Yeah we knew it but it took a lawsuit for FEMA to finally admit they don’t know what the F#@k is going on…….
Under pressure from a federal lawsuit, the Federal Emergency Management Agency acknowledged yesterday that it does not know which Hurricane Katrina victims are living in more than 25,000 subsidized hotel rooms nationwide, or whether they have sought or been denied other FEMA aid.
The judge ordered FEMA to continue hotel lodging for at least two weeks once a decision is made for occupants whose eligibility for rental housing assistance has not been determined, or until Feb. 7, whichever comes first.
But after negotiations with plaintiffs’ lawyers, FEMA acknowledged it lacks such information in its computer databases, in part because it took over the hotel program from the American Red Cross. The agency’s unwieldy computer systems, loaded with 3.1 million registered Gulf Coast storm victims from last year, have hampered its ability to coordinate housing and aid programs, find missing children or cull sex offenders, FEMA spokesman Butch Kinerney said.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer Howard O. Godnick said that FEMA initially moved toward evicting people without regard to its obligations to provide housing to disaster victims. Four months after Katrina hit, he said, FEMA is improving only under threat of court order, leading to shifting deadlines and greater confusion at the expense of evacuees.
“FEMA only seems to respond in the face of potential court intervention,” Godnick said (emphasis mine)
As always…. Sen. Susan Collins chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee which has oversight of FEMA. Her office number is 202-224-2523 in case you’d like to have a chat about the heck of a job FEMA is doing.