16
Sep
08

URGENT; Can We Wait or Depend on FEMA to Help Ike victims Alone?

This just in–There is water available and soon supplies in Liverpool-30 miles from Galveston!

Sometimes I just want to scream. While hundreds of thousands of people are cooped up like animals in shelters, are fighting to survive in homes blasted by surging waters, are huddled in damaged houses with no electricity, food or water; who do the reporters find to interview? Someone who wants a beer and a paper to read. Someone at an apartment complex drinking wine, beer and eating beef stew. Hey, there are thousands who would love to have one bite of your stew right now.

Once again, the Federal Government has proven how totally inept it is at usurping things done far better by the private sector. There used to be a damn good disaster relief and recovery system in place in this country which could mobilize in record time and have access to the giving hearts of loving people all over the country who wanted to help.

It used to be, if some guy in Kentucky or Missouri wanted to round up supplies, rent a truck and head for a major disaster to deliver goods where needed they could with no governmental interference. That was before FEMA and the individual states versions (TEMA, LEMA, MEMA, etc.) hijacked the disaster relief efforts and took over not only search and rescue operations but the distribution of supplies and volunteers as well.

I have sat in planning meetings where the new National Disaster Response Plan was discussed and presented. No private sector group liked the changes. Even groups such as the American Red Cross have been relegated to second or even third place in the order of agencies allowed to take care of victims. It used to be they were in first place. Who replaced them? FEMA of course.

A few years ago a group was started out of Dallas called AID MATRIX. Over the past three or four years, this group has risen to the point it now pretty much acts as the clearing house for all disaster relief supplies, money and volunteers for every major charity that helps during an event such as Ike. This sounds good, but as usual, the end results do not match the hype.

Governors in various states now have funds set up to handle donations earmarked for their state. The National Association—VOAD (Volunteers Organized Assisting in Disasters) now has full control over the volunteers at a disaster site. The days of an independent group or person unaffiliated with any VOAD group being able to assist in a major disaster have pretty much ended.  The Achilles Heel to all huge charities assisting in disasters are the dreaded “unaffiliated volunteers and supplies”.  

After Hurricane Katrina, there was a spontaneous outpouring of compassion in this country. Semi Trucks were filled with clothing, water, food and other supplies at churches and other service oriented facilities nationwide. In record time these trucks, driven by volunteers who donated their time, trucks and fuel arrived near the Gulf Coast only to be stopped and turned away. Frustration reached the boiling point as some of these truckers sat in a state of limbo for days or were run in circles trying to find a place to drop their loads.

Partially through dangerous conditions at the disaster sites, and partially through pride and arrogance; the spontaneous love offerings of America were turned down and treated as second rate gifts compared to the fine things FEMA and State agencies could provide. In due time the outcry of Americans finally produced independent warehouses, free from government dictates, which took these truckloads of supplies and then distributed them to small groups working directly with the people who had lost everything.

Now what do we have three years later? We have FEMA and individual state’s versions of FEMA doing everything themselves for the most part. Private groups trying to get feeding stations and other things into the disaster areas are in limbo. FEMA wants to run the whole operation to prove “How Great they Art”. After the Katrina fiasco, FEMA wants to prove to everyone they can handle disaster relief far better than the Baptists, the Salvation Army or even the Red Cross.

I sat in a meeing two years ago where it was stated that in the event of another disaster such as Katrina, the rest areas on the Interstates would be used as road blocks to stop every truck trying to get supplies to the disaster site. Unless the truck driver had a manifest detailing everything on his truck and the group it was going to was recognized by FEMA/VOAD as a legitimate group—the truck would be forced to turn around and go home.

The scary part came when someone asked what would happen if the truck ran the roadblock and tried to deliver the supplies anyway. The answer was that those manning the check point would have orders to “shoot to kill” and otherwise do whatever it took to stop such a truck from getting to the disaster site.

Such regulations may appear to be a good idea due to the confusion and debris at the site. But, come on, this is America; land of the free. Yea sure, we are not even free anymore to deliver needed supplies to a group of storm victims starving and dying of thirst. Don’t believe me? Just dig a little deeper and look at what is happening in Galveston right now. Want more proof? Dig even deeper and find out NOTHING is being done for thousands of stranded people in Louisiana who were hit by GUSTOV over two weeks ago.

I refer you to the following blog if you want to help and don’t want to throw you money or supplies to the bureaucratic big agencies . If you want your generosity to reach the people in need, you need to go through one of the few remaining independent groups with the commitment to do whatever it takes to get supplies to those who need them the most in record time and will be the backbone of support in the long road to recovery.

http://iwashungry.wordpress.com/

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19 Responses to “URGENT; Can We Wait or Depend on FEMA to Help Ike victims Alone?”


  1. 1 sandysays1
    September 16, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Question- How many disasters have you personally experienced? In 2004 Charley’s eye passed over my home in SW Florida when it was still a Cat 4. It took us 30 months before we completely recovered and the poor folks down there will be lucky to do as well. If you want to really help point your efforts to long term not short term assistance. Racing to the rescue on a white horse may help the giver’s ego but the real support is needed 3, 6, 12, 18 and 30 months from now. PS – FEMA, the state of Florida, and the Red Cross did help us significantly, but the greatest help came from local churches and civic clubs.

  2. September 16, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    If you were to read through my huge backlog of blog posts you would see that most of my efforts have been directed at LONG TERM RECOVERY. The only reason this posting was made was in light of recent changes made via the National Disaster Relief Plan which went into effect long after Charley. Back in the day of your disaster FEMA and Red Cross did a very good job working together with local groups and churches. Much of that has changed now which is the reason for posting this.
    mercyman53

  3. September 16, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Great thread..To bad this subject wont ever get published on CNN or Foxnews.

    FTW.Tx

  4. 4 wisdomssister
    September 16, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Thank you for all the information. It really needs more of a voice.

    And yes, long-term help is needed. My family helped for 9 months post-Katrina. Other members of our family are still in Slidell, LA ministering and helping post-Katrina and now Gustav and Ike. It isn’t only phyiscal help that is needed, but spiritual help and encouragement.

    Daily Life Ministry helped out in Bay St. Louis up until last fall post-Katrina. They were one of the only ones that did not sell out to the Government and take government money. If you are supporting a spiritual/religious organization, ask if they are taking government money. If they are, they are dictated as to when they can pray, who they can minister to, etc. unless they want to loose their money.

  5. September 17, 2008 at 9:08 am

    In response to mercy man, should you waite on fema, I have been on both sides of the spectrum with fema, I have hated them and loved them, no system is perfect, but what we the small grass roots groups and the larger faith based org. have learned is to work with each other and fema. You can not just look at one part or mistake by anyone and judge what they are doing. Fema can not come into a disaster site with our being invited by the state goverments that are affected from the storms. Once they are invited they will do the best they can to deliver aid, . When people do not head the warnings to leave then you have rescue efforts, that at the time is more important than aid. At least with aidmatix you do have somewhere to take donations and for the most part I believe they will get to the people that needs them the most. We have supplies that we are getting ready to send to two parishes in LA. and it was no problem getting clearance to take them there.

  6. 6 Iyeha Enoha
    September 19, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Mercyman,
    You speak the truth! After receiving a call from Chief Amos (Atakapa-Ishak Nation)in Port Aurthur TX, I promised to help get the word out. You are the only site I found. The frustration and anger at the lack of news coverage about the plight of those outside Galveston or Houston was heartbreaking. Calls from tribal members in TX and LA tell of the lack of help from FEMA. All of these callers had evacuated, for the second time, by the way … remember Gustav. They represent a small portion of the population of forgotten people. Now, thanks to you, I will be able to call Chief and give him a ray of hope to pass on to the Ishak and their neighbors. Their prayers have not gone unheard!

    Hathu tol ka,
    Iyeha Enoha

  7. 7 cricket
    September 25, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Galveston survivors cannot get help here in Henderson, KY after they come here after they where rescued from IKE My son went to the red cross here in Henderson, Ky. and the red cross told them that they were NOT GOING TO HELP, All they wanted was a voucher so they could get under cloths and was told no, Everybody down here in Henderson, KY has told them no. MY son and his girl friend been a survivor of IKE. I do not know if you can help. They have been to the Red Cross ( Can not help, because they do not know how they can help FEMA has gave them no guide lines for them to go by and because of all the people that fruded them during Katrina ) They have been to housing ( Can not help, because they do not know how they can help FEMA has gave them no guide lines for them to go by) They been to Audubon Area ( They won’t help, because so many people fraud-ed them during Katrina they won’t help no one now) The only places that helped them is good well ,ST. Vincent DE Paul and The Answer Center. FEMA they did there application online (Can’t get through on the phone it tells you to go online) and have not heard nothing And what they need is help with housing and getting the money up to get there license and other stuff that they need. I am at a lost and I do not know whom to turn to- for them -so they can get help!!! Can anybody help?!?!?! There names are George Latham and Erin McGahey 425 Harding Ave. Henderson, KY. 42420 1-270-860-9258 or 1-270- 826- 7684
    my name is Lacreta

  8. 8 Kahla
    November 4, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    I am from Orange, Texas, and this is the first website I have found who truely has spoken the truth about no help from Fema. Flood waters were anywhere from 2-6 feet in people’s homes. They lost EVERYTHING, some had nothing but a fram left of their homes to come back to. My sister is disable, lost her roof and everything in her modest little home was ruined, and we cannot find help. Fema sent her 3300.00 to replace what she lost oh my GOD that wont even begin to help replace everything she lost. The media does NOT show this around the country, as far as everyone is concerned Ike is over and people are going on with their lives happy and content that is BS it looks like a war zone around this area, and they turned trucks around????????????? These people need food, clothing and above all building materials because it is so high the average low income or disabled person on social security cannot rebuild their lives, this is horrible in a wealthy country such as ours. And my God if anyone has a heart in this world if they could see it first hand it would break their hearts. NOW a month later after IKE they are STILL waiting for assistance while their lives continue to rot and corrode from the salt water surge. You can drive through the neighborhoods worst hit and smell the rotting decaying lives of the poor people here and those were upper to middle classed people fine furniture piled up 1–12 feet high on the curbs waiting for the trash people to come haul it off. Lad fills pilled hundreds of feet high with the lives of people here. WHY,for God’s sake I ask is the media NOT showing this? everyone here does NOT drink wine and beer and party while sitting on their duffs waiting for some kind of help, most are truely devastated. WHERE do they find help to rebuild? you can email me at swtbreezie@yahoo.com All I can say is God help these poor people. KATRINA is OVER these people that went through IKE need help now!

  9. 9 Teresa
    November 8, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    I have read all of the blogs on this page . I am one of the many that Fema has turned down for what they say is not enough damage. My home was hit hard by Ike . I don’t live on the coast . I live over a hundred miles from there. Ike hit here just as hard . We have gotten no help from FEMA . Only some sandwiches from the Red Cross. Our county didn’t get any help for almost a week after Ike hit . I feel for the people on the coast that has lost everything . I know I am one of the lucky ones to still have a home to sleep in . I am still cooking out side . I feel for the people that are still living in tents with the cold weather . Yes it does get cold here in Texas .
    I can tell you one thing , Fema is making all of the people that has gotten hit By all of the hurricanes pay for what they did after Katrina .
    We got hit by Rita to , then Fema was out here in a hurry .
    As for the Media . They are only showing some of the damage that was done . With Rita , they were all over the place .

  10. 10 DAVIS HOME REMODELING
    November 10, 2008 at 2:09 am

    We have over 30 years experience in Home Remodeling and Rebuilding. We currently work in Decatur, Alabama, and looking to help people in the devastated areas that were affected by the hurricane. We do all types of work from cleaning up debris to building full additions to homes. We also specialize in historical restoration.

    Here is a short list of things that we do
    Roofing, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Porches, Hardwood flooring, Tile Flooring, Decks, Patios, and everything in between.

    References upon request, Licensed & Insured in the state of Alabama will acquire license in Texas if needed.
    If you have any further questions you may contact
    Kevin Davis (256)221-3543

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    • 13 mercyman53
      April 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm

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  14. September 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

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    • 16 mercyman53
      December 4, 2014 at 7:42 pm

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