Mary Katharine Ham on Hurricane Sandy and FEMA’s Lame Performance
“ It took days for FEMA to hit the ground in hard-hit parts of NYC. More than a week after the storm, FEMA representatives were just getting on the ground and opening
temporary offices in New Jersey. When a nor’easter blew in, several of their offices shut down because of— wait for it— severe weather.
An army of FEMA volunteers is now housed in the USTS Kennedy near Staten Island, a 540-foot training ship .
They are well-meaning, no doubt, and yet the State Island FEMA office was one of those closed for inclement weather last
week, in one of the hardest hit parts of the city.
Citizen groups stepped in:
” Victims of an unforgiving one-two punch from superstorm Sandy and a nor’easter that both hit New York’s Staten Island say FEMA has forgotten them…
Punch-drunk residents’ ire is also aimed at the city — which is going door-to-door to order people out of their homes — at the American Red Cross, which some say has not done enough and at police and firefighters.One group of residents, calling themselves the “Brown Cross,” is patrolling the devastated streets,armed with walkie-talkies, and helping residents clear debris and pump water from their flooded homes.
“We’ve done more for our community than FEMA, the Red Cross and the National Guard combined … “
As usual , waiting for the authorities to rescue you is a sure-fire path to misery and even death .