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Posted: 10/21/2004 6:48:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 6:53:00 AM EDT by Offspring]
They are really pissing me off. I have been working on and off for a month now with FEMA. I am now working in a disaster recovery center working directly with victims of the Florida hurricanes. Granted the majority of the applicants are honest people affected by the storm, we are starting to see the greedy people come out.

One guy came in yesterday wearing a John Kerry button complaining that he hasn't received his share of "relief" from the government. He wanted cash for no reason at all. His excuses were that he is a cancer patient and he had no power for 3 whole freakin' days! No damage, no lost wages, just that he had to experience the storm. I explained to him that he isn't entitled to anything because he didn't incur any damages. He went on to say that this is an election year and he wished this had happened under Kerry's watch. He then began complaining about a dry mouth and demanded water, so I brought him a bottle from the back room. We don't have ice or refrigerators here, and the next thing he complained about was how the water wasn't cold.

Another "Disaster victim" came in complaining that she has a blue tarp covering her roof. She said she signed up for a temporary roof and they came and nailed a tarp down to her roof. I explained that is what a temporary roof is. She then complained that the nail holes ruined her roof! Excuse me ma'am, but why in th hell did YOU request a temporary roof for an undamaged home??? She was looking for something free and now that it bit her in the ass she is pissed and wants the government to buy her a whole new roof.

I could go on and on, but it is these types of people that are clogging up the system for ligitimate claims and assistance. It pisses me off everytime someone comes in here asking for a hand out when they don't need it.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:00:15 AM EDT
We need a thinning of the herd so desperatly.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:07:20 AM EDT
After Andrew I know of people that went out and collected trashed furniture from the streets to put in their house and claim they owned. And people wonder why the insurance rates are so high.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:08:53 AM EDT
That isn't a new occurance. Here, we had a flood in 1994. FEMA came and set up temporary trailer parks for people whose homes were destroyed. Many of these people still live in them today. These are not your typical single wide trailers, but an actual temporary(meant to last a year or two) trailors. It's impressive to drive by and see the Mercedes and BMW cars that were bought with the money they got to rebuild.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:11:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 7:25:41 AM EDT by pale_pony]
but, but, but, Oprah and sKerry said I'se entitled to 'dat. Now gimme my fuggin' MONEY!

Edited to add: In 1995 when the Murrah Building was attacked in OKC, we lost a direct family member. But then you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in Oklahoma who wasn't directly direcly affected by the bombing or knew someone close who was. Nobody gave us a million $ like they did at the WTC (and nobody I know was asking for it.) Sure, there were one or two victim's families who nomintaed themselves the official poster-children for the survivors and quite frankly it was more dangerous getting between those farqwads and the TV cameras than it was at Ground Zero, OKC.

Point is, all we wanted was a chance to volunteer to sift rubble and search for survivors, even though we had family killed in the blast. (B. R. Kennedy, age 18 months, killed instantly Suffer the children to come unto me. JC 31 AD) Almost every off-duty LEO's FF's and EMT's in OK took turns and donated thousands of man hours at Ground Zero and we never asked for a penny in return. That being said, it sickens me to see people look at an open attack or a natural disaster as somehow winning the lottery. Especially the one who suffered little or nothing. Now, let's talk about 3 Purple Hearts and not one drop of blood! The sheeple's leader has arrived, along with his plaintiff's-lawyer sidekick.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:20:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By painrx:
We need a thinning of the herd so desperatly.

What we need as a country is to get back to serving the God who created the universe without shame.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:23:06 AM EDT
I know you're venting & you damn well have a right to, although I must ask, is this truely any different than usual? There are those of us who are pushin' the wagon & those who ride in the wagon while complaining about the seat.

Too damn bad you can't offer the ass chewin' they deserve.

BTW, thanks for your efforts.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:24:41 AM EDT
I think it's BS that you don't have chilled bottled water to hand out to non-victims.

Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:24:53 AM EDT
Once upon a time, when disaster struke Texas, a US President had the balls to say: "Texas supports the United States, but the United Sates doesn't support Texas". Then he vetoed a relief bill.

The federal government shouldn't be sending money to disaster victims. It amounts to supporting bad decisions. Decisions to build in flood plains, place mobile home parts in hurricane country, etc.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:32:50 AM EDT
Check this shit out... from the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

Miami-Dade FEMA claims high in poor areas

By Megan O'Matz, Sally Kestin and Luis F. Perez
Staff Writers
Posted October 17 2004

"They see a chance to get free money... They damage [their possessions] themselves and say it was damage from the storm. ... Free money.''

HOMESTEAD -- The manager of a check-cashing store in this southern Miami-Dade city says he has cashed as many as 30 disaster relief checks a day for residents since Hurricane Frances hit Florida on Labor Day weekend.

The storm made landfall more than 140 miles north, in Martin County.

Handling check after check from the Federal Emergency Management Agency has made Robert Trimino of the R&T Check Cashing Store wonder: What kind of damage did the storm do here to warrant government aid to so many people? Trimino lives near the West Mowry Drive store and had no damage at his home but said he can't blame others for collecting assistance.

"If FEMA is going to give me a $10,000 check or only a $1,000 check, hey, I'm not going to say no," he said.

Throughout Miami-Dade County, in some of the area's most disadvantaged communities, people are applying for, and in many cases, receiving FEMA aid for Hurricane Frances, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has found through a county canvassing.

FEMA, citing privacy laws, has refused to identify the 10,568 Miami-Dade aid recipients who had received a total of $23.6 million as of Thursday.

The newspaper found recipients living in bleak apartment complexes where they said leaky windows and weak roofs allowed damage to their furniture, left their clothes and mattresses wet and rank, broke air conditioners and ruined their rugs. But in several of the complexes, managers said they knew of no damage, inside or out, from Frances, which meteorologists likened to a bad thunderstorm in Miami-Dade.

Some residents told the newspaper they saw neighbors throwing water on their walls and belongings, hurling rocks into cars, and bending window screens before FEMA inspectors arrived.

"They see a chance to get free money," Gladys Davis, 52, of Liberty City, said of some of her neighbors. "They damage [their possessions] themselves and say it was damage from the storm. ... Free money.''

Word of the hurricane aid spread fast, from the initial days after Frances when FEMA's phone number appeared on every local newscast, to the first successes residents had in getting money. While watching their children playing outside or just hanging out, residents' talk quickly turned to FEMA.

When tenants of one subsidized housing project in Opa-locka started getting storm aid, neighbors traded tips on how to file a successful claim. Down the street, a crowd gathered waiting for the mail the day FEMA checks were supposed to arrive.

In Homestead, many of the checks Trimino cashed came from the Coral Gardens Apartments on Redland Road, where manager Felix Mercedes said he knew of no damage to any apartment. But residents of the 92-unit complex spoke of neighbors who collected FEMA checks and spent the money on cars, jewelry, even a wedding.

Some elected officials are calling for investigations into why so much money is pouring into pockets in Miami-Dade, while residents of hard-hit Indian River County had received only $13.7 million, and Martin County $10.1 million, so far.

Even local officials were surprised at how much money has come to Miami-Dade, saying they knew only of minimal damage, mostly from fallen trees. Private insurance claims, another measure of damage from a hurricane, are estimated at $22 million in the county, about 10 times less than some Treasure Coast counties.

Yet, from Homestead to Opa-locka, the Sun-Sentinel found scores of people who applied for money.

"Everybody here called FEMA," said Latoya Gibson, 26, who moved only days ago into the Knight Center Apartments, just north of Little Haiti, on N.E. 68th Street.

Apartment owner Tom Paterno said the 112-unit, low-income and subsidized housing complex had no damage from the storm. "Absolutely zero," he said, adding that he was "astounded" to hear tenants talk of receiving FEMA money.

The Miami-Dade Housing Agency, which owns more than 10,000 units of public housing in the county, also had no reports of damage to any of its 40 properties, said agency spokeswoman Sherra McLeod.

FEMA has quality control measures to prevent fraud, but acknowledges it occurs in every disaster. "Somebody always tries to cheat the system," said FEMA director Michael D. Brown on Thursday. The agency is now taking a close look at Miami-Dade after the Sun-Sentinel reported last week about the county claims.

Brown wouldn't say specifically what his agency is doing to look into the legitimacy of the claims. "I'm not going to tell you that," he said. "We're out trying to find now whether there's any fraudulent activity. If I tell you we're sending 15 agents into the field to go knock on doors and stuff, then people are going to clam up and I'm not going to be able to find anything."

To receive FEMA money, people must call the agency's disaster relief hotline and apply. An inspector is then dispatched to the home to see the damage, interview the applicant and file an electronic report to FEMA.

The agency pays only for losses not covered by insurance. It will provide as much as $25,600 in tax-free grants for home repairs, medical, dental and funeral expenses, ruined clothing, furniture, and appliances, and temporary housing for people whose homes are uninhabitable.

Recipients must keep receipts and are subject to audits showing that they used the money only for allowable expenses.

"We don't give anybody a dime without inspecting to see whether or not they have incurred damage," Brown insisted. He later acknowledged that people can receive temporary housing checks prior to an inspection.

In Opa-locka, at the three-story, 72-unit Wildrose Apartments next to a junkyard, three women told the newspaper they received a total of $3,300 from FEMA.

"I only got $600. I wasn't that happy about the money," said Angela Johnatty, 43, who lives on the second floor with her two children. She said water came into a bedroom from the ceiling, damaging a mattress.

A circular brown stain was visible in the corner of the bedroom ceiling. The apartment had no other obvious damage.

"Two TVs were blown," she said, adding that water "blew in under the door" of her living room, ruining a rug.

Nicole Daniela, 21, said she received $400. A neighbor, Chekevia Harris, 19, an 11th-grade student who lives with her two children, her mother and two siblings on the first floor, said FEMA gave her $2,300 for water that leaked in through the ceiling.

"It was coming from the light bulb and the corner of the roof," Harris said. "My closet was a little wet. I lost my radio, TV, clothes and they gave me moving money."

Harris pointed out water stains around an air conditioning unit and barely visible streaks on her bedroom wall. Since the walls dried, other signs of damage had faded, she said.

Harris did not move out after the storm, but plans to do so soon. She said she needed $1,100 for a deposit. "That's the FEMA money," she said.

Wildrose tenants began applying to FEMA after hearing of successful applicants at a nearby complex, Harris said. She applied Sept. 7 and a FEMA inspector arrived the following day. The money came the next week.

"Is it easy? I can't say because I had a good inspector," Harris said. "Everybody that had that inspector got FEMA money."

Also in Opa-locka, at the Gardens Apartments, Kim Harris, 37, no relation to Chekevia Harris, said she received $1,500 for mildewed clothing and water damage from a leaky bedroom wall. It was her third time receiving FEMA funds. Previously, she received at least $3,000, she said. "I think it was Irene." She could not remember the name of the other storm that brought her "maybe $3,400."

She used her latest allotment to buy new clothes and wash damaged outfits. "I got another TV, a microwave, a blender," she added.

In Liberty City, at an apartment building in the 1200 block of N.W. 61st Street, Jimmy Thomas, 43, said he received $2,000 from FEMA for water damage from a broken living room window and a crack under a bedroom wall-unit air conditioner.

Thomas said he used the money to clean a couch and buy new clothes, a mattress and a $118 rug. Injured in a shooting, Thomas said he survives on about $10,000 a year in disability payments.

"The money helped me a lot," he said of the FEMA payment. "I needed it, too. I had just bought this furniture from Rooms-to-Go."

Asked how FEMA can be sure that the damage inspectors are seeing in run-down apartments or homes was caused by Frances, Brown said inspectors are trained to check for mold and dampness and ruined items but, in the end: "We rely upon [what] the victims tell us."

Staff Writer Greg Lewis and Sun-Sentinel Broadcast Reporter Raelin Storey contributed to this report.

Megan O'Matz can be reached at momatz@sun-sentinel.com or (954) 356-4518. Sally Kestin can be reached at skestin@sun-sentinel.com or (954) 356-4510.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:33:36 AM EDT
What is sorely needed is a Constitutional Amendment preventing public funds from being given out to individuals. Period.

That would rapdily bring about an end to many of America's social and economic problems. It would also bring about a virtual end to the Demacratic, I mean American Socialist, Party.

Not going to happen, I know. But it is the only real fix for what ails this country.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 9:01:39 AM EDT
I have seen FEMA and the insurance companies GIVE money to people who don't even deserve or need it.
Some examples... FEMA has given people $500 because they had to leave their house. I don't mean got to another city or state, or because their house was damaged. They went to go stay with parents, mate, friends, ect. You gotta be shitting me. FEMA gives people money because they bought a generator and/or chainsaw, are you fucking serious ? They get money and they get to keep the gen and saw ?!?
I have seen people take their cars to their auto insurance company and the insurance company wrote them a check on the spot. One friend got $2300 for damage to his van, his van had a small dent in the door from another car door, there was NOTHING wrong with the van.

The Insurance companies and FEMA are to blame as well as the people.

... and what is going to happen ? My insurance is going to go up, even though I didn't make any sort of claim.

Another idiot (and there are a lot of these.) Guys house got trashed in the tidal surge (he lives on the water) and all his contents are ruined. Guess what ? He has no renters insurance, no homeowners insurance... What happens ? FEMA gives him money for his contents, rent for a new place to live, ect. WTF gives here ? He is paid for being stupid ?
Nevermind the fact that I pay my insurance... Hell, after hearing all the stories, I'm thinking it may be better to not even have homeowners insurance. My deductable didn't even cover the very minor damage to my roof and drywall. What did I do ? Did I run to all these agencies ? Nope, I went in my garage and got the stuff I had stored to patch my roof (properly) and crawled my happy ass up on the roof and repaired it. Hey FEMA, where is my money for the roofing supplies ? Nowhere, why ? Because I don't deserve it, I'm taking care of my shit...

I was hoping Ivan would get rid of some of the trash, instead it brought more... Because no we have a bunch of dirtbags from out of town starting fights in bars, breaking into houses, stealing shit, ect.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 9:21:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DonS:
Once upon a time, when disaster struke Texas, a US President had the balls to say: "Texas supports the United States, but the United Sates doesn't support Texas". Then he vetoed a relief bill.

The federal government shouldn't be sending money to disaster victims. It amounts to supporting bad decisions. Decisions to build in flood plains, place mobile home parts in hurricane country, etc.

When was that?? I googled the quote, and tried the usual tricks like chopping up the "quote" into sub-phrases, but didn't find anything even remotely close.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 9:59:59 AM EDT
A tree limb broke and fell out of a large oak tree alongside my house and put a 10"-12" diameter hole in my roof. Fortunately, it was at the beginning of the storm. So, I climbed up on the roof, and my neighbors came over to help. I cut the liomb and yanked it out, and we rigged a tarp over the hole. When the rain started nothing came in. LAter in the storm, more branches broke but hung up in the tree. More large limbs fell and broke sections of fence.The next day, I cut a backing board to put over the hole to protect it from falling debris. A few days later, I was able to get a roofer to do the repair - cut me a deal at $500.; I expected it to be more. While he was doing that, I cut up the tree limbs that fell on the fence and dragged them to the curb. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll get some fence sections from Home Depot and finish it all up. Some asshole fence company wanted $780. for 4 fence sections and a gate installed. I rebuilt my gate, and can get by with 2 sections @ $32.50 ea.

Nobody from any help agency came even to look at my block. I'm sure if I went to someone for help they'd say, "What do you want?" "You don't need anything." "Suck it up."

So, with some help from friends to do what was needed, and some sweat, it gets done. FUCK THE PARASITES! And, THAT INCLUDES THE GOVERNEMENT AGENCIES AND EMPLOYEES WHO LIVE OFF THEM!
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 6:41:54 PM EDT
I had another lady come in today and say, "I want $400 for food lost when the power was out for 3 days." I said,"Ma'am, you are not going to get a check for food lost. She said then what can I get somemoney for?" I told her unless she had damage to her house she wasn't entitled to anything. She got pissed and asked what good we were. I blew up and explained to her that my place was destroyed in Pensacola. My family is now living in my parent's converted garage and that I am working for FEMA to help the people that need it and provide for my family and that she wasn't getting any sympathy from me.

She stormed off. The next guy comes in wanting $600 for evacuation expenses including $30 reimbursement per meal. To top it off he has no receipts and says we should go on hs good word. My response to him was, "Feel fortuate that your home wasn't damaged. The federal relief is for hurricane victims."

I promise this is the last story... A guy walks in with the equvalent of a filing cabinet of papers in his hands and sits down at my table huffing and pufing like we are really inconveniencing him. Turns out he lives in Wyoming and owns a 140ft 400 ton yacht which is now beached in Panama City Beach. The dude wants "federal assistance" in paying for the removal of the ship from land equating to $300,000. I am glad to say he got no "free" money but did walk away with a loan.

These people never cease to amaze me. It should be against the law for the government to "reimburse" citizens for costs of generators and chainsaws. I lived 8 days without electricity just fine. I actually half way enjoyed it. It would do some of these people some good to be humbled and "inonvenienced". People forget so quckly that people died in this storm. To be alive should be enough "relief".

Here is a home where somebody died:

Link Posted: 10/21/2004 6:45:14 PM EDT
sometimes i dislike our race.

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