Three years ago the Federal Emergency Management Agency was put to the test following hurricane Katrina.They didn’t quite pass the test. FEMA failed horribly.
FEMA’s track record is still scarred by the past memories of hurricane Katrina. Thursday morning, CNN Headline News reported approximately $45 million of federal aid money was squandered on temporary housing trailers, which by the way are sitting in some lot unused.
A more recent test came in the form of a hurricane. Hurricane Gustav sideswiped the Gulf area as a category two storm. This storm gave FEMA the chance to improve its reputation. The organization provided gulf residents with reimbursement for certain evacuation expenses, including hotel rooms and rental payments for temporary housing and grants for other necessities. FEMA looked like it was getting better.
Another test for FEMA came in late August. The Tallahassee area was covered with 20 inches of rain, courtesy of tropical storm Fay. The floods damaged many homes and businesses in the Tallahassee.
Once again FEMA swooped in to help the American people. In Tallahassee, residents can speak with FEMA personnel and receive important information about housing grants for the uninsured and hotel rooms if they’re displaced.
After years of a bad rap, FEMA is finally making it easier for the people who need it the most.
Barbara Charles for the editorial board.