Saturday, December 8, 2007

FEMA's Good at Wasting Money

FEMA is good at wasting money. With the cost of the travel trailer which includes the purchase, transportation, installation, maintenance, cleaning and disposal of the trailers, but doesn’t include the cost of the rental cost of the location where the trailer is setup at, somewhere in the range of $60,000.00 to 75,000.00 or more. This is the cost for a 18-month "life cycle," if the time in the trailer is longer the cost would be a lot higher. If FEMA were to offer the cash instead of a temporary housing to hurricane victims, they would be able to spend it in a way that would give them a better road to recovery then FEMA is able to do. Some would say if you gave some people the money they would use it improperly. That is a possibility, but you can not take way a responsible persons road to recovery just because someone else might not use it incorrectly. That would be injustice to the responsible person, to be denied a chance because of someone else’s bad choices. If FEMA were to take that path they would not still be trying to deal with the people in the temporary housing, and from the treatment that we are getting from FEMA that is their only goal, it is to just get rid of us. Their goal is not to help us on the road to recovery. There is a good story about this in The Times-Picayune, Saturday, January 21, 2006, James Varney, he can be reached or (504) 826-3386.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm mixed on this, because it does seem like a lot of money to spend on a trailer & its upkeep.

Now whether or not it's FEMA's job to get residents on the road to recovery, I have some doubts. You'd have to check FEMA's charter but I believe in fact it is not allowed (by Congress) to engage in recovery (versus emergency assistance). You can check it for yourself, but that's what I think. FEMA is an easy lightening rod for complaints but I really don't think it's in its scope to act as an agent for recovery.

As for whether you can withhold funds for responsible users because some people are irresponsible -- I think FEMA absolutely must do this, in part because I think the people who would abuse this payout, and come back to the government (the US taxpayer) for more, outnumber those who would use the money responsibly.

Furthermore, I believe that in the early days residents were offered cash payments to travel elsewhere in the United States, and few took advantage of this, instead opting to wait out the New Orleans recovery.