This story was written by Editorial Board, Daily Mississippian
Even though it's been almost three years since Hurricane Katrina, FEMA has yet to act with any kind of urgency or precision. It sounded ridiculous from the beginning, but as time goes on the thoughts of FEMA manifest to almost pitiful. According to a recent CNN report, FEMA has given away $85 million in donated goods meant for Katrina victims.
Their warehouses were overcrowded so they were "excessed from FEMA's inventory," CNN reported. But that material was meant for people that actually needed it (the people in trailers who were in dire need of the now-lost material), not for FEMA to keep in storage until two years later. When the material was donated, it should have immediately gone to victims. It's bad enough that it took forever for the trailers to arrive - ones which may be infested with formaldehyde - according to another CNN report. But to deny them simple home materials is sickening.
What makes all this worse is the possibility that FEMA knew that people needed the items, but refrained from giving it to them for reasons we're sure only FEMA could think of. There should not have been a donation to anywhere other than the Katrina area. If there happened to be excess after goods had been distributed to that area, we would have no problem with FEMA helping the rest of the country.
How long must this go on before someone steps in on FEMA? What New Orleans and the rest of the Katrina victims have had to go through in their unprecedented struggles is bad enough. FEMA's actions should not be tolerated. Since the storm, FEMA has not stepped up to its challenge and has instead been yet another representation of bad government.