Friday, September 02, 2005

FEMA now, FEMA then

Just a side note -

When the 1994 Northridge earthquake struck, we were in one of the worst-hit areas. We got so much help from FEMA and the SBA. The response was immediate and helpful.

Last winter, Los Angeles had record rainstorms that destroyed my little 8X16'studio building in my back yard where I do my work. We were declared a disaster area and eligible for assistance. What a difference. It took me a month to get all the different documents and tax returns, etc. together; I made four 40-mile round trips to the FEMA office. They send a guy over who gives it a cursory once-over, and sniffs, "I don't think it was the rain that did that", and I was turned down. Now, I can guarantee you that it was the rain - that structure even made it through the earthquake - but the effort it would take to challenge the decision is too much for me at this point. It wasn't so much the turning down that is the issue, but the whole FEMA thing was completely different than it was in 1994 - the 'guilty until proven innocent' vibe that was not there in '94.

Just my experience, that's all I'm saying.

No comments: