That's All We Need

FEMA has been largely criticized for not providing temporary trailers for those whose homes were destroyed in Louisiana. Perhaps the problem is not with FEMA but with local officials in Louisiana who have not been approving the sites for those trailers. It has come to light that FEMA wants to move some of those Louisiana families into Hancock County Mississippi. That is a very bad idea. Hancock County is still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. There is still only one grocery store open and only a three gas stations are open in the whole county. So far, 404 families from Louisiana have been moved into Hancock County.

People in Louisiana have been long complaining about the slowness of receiving FEMA trailers but it's not the fault of FEMA officials. It's the officials such as New Orleans Mayor Nagin. It's telling that Mayor Nagins office had this to say:

In Orleans Parish, mobile homes can be placed in parks. Before FEMA can establish a new mobile home park the agency would need approval from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. A spokeswoman in Nagin's office could not say whether any new sites have been approved.Sunherald

Contrast this with the response of officials in St Tammany parish:

That same goal seems to be shared by officials in St. Tammany Parish, La., where Suzan Parsons, a parish spokeswoman, said leaders want trailers placed on private property so residents can be close to their neighbors, instead of living in large group sites.
"We have changed our zoning to allow up to two trailers on a single piece of personal," she said. "We thought it was better to have communities and neighborhoods stay together."

So whose at fault for the lack of FEMA trailers for Louisiana residents? FEMA or the local officials? In the Mississippi, Harrison and Hancock officials have rezoned areas so the FEMA trailers can come in and provide some shelter for the people of these counties. There are stories that FEMA trailers are just waiting in places across the South to be moved into Louisiana. The hold up is not with FEMA. It's with those officials in Louisiana who have not done the job of rezoning. And it's Mississippi that appears to be having to suffer the burden of caring for more people then it can handle. It is still bad down here. There are still shortages of just about everything and we cannot handle the influx of people being sheltered from Louisiana.

The officials of Louisiana, especially Mayor Nagin need to start doing more than just complaining about the federal government. Concrete decisions need to be made. Mississippi is a poor state and still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. It cannot effectively provide for sheltering those from Louisiana. We are swamped with helping those 68,000 families whose homes were destroyed. Louisiana officials get off your butts and help your people!!

Linked to Basil's Picnic 2006-03-22


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