To: LA Flood Residents
From: Superstorm Sandy Survivor
I am writing this to let you know about our experiences the last four years and hopefully you will not experience same failures of our government. God Bless you.
1. FEMA 800 phone number (endless waiting on hold)
2. Will you have to raise your home?
3. Flood Maps are flawed and riddled with errors
4. Flood Insurance premiums will decimate values of homes.
5. Road Home program will be slow and cumbersome.
6. Rampant denials and discrepancies in Road Home, FEMA Flood Claims and FEMA assistance.
7. Endless phone calls to the plethora of agencies looking to help, a vast majority – Like the Red Cross – only exist to perpetuate themselves not really to help people.
8. Very few elected officials really care about the issues, they come for the photo op – hit and run.
9. Small groups of residents (Cajun Army/Navy and Faith Based Groups are the only groups that truly assist homeowners. Samaritan’s Purse is one of the good guys.
10. Taxes will go up.
11. Homeowers will be denied flood insurance payments or “lowballed” by NFIP flood insurance carriers.
12. You will find it “outrageous” that homeowners whose homes were demolished are still required to pay flood insurance on an empty lot, along with paying for water and sewer.
13. Homeowners waiting for assitance will measure the paperwork by feet. Copies from all the forms submitted to agencies will be beyond ridiculous.
14. FEMA Will get caught again for FRAUD in the Flood Insurance Claims process. No one will get fired. No one will go to jail. Craig Fugate will get a promotion to Department of Homeland Security.
15. DUPLICATION OF BENEFITS – will become a new phrase that will become very familiar to LA flood residents. FEMA / HUD / State will basically start “clawing” back grants and funds that were spent to rebuild. Putting liens on peoples homes, because these agencies made a mistake, not because of fraud or mistakes on the homeowners part.
16. STUPIDITY – You will hear stories about FEMA Spending 10 million dollars to try and get back 2 million dollars that FEMA overpaid homeowners.
17. CLAWBACKS – FEMA Will overpay and years later seek repayment. All because of FEMA mistakes, not because of homeowner fraud or mistakes.
18. If you file get approved for a rebuilding/houseraising grant you and you then need more funds and obtain an SBA loan or get your ICC from your insurance company. You will later find out it is a Duplication of Benefits. Your grant will be rescinded. OOPS, sorry we didn’t tell you sooner.
19. SUBSTANTIALLY DAMAGED – Get to know this phrase. It can cost you your home. IF your home is SD you are REQUIRED To raise your home.
20. Misinformation – Homeowners will be told to rebuild and get back in their homes quickly. That is the wrong thing to say to a SD homeowner. Because in most cases it would be quicker and more cost effective to knock down the house and build a new home that will be raised. THIS IS A MAJOR MISTAKE THIS INFO NEEDS TO GET OUT THERE TO LA RESIDENTS NOW.
21. There will be a few movies and short documentaries made about the heroes – like the cajun navy and others made about the “failures”.
22. There will be countless articles and hearings on why dams/levees weren’t fortified decades ago. Who is going to pay for it? Why wasn’t it done years ago? All talk…. years later …. still nothing done.
23. The cost of permits to rebuild will not be waived.
24. The utility companies will start charging exorbitant fees and making homeowners pay for upgrades to their infrasturture that should be absorbed by the utility companies. Verizon / Electric / Gas companies will continue to charge customers even though they know the homes are vacant…..
25. After a home is raised, taxes will go up. Why? When the square footage of the house is the same and the government required the homeowner to raise their home?
26. Talk to the emergency room nurses, by now homeowners who are living in moldy houses are having respitory issues, asthma attacks. The statistics are alarming.
27. There needs to be major outreach about the damage mold can do. You do not need to buy all these expensive chemicals. Just buy good old fashion Peroxide.
28. Locally elected officials will get massive kickbacks on municipal garbage removal contracts. Ashbritt will come and charge 10 times what the municipal contracts are…there will be an investigation into the price gouging… no one will get indicted or go to jail.
29. Rental assistance programs will only last a few months. Homeowners will be out of their homes for years. How does our government expect middle class americans to pay for a mortgage, taxes on the home and rent on a home for years.
30. Massive default on home loans will occur because of the slow recovery process. Not the fault of the middle class homeowners. But the endemic failure of governement to help after a disaster. FEMA has not and continues to not be prepared to help homeowners after a disaster. There is no coordinated effort to get all agencies (State and Federal and Non-Profits) to work together.
31. Every agency will offer excuses, very little will get done. People will suffer.
32. Numerous articles on how much money was wasted, billions. Too many chiefs, federal beaurocratic red tap to actually have any amount of substantial amount of funds trickle down to the homeowner.
33. When picking a contractor – make sure they have an accent that is familiar with you. Contractors from across the country “chase” disasters and defraud folks. BE LEERY, BE CAREFUL.
34. You will see peoples hair turn gray, neighbors will die unexpectadly and prematurely. PTSD is real. It will kick in month and even years later. Mental health issues need to be addressed now. Divorces will spike too. Families will be ripped apart.
Rinse and repeat – When the next major or minor flood occurs the same shitshow will happen.
I added the date here so I can cut n paste this for the next disaster – September 13, 2016