Brain Blow Out
From MSNBC Katrina Blog:
BOGALUSA, La. – Before we leave Bogalusa, an update on how FEMA is dealing with hurricane refugees at Red Cross shelters.
As noted here two days ago, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s decision to ask evacuees to call (800) 621-3362 or browse to www.fema.gov to start the process of filing a claim for disaster assistance was greeted with disbelief by most relief workers we talked to, who noted that most of these people don’t have ready access to telephones.
It turns out, according to a Red Cross worker here, the response is even a bigger Catch-22 than I realized.
It turns out, according to the worker, who like the other aid workers spoke on condition of anonymity, that the call to the FEMA number does not open a claim; it results in a package containing the claim form being mailed to the address of the evacuee.
Since the evacuee is in a shelter, mail service has been suspended in many of the hardest hit areas and some of the homes are likely still under water, it seems clear that those claim forms won’t be mailed back any time soon.