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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

FEMA “assistance

Virtually every week since Hurricane Ike devastated a good portion of Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sent out press releases encouraging families and businesses to file claims for assistance.

Flash back to Hurricane Katrina and the evacuees who flooded Texas after New Orleans was almost flooded off the map.

They were handed, with little or no documentation, blanket “credit cards” for their immediate needs. Then, they were put in motels and apartments across the state. Some are still receiving assistance.

So, now we are looking at the victims of Ike and FEMA seems to be handling this very differently. A lot of local residents had damages, missed work or were otherwise impacted by the recent hurricane.

I have yet to hear of anyone who has actually received anything from FEMA. It seems those who have insurance are being rejected despite the fact that insurance simply does not cover a lot of the losses.

This week FEMA once again extended the time to file for aid. The deadline is now Feb. 6 and they keep encouraging people to file for help.

They also keep rejecting those who do.

I spoke with one 82-year-old woman who lives on a fixed income and had to replace her roof after the hurricane. She was trying to get help in recapturing the $1,250 insurance deductible.

FEMA denied the claim on the basis she had insurance, apparently disregarding the financial impact the event had on her life.

Had they handed out a $5,000 credit card to this lady, you can bet she wouldn’t have spent it on topless dancers or luxury items as was reported by the media in post-hurricane Katrina stories.

Some of our own Star employees are still displaced from their homes. The last time I checked none had received any funds from the FEMA program. They too had insurance, which you can bet your sweet bippy doesn’t cover a lot of things, and, they too had received the “sorry, can’t help you” letter.

In fact, I’d like to hear from any one who actually has received any form of assistance from this agency.


Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  February 05, 2009