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July 11, 2008

More Anger Over FEMA Supplies

Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast states a few years ago. Many residents are still living in the FEMA trailers that were set up for temporary housing after the hurricane. A few weeks ago a report came that said that FEMA has given away 85,000 in supplies to agencies that did not need it. The state of Louisiana did not ask for any of the supplies when FEMA offered it. The state of Mississippi got some of the aide but they decided to give it to prisons, the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the Department of Finance and Administration. Even colleges and volunteer firefighter departments got some of the household supplies. Somehow, none of the hurricane victims got it.

This is a very interesting situation. Louisiana did not ask for the supplies so that is why victims in that state did not receive it. However, Mississippi got the supplies and the state was not smart enough to distribute it to the hurricane victims? How stupid are they? So in one of the poorest states, if not thee poorest, the supplies to help victims was not given to them? That just does not make any sense. Who is in charge in Mississippi and why do they still have a job?

Of course the other side of the coin, as I’ve stated before, it has now been some time since Hurricane Katrina. It seems that some of the people that are still living in FEAM trailers could have found a way to get out of them. Coffee makers, plates and dinnerware is not going to get you out of the FEAM trailer. The only thing that is going to do that is rebuilding your life. You may have to start from scratch after a hurricane strikes but that is what you have to do. Now, years after the hurricane, victims are still waiting for household supplies. I guess that I just don’t understand that.

Years ago I worked in South Carolina rebuilding houses that were destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. Hurricane Andrew struck South Carolina when I was relatively young. I was surprised at the damage that was still present to the homes we worked on. I was also surprised at the people that we met. Jobless, on welfare and not doing anything to change their lives. There were people that had seven or eight children, some of them through incestuous relationships. School was just something that did not happen and many people could not read. It was a very sad state of affairs. Their homes were “heirs’ property”, which means that generations had lived in these homes from Reconstruction on. The Klu Klux Klan had come through and burned down banks and destroyed all deeds to homes. This was never corrected so 100 year later when Hurricane Andrew ripped through the state, these people were left with no proof of owning the homes they lived in. that of course meant no insurance. When I was there, I thought, why didn’t anyone do something about that before the hurricane came?

Life is by no means easy but you have to try to handle what has been thrown your way. Don’t cry over household items you did not get. Go out in the world and find a way to get some yourself.

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