Monday, February 13, 2006

Katrina, FEMA, and the fingers keep pointing


Tidbit 1:
Thousands of additional dollars appear to have been squandered on hotel rooms for evacuees that were paid at retail rather than the contractor’'s lower estimated cost. They included $438 rooms in New York City and beachfront condominiums in Panama City, Fla., at $375 a night, according to the audits.
Tidbit 2:
FEMA may have bought too many temporary homes: 24,967 manufactured homes obtained for $857.8 million and 1,295 modular homes at $40 million, resulting in 10,777 such homes sitting empty in Hope, Ark., in sinking mud without proper storage. “It was unclear how the decision was made,” the Homeland Security audit stated.
Tidbit 3:
The $2,000 debit cards issued to hurricane evacuees for emergency supplies were often used for purchases unrelated to disaster aid, including: adult entertainment, gambling, a $450 tattoo, a .45-caliber handgun for $1,300 and a diamond engagement ring for $1,100.
Tidbit 4: homes prepared last September in Riverside, Calif., were among the 26,000 ordered by FEMA for Hurricane Katrina victims but which cannot be used because FEMA's own rules ban them in flood plains.

And now the "hurricane homeless" will be paying for their own rooms directly, also courtesy of MSNBC.
A judge denied a last-minute request Monday that would have forced the federal government to continue paying directly for hotel rooms for 12,000 families made homeless by last year's hurricanes.

FEMA has promised the evacuees from hurricanes Katrina and Rita that they will still receive federal assistance that they can use toward hotel stays or fixing their ruined homes, although FEMA will no longer pay for the hotels directly after Monday.

Two things to ponder:

I hope those FEMA checks don't bounce.

I know where they can get some modular homes and trailers, cheap.


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