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Fuming on F.E.M.A in the Pacific Northwest

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posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 02:17 AM
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Well, December 3rd, a firm I was working for got nailed by the horrendous rains and flood waters. Bursting dikes, water covered roadways, a closed Interstate 5 and there was no escape from the area. Truckers stranded, motorists with nowhere to go...yep. Panic.

The end result after spending the night in a vehicle on higher ground, was the gutting of the business I worked for in the Chehalis / Centralia area.
Youve seen it in the news, yes its as ugly as it looks, and couple that with winter, it just cold and soggy.

Some 5 feet of water, shut our business down along with 5 counties that were declared disaster areas...I finally got my taste of what a flood is, and yes, suddenly I have a place in my heart as the frustration and reality faced by Katrina victims.

The company that I worked for is closed and will take near 2 months to bring back online. The owners are faced with a near 15k a month mortgage and while they have flood insurance, there is no relief in sight in terms of handling various expenses including keeping the bank off the company until we are able to return to business.

Couple that with no business income at all while we are closed and an even slower after Christmas revenue, the combination could be lethal.

That being said, we called FEMA. We went through the application process thinking there would be some type of financial assistance to help keep the business afloat not to mention assist some of our employees. Since neither of the owners resided in the building as their residence, there is no aid. They were refered over to the SBA for a 4 or 8% interest loan to cover the mortgage and such in the meantime. FEMA equates to Government loan referals? Must be nice to have a captive loan pool.

Since we didnt live in the building..emergency aid is exaclty nothing. So we went to unemployment to perhaps help there...well..nothing there either as they are selfemployed.

Red Cross? They refered us to FEMA...and around and around we went.


In the end, FEMA cant do anything for us except send us to the small business administration for a loan. The Billions that are funneld into FEMA do exactly what? They funnel people into loans? Im still wondering what they do exactly as now that I actually need them.

It seems to me the structure and the concept of disaster relief should be just that. If your house is wiped out, that the great financial muscle of this country should come to the aid of its citizens.

How about a credit hold for disaster areas if your home or business is wiped out? How about some instant money for people that are trying to buy beds , clothing and other items. The red cross pays for 3 nights for families in a Motel. What are they supposed to do for the remainder?

Do these people have brains?

Red Cross came by our business to give us a hello and wanted to know if wed been hit by the flood. I guess the debris all over the parking along with totalled vehicles in the lot wasnt enough. I guess the mud and the general look of mayhem wasnt enough of an indicator.

FEMA has my vote as being ineffective, a wast of money and a joke.
The funneling of businesses to the SBA for a damm loan is a joke. How about a no interest loan for crying out loud. God forbid they might actually give money for financially destitute people on sight.
The people that work for the businesses in our region are going to be without jobs if their businesses dont get help.

The state of washington primed the pump of emergency funds with 300k. Christine Gregoire needs to have her head examined.

Weve resigned ourselves to the credit hit thats coming. Weve resigned ourselves to the fact that the system is a blind machine that is overfunded and exists to support itself. GW Bush, if your reading this..hear our plea.

The misery creates an environment of vultures. A notepad full of 800 numbers with clueless operators on the other end who in the end after taking a lengthy application refer you to the SBA.

Sorry for the rambling, but it appears that the only thing that is secure by FEMA is their own damm jobs.

If anyone else has FEMA nowhere stories or even a FEMA success story feel free to write as Im at my wits end, and I fear the worst is yet to come. The floods and fleeing the water was the easy part. Try fleeing the creditors and trying to get business rolling again. That is a whole new hell.

Peace



[edit on 13-12-2007 by HIFIGUY]




posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 02:22 PM
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I think you have a misunderstanding about the function of FEMA. FEMA is not designed to be the sole means of disaster relief, but rather to work with state and local governments when a disaster overwhelms the abilities of those two entities. In that function, FEMA is supposed to assist in providing shelter and food to those affected by the disaster, until they are able to sustain themselves, as well as helping to repair infrastructure. FEMA assists businesses, not by proping them up, but directing business owners to the proper channels for help. Obstensively, it is designed to help people after disasters, not businesses That is the charge of the Small Business Administration.

While you do have to repay the money, the SBA provides loans for businesses for disaster relief with longer repayment periods, looser eligibility standards, and lower payments.

[edit on 13-12-2007 by SaviorComplex]



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 02:36 PM
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Wow... just wow... :shk:

Like Katrina and Rita victims you have learned a valuable lesson...

Only YOU are responsible for YOU in any kind of situation x.

It sucks! It's not fair! especially in a society/community built of the "good of the commons" but its the reality we now live in.

I sympathize and I don't know what else to suggest except to point out that force majeur clauses in any kind of standard contract are designed for just such situations. Do these not apply?


Have you spoken to a lawyer about your options with respect to "keeping the banks/creditors off you back" for the time being? I see no reason why "force majeur" should not apply here.
.



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by Gools
Only YOU are responsible for YOU in any kind of situation x.


And that was the attitude among the American people for a very long time. For instance, the first hurricane the federal government had an organized response to was the Okeechobee Hurricane in 1928. At the time, people across the country were outraged that President Coolidge would get involved in what until then viewed as a state and local matter.



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 02:45 PM
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FEMA nothing more than a shadow funded agency at the expenses of tax payer to hide the real reasons of why they are in existence.

Now after Katrina fiasco they are to fall under Homeland Security,

Did you try to contact Homeland security? just tell them that your company is under a financial terrorist attack.

Maybe, just maybe you will get some responses.

Seriously when this things happens to regular Americans eyes gets open as to how inefficient our government truly is and how wasted is our tax payer dollars supporting the BS bureau-crap-cy surrounding this agencies.



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by Gools
Only YOU are responsible for YOU in any kind of situation x.

It sucks! It's not fair! especially in a society/community built of the "good of the commons" but its the reality we now live in.


As we work with the flood insurance that covers the structure, day by day we trudge through the muck picking up the pieces. This realization you state rings so true as I returned back to the motel and read your comment.

I can only imagine how it is for families in soggy wet homes, who have no other option. No beds. No functional kitchens. Limited clothing. Cars ruined. Katrina must have been literal hell.

Yes Gools, we are responsible. When you fall down, you get back up. If things get far behind, the banks will come knocking. You run it till the wheels fall off when you have no other assistance, and it appears that worst case scenario, is that we lose the property.

A 2.5 Million Dollar Structure has a mortgage of near 15k a month. Its not like rent for a business space. The company I work for bought the space and that clock ticks at $500 dollars a day for the payment. Add in advertising and all other Automatic services that you pay for that you will need when up and running again, and it gets a little overwhelming.

We have found out that walmart has dump trucks lined up at the doors. They are using back hoes to load the trucks. A friend of ours cedar fencing mill had all his inventory float awaw which he is insured for, but the mill itself, the saws and equipment is lost.

Yes...in the end, you put on your boots. You do the best you can with your creditors, and you do what you can until the insurance company and the contractors can restore your business. With some hard work, a little luck and timing, we will be able to weather this without FEMA.

For others in the area, in a region where there were already some 500 forclosure homes in the area, I can only imagine that its really bleak for some.

For anyone who was involved with Katrina, this is nothing compared to what you went through but its still hard. I find my mind pondering ways to make a well orchestrated presentation or suggestion to the appropriatte people without losing my temper.

That somehow through all of this, that something good will come, so that those people that suffer a major catastrophie will be better served by indentifying the failures in a well intended system.

All in all, America is a great country. I am an American as we all are.

We will rebound.

It just pains me to see profiteering and red tape in a time of crisis.

Peace



[edit on 13-12-2007 by HIFIGUY]



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 10:25 PM
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Sorry to hear your plight as well as you having to see what our government agencies are good for, NOTHING!! I'm with you in stating, where the hell is all of that money and what is it doing EXACTLY!! Why is it that we as normal people are held accountable for every penny and need to show a paper trail, but idiot agencies are exempt and just say, I have no idea where those TRILLIONS of dollars are!!?! Oh ok, next question..

I bet if people were allowed to save their hard earned TAX money by themselves, they would most likely have that spare money to take them over this hump. But no, they have to give up their money without question and when they really do need it, it is never available or just doesn't exist!!

Same thing with insurances, why do they exist?? Anytime you have a claim, they find every loop hole, if not they will invent loop holes to just not pay you. Or they just drag their feet for so long that you become involved in an even worse state then before. But you better keep paying your premiums or else.

I really do hate hearing these types of stories about good hard working people being totally screwed over time and time again!!

Those agencies really don't care about people, simple as that. As long as they have their jobs and security, who cares. They don't have to or want to do their jobs!! I think they truly see it as a case of them against us in most of those agencies.

I hope that things will finally work out for you and the company.



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 10:51 PM
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Chapter 13 should hold off creditors .... for a while at least.
I'd suggest speaking with a local attorney



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 06:53 AM
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Remember Bush, Brown, FEMA & Katrina? For days in advance you could see it coming on the radar and sattelite screens, yet it was several days after it hit and the levies burst that Bush finally left his golfing and drunken stuper over at the Broken Spoke Ranch in Arizona, wasn't it? Anyway, then he gives a speech and says "Brownie your' doing a heck of job"....later Brown is fired in the aftermath of a disfunctional and failed FEMA. Then he is re-hired as a consultant to FEMA on disaster management. I still remember the day the city flooded, Rice was in Manhatten at an upper scale department store spending thousands of dollars on new shoes, apparently either unaware (and I doubt that) about the distroyed city, or else she just plane old did not care.

These are the same ones, you know the ones who go all the religious votes and pro gun lobby votes, and anti-gay votes etc....the same ones who got us into this horrible war on lies, and the same ones who (oh man this could go on and on...just google bush scandels and look at the ongoing lists some are more than 35 scandels long). Disgusting bunch of traitors. I hope you people who did finally have wisened up and will quit voting Republican. That should have been a lesson learned back in the days of JFK, but what do I know about these people?

I'm sorry this is happening everywhere. It's sad to see these people rape the treasury and literally destroy this country inside and out. At least there is some hope, we know that this is the final year of this crooked administration, and they will finally be gone!



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 08:48 AM
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Originally posted by skyshow
I still remember the day the city flooded, Rice was in Manhatten at an upper scale department store spending thousands of dollars on new shoes, apparently either unaware (and I doubt that) about the distroyed city, or else she just plane old did not care.


Rice is the Secretary of State, not the Secretary of Homeland Security. Her charge is not disaster management; she had no authority or jurisdiction to do anything. Perhaps you would have felt better if she wrung her hands and made empty platitudes about the disaster, while making sure to look real mournful for the cameras?

And, I sincerely hope you didn't spend any money friviously during or after Hurricane Katrina, and that any money you spent went to help disaster relief. I also hope you didn't take in a movie, watch a TV show, listen to music. Otherwise, you'd be a hypocrite.


Originally posted by skyshow
Remember Bush, Brown, FEMA & Katrina? Anyway, then he gives a speech and says "Brownie your' doing a heck of job"....later Brown is fired in the aftermath of a disfunctional and failed FEMA.


The complaints about FEMA are not a Republican or Democrat issue. They have been around for a very long time, but it was Katrina that brought them to the attention of the wider public, simply because of the scale of the disaster. For instance, read about criticisms of FEMA's response to Andrew and Hugo. Most of these come from a misunderstanding of FEMA's abilities and responsibilities.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
Rice is the Secretary of State, not the Secretary of Homeland Security. Her charge is not disaster management; she had no authority or jurisdiction to do anything.


I might have agreed with this statement when I got up this morning. I just got back from the office after printing a form that was sent to us from our insurance company which happens to be Homestate Insurance.

On the top of the docuemnt is the following: Im typing it with caps as that is how it appear on the document.

US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM

Then it reads the following:

" American Bankers insurance agrees to advance you $50,000 against the final payment of your loss. It is understood by you, that the investitgation of your loss is not complete at this time. It may be established, after the investigation of your loss, that American Bankers Insurance has no legal obligation for payment of your claim. If it is determined that your is not valid under your insurance policy, you agree to reimburse American Bankers Insurance the $50,000 advance to you. Issuance of an advance payment by us is not an admission of liability on our part. Acceptance by you does not represent satisfaction or release of all claims "

So...

A document with a Homeland Security and a FEMA header that is advancing payment to the contractor and the bank for repair of the building.

Im going to post as much of the process as possible so that others might see what we had to go through as a business as well as my own personal experience.

Keep in mind that because our company purchased a building that is in an area that experiences " 100 year flood " that Flood insurance was mandatory.

This relationship just got more interesting and Ill be doing more research on it as I can. For now, it appears the Homeland Security reccomendation was correct.

Now...as an addition, I have been refered by the State of Washington to a program called : Disaster Unemployment Assistance

To be eligable for the program, you have to have been declined for regular unemployment. It further states the program is issued by states as agents of the Federal Government.

There is no additional tag on the doc of FEMA or Homeland so it appears that its Washington being the middle man for the money coming from the feds. It might be interesting to see if the state gets compensated for administration of the program and how much.


Peace



[edit on 14-12-2007 by HIFIGUY]



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by HIFIGUY

Originally posted by SaviorComplex
Rice is the Secretary of State, not the Secretary of Homeland Security. Her charge is not disaster management; she had no authority or jurisdiction to do anything.


I might have agreed with this statement when I got up this morning. I just got back from the office after printing a form that was sent to us from our insurance company which happens to be Homestate Insurance...


What does this have to do with Rice being the Secretary of State and not the head of Homeland Security?



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:13 PM
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I in no way want to minimize the pain and suffering our neighbors are going through. They should be treated right.

I will say that thinking FEMA is going to help is like expecting the HR person at your company to be on your side. They are there for the protection of the boss, nothing more.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:18 PM
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Sorry to hear about your plight!!!
I'm in a similar situation from a different type of "disaster." I own a small concrete decorating business in central Florida, and our housing market has not just taken a downturn, it's crashed. For every house on the market right now, 3 are in forclosure. I went from making over $1000 a week to almost that in a month.
I'm working on an SBA loan right now, but apparently the funding isn't there right now. (if only I owned an oil company!
)
It sounds like there are alot of small businesses in our shoes right now.

The government will bail out the banks from their bad loans for BILLIONS of dollars, but the little guy can't even get a loan right now for a couple thousand in operating expenses until business picks up again!

I can see why people in this country don't feel secure, monetarily or otherwise.
Good luck to you!



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:28 PM
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FEMA should be abolished. I do not see where they are a help to anyone. It's just more government bureaucracy that's bloated and living on tax payers money. I think each state should create their own natural disaster relief organization. This stuff should be at the state level.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 08:24 PM
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I was talking to the Insurance rep today and he was basically telling me that private insurance firms are the administrators of FEMA.

So there are some of us that were required to pay the $5000 a year flood insurance in order to get the loan on the building, while others, if they had no flood insurance at all, get covered by FEMA anyway. For the insurance company, it doesnt seem right, but all in all, I would expect FEMA to kick in for those families and businesses that were not covered or who are in need of a helping hand.

After thinking on this thread, Im going to keep it alive and post results as they come so that we can observe my initial outrage, the process, the recovery and anything else that may help others who have to go through this in terms of their business or personal residence.

I learned today that you can apply for a 30 year 4% loan for up to 1.5 million that isnt too hard to get for your business. I got this information from a gentleman who owns two Wendys and went through this process in 1996. He admitted that his FEMA aid at that time was very small, but that the SBA loan did help him.

In talking to the Insurance guy, people are basically camping in their homes with no beds, and basic amenities until Insurance comes through.

I am sorry to hear about the foreclosure issue in Florida...The sink or swim attitude ( No Pun intended regarding the flood ) for small business and their lack of getting assistance when they absolutely need it to get by is disturbing. Necessity is the mother of invention. Is there a program that exists to help or do we need to suggest one. The bureaucracy is staggering.

Like us, what can you do but keep plodding along until we exhaust all options. Either the bank will come knocking, or the customer...
only time will tell.

The saga continues..


[edit on 14-12-2007 by HIFIGUY]



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 06:36 PM
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This stuff should be at the state level.


It's supposed to. FEMA was never designed to be a replacement for relief and response on a local level.



posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 12:49 AM
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What happens, is the state primes the disaster relief with like 300k and then waits for the president to declare it a disaster area in which case, then the FEMA funds come into play.

At this point, it appears that the mortgage banks are going to grant relief in terms of payments from 3 months to 6 months.

An inspection of our building shows no structural damage, and the upper floor of the business can be rented out to red cross voucher individuals who have been displaced by the flood once we get hot water tanks and laundry facilities in place.

The Church of Latter Day saints has donated a large number of cleaning supplies which I saw at the city hall the other day.

The city is offering dump vouchers until the end of the month for free disposal of debris.

Again, the Church of Latter Day Saints had some 2100 volunteers helping in the region. Thank you, from those who cannot say that to you..

I wont have information back on additional disaster FEMA for quite awhile. but when I have some information that is firm, ill post.

Peace



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