't really need it. They ask vauge questions, and the honest people get no help. The people who lie on their application get the cash which leaves the ones in need with nothing. Another hopeless example: I applied to get a book voucher from NSU for 350 dollars to cover my books, but was denied becasue so many people applied for it before me, so I only got 65 dollars. Then I found out that everyone was repoting their books damaged and selling them on Ebay, and Amazon.com. This is crazy that there is no system of checks and balances in these bureaucracies!!
            Something needs to be done, but everyone is worried about rebuilding New Orleans. The people of N.O. will rebuild it, myself included. The GOV. needs to worry about the individuals, not the big picture, because the people are going to eventually create the big picture.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

              Sorry to hear that things haven't been in your favor Beth. Hope things work out OK.

              Look on the bright side no one you knew died, including yourself.

              Plus, you still got your PC ;)

              |CS:S Dev Team|



              root: I do it to
              steve: OMG
              steve: TOO
              root: ****ing hell
              root: Spelling nazi down! MEDIC!

              Go ahead, you know you all envy me, I corrected root's grammar :D

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

                Horse judging is much different from Emergency Management.

                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

                  thou sorry to hear about your situation, and feel sorry for all the victims, I do wonder one thing...

                  Don't answer this, just food for thought... what race are you? do they ask your race on the application? is your friend that got all that money a different race?

                  What I'm getting at or wondering.... I know FEMA and the local, state and federal government screwed up... and hopefully will learn from past mistakes... but I really don't think the government was prepared for such I devastation storm, I live in Florida, and I never thought we would have such major damage in the US due to modern tech, codes for houses, etc ect.... I do not believe at all that anyone in government said..."Hey, there all black poor folks, so were going to hold off helping them for a while... hehe... won't that be funny"... as alot of people may think.
                  Magnum |TG-18th|


                  We stand between chaos and order, evil and good, despair and hope - we are the Thin Blue Line, and we will never be broken.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

                    Originally posted by Magnum50
                    thou sorry to hear about your situation, and feel sorry for all the victims, I do wonder one thing...

                    Don't answer this, just food for thought... what race are you? do they ask your race on the application? is your friend that got all that money a different race?

                    What I'm getting at or wondering.... I know FEMA and the local, state and federal government screwed up... and hopefully will learn from past mistakes... but I really don't think the government was prepared for such I devastation storm, I live in Florida, and I never thought we would have such major damage in the US due to modern tech, codes for houses, etc ect.... I do not believe at all that anyone in government said..."Hey, there all black poor folks, so were going to hold off helping them for a while... hehe... won't that be funny"... as alot of people may think.
                    I don't think it was intentional. Although if those would have been all white peeps thee would have likely been more political pressure for the feds to get of their asses and 'manage an emergency'

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

                      Send FEMA a clear, respectful, letter that details what you need and your experience with FEMA. CC your congressman. Make two copies. Send the letters certified, receipt requested. You will get a response. If it's not reasonable or timely, send copies of your letter and any response or lack thereof to as many reporters as you can find.

                      Try not taking no for an answer. Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

                        I don't know what your family's financial situation is or how it compares to your roomate who received $2000. It is possible that was a factor in FEMA's decision. Further, when you accidentally locked your ssn for 24 hours, your subsequent app probably got kicked into a different queue with greater scrutiny to prevent fraud. Bad luck, there.

                        The trick is to make writing you a check the easier and more pleasant path for a beaurecrat or politician to take. On the other hand, FEMA doesn't exist to write checks to anyone who lost something in a disaster, it exists to provide minimal support to the neediest and to smooth the path to recovery for the community as a whole. If you have what you need and can basically get on without disaster befalling you, you may just want to suck it up and soldier on. Chalk this one up as an eye-opener for you, and remember: the goal is to never need government assistance at all. Save save save.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

                          I'll try and try again until I get an answer. Money would be nice, but an answer is what I am looking for. Thanks for all the advice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

                            Did you have renter's insurance?

                            FEMA doesn't cover things that would normally be paid for by your insurance company. A lot of the stuff you lost would have been covered by your renter's policy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: FEMA, 1st hand disappointment

                              Originally posted by Wolfie
                              Did you have renter's insurance?

                              FEMA doesn't cover things that would normally be paid for by your insurance company. A lot of the stuff you lost would have been covered by your renter's policy.
                              It was the first week of college, and I had not finished moving in. I had the papers on my desk, the renters insurance, the furniture agrement, and the pre occupancy damage report. This happened too fast. I was just worried about broadband and cable the first week. I was gonna do all the Apartment paperwork on Monday, but monday naver came.

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