Wednesday, September 07, 2005

FEMA and 1 person's experience

This is what we are to expect from FEMA? I had this incident relayed to me while working in the office today:

The person became unemployed because hurricane of Katrina, and while his house in New Orleans is liveable he can't live there for obvious reasons.

He calls the IRS to find out the status of his tax refund and was told that the check was mailed to his New Orleans address August 26. That means that the check is sitting in some post office somewhere, undeliverable.

It seems like the obvious thing for the post office to do is to return the checks to the IRS which can then make alternative arrangements to send them to taxpayer's new addresses, right?


He was just told by the IRS representative that the Post Office is going to turn the checks over to FEMA, which will establish pick up centers where people will go in person to pick up their refund checks. Where these locations will be no one knows yet, but given the fact that people are scattered to the four corners of the country this method makes little sense .

He and I called FEMA at their designated disaster relief number 1-800- FEMA to try to get an answer. Instead, I reached a recording saying that they are overwhelmed with calls and cannot respond. Then the recording said "your call will now be disconnected." Then they disconnected me.

FEMA's performance is an ongoing disaster in and of itself.