Skip to comments.Broken Bible Belt: Homes in Ruins From Tornadoes Denied Aid by FEMA for ‘Insufficient Damage’
Posted on 06/13/2011 11:27:37 AM PDT by American Dream 246
Displaced families in tornado-ravaged Alabama are outraged after being denied federal aide to rebuild their flattened homes due to insufficient damage.
The devastating reality is the house is now a concrete slab surrounded by rubble.
Mr Stewart told AL.com a FEMA inspector saw first-hand the Pleasant Grove residence he shared with his wife, Lisa, and their two children was ripped from the ground. Three days after the visit, however, he received a letter reading: Based on your FEMA inspection, we have determined that the disaster has not caused your home to be unsafe to live in.
Although the disaster may have caused some minor damage it is reasonable to expect you or your landlord to make these repairs. At this time you are not eligible for FEMA housing assistance.
Mr Stewart told the website: Lisa and I looked at the letter and laughed. While he has since found out his insurance coverage will replace his house, the family is not alone.
Lashunta Tabbs home 15 miles away in North Smithfield Manor was stripped of its siding, and more than half of her roof blew off with tornado-force winds.
She too, received a letter claiming there was insufficient damage the number one reason in Alabama the people are determined ineligible for FEMA grants, worth up to $30,200. Click here to find out more!
It is not yet known how many Alabama tornado victims received the letter.
FEMA deputy branch director for individual assistance Lynda Lowe said finding of insifficient damage are often correct, and many of those who filed for assistance did not have damage.
FEMA officials encourage whose who believe they were wrongly declared ineligible to file for an appeal through local disaster recovery centres.
Spokesman Renee Bafalis said: If you have a question why you received a determination of ineligibility, go in there and let them look it up and help you file an appeal.
A report issued on Wednesday, however, revealed few disaster victims follow through.
It showed less than one percent of the 25,081 applicants initially declared ineligible for any reason had appealed, leaving the potential for millions of dollars in federal aide to go unclaimed.
An applicant has 60 days from the date of the determination letter to appeal.
It was not known at press time how many applicants were declared ineligible in Alabama due to insufficient damage. However, similar findings have occurred after nearly every recent disaster.
THE BUREAUCRACY BEHIND APPLYING FOR FEMA AIDE:
When a disaster victim applies for a FEMA grant, an inspector is dispatched to the applicants property.
Inspectors carry laptops connected to a database called NEMIS (National Emergency Management Information System), which guides them through measuring rooms and assessing damage.
Items marked for repair or replacement are priced depending on the geographic region.
Letters are issued based on the computerised report, telling an applicant whether he qualifies for FEMA assistance.
An applicant has 60 days from the date of the determination letter to appeal.
What qualifies as insufficient damage remains unclear.
A pending lawsuit accusing FEMA of improperly denying thousands of farm workers in Texas money to repair their homes after Hurricane Dolly struck in 2008 based on the insufficient damage finding claims that FEMA used a concept called deferred maintenance to back the rejections.
Deferred maintenance is not referenced in any regulation, Jerry Wesevich, an attorney with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid who represents the plaintiffs, told AL.com.
Mr Wesevich described deferred maintenance as a shorthand term that FEMA uses when it determines somehow that a condition of a home prior to the disaster caused the damage after the storm.
An Alabama inspectors coordinator for FEMA said deferred maintenance is no longer used in assessing damage, although there is a place for inspectors to note pre-existing conditions.
Don’t you realize that they more than likely did not vote for Obama and are the wrong color.
If they are not chocolate, they can live there.
Government is so wonderful... *puke*
Sadly I do. God help these people.
Is Alabama a red state? If yes, there’s the answer to this situation.
The problem with Barak Obama is he doesn’t believe he is President of the United States, but only of a few states.
They may be better off NOT taking government money.
Obama hates white people.
Sure, just put a blue tarp on top of those cinder blocks and presto, a hut fit for a Kenyan chief.
I smell RAT!!!
Does Alabama happen to be a red state?
the tornadoes did not happen in a liberal area; therefore,
the residents do not qualify for government assistance.
And they want to control our healthcare too...
FEMA is obviously gathering data and pooling it in some kind’a data base that the BATF and SWAT elements are using to select which house to burglerize and/or which innocent to shoot.
I think it should be “federal aid” not “federal aide.”
An aide is a personal assistant, as in Huma Weiner, an aide to Hillary Clinton.
These are white people and are therefore ineligible for Federal assistance of any kind.
“And they want to control our healthcare too...”
Can’t be stated enough!
Reminds me of that trial scene from the movie the “Rainmaker” where it was revealed that the insurance company instructed claims adjusters to initially deny all claims. In this case it’s the US government.
This would be the same FEMA that gave away debit cards like they were gummi bears after Katrina, which resulted in fraud on a massive scale?
Nice they cleaned up their act in time to deny real and verifiable aid to people who didn’t vote for Obama.
Where’s Kanye West to get on TV and say that “Obama hates white people!”
Living while white. Obviously merits the punishment.
Interesting. Well, I'm SURE there's no connection.
In the case covered in this story, there is NO way the FEMA "inspector" measured rooms. There are no rooms left to measure.
Why let pesky details like the lack of a house get in the way of how a state voted?
It is not yet known how many Alabama tornado victims received the letter.
It is not yet known how many WHITE Alabama tornado victims
received the letter.
And why should the fedgov grand money to disaster victims?
Isn’t that why people carry insurance?
Or are supposed to?
Texas had millions of acres burned up and didn’t get any FEMA aid either.
The ObamaNation not only doesn’t like whites (couldn’t help it with a runaway mother like that) but also doesn’t like Hispanics acting uppity against their betters, Negros.
Not doing anything for fire-ravaged Texas either.
Arrogant, stupid, misguided socialist commissars are the ONLY variety of socialist commissers.
Did you people all know that there are FEMA camps in various places over the country set up as concentration camps or internment camps. There is a big one in Beech Grove In., in the old Beech Grove railroad shops??? When they are ready they will have a place for us!!!
Not enough blacks were affected-
“Mr. Speaker -— I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this house, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.
“Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and, if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.
“He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and of course, was lost.
“Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:
“Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be one for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.
“The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.
“I began: ‘Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and—’
” ‘Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.’
“This was a sockdolager... I begged him to tell me what was the matter.
” ‘Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intended by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest....But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.’
“I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any Constitutional question.
” ‘No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings in Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some suffers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?’
“Well, my friend, I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.’
” ‘It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any thing and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the suffers by contributing each one week’s pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditable; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitu- tion, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution. So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you..’
“I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, for the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him: Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I did not have sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.