Saturday, September 17, 2005


Below is a letter from a Katrina evacuee that appeared in the New Orleans Times Picayune Wednesday, Sept. 14.

If what my family and I are experiencing dealing with
FEMA is indicative of their policies, then God help us
all. Everyone at FEMA should be fired, not just the
head clown.

We are a middle class working family. We have paid
payroll taxes for 37 years and never asked the
government for help before.

When Mayor Ray Nagin advised us to evacuate -- we did. We
left our home in Algiers and have been on the road for over two
weeks, paying as we go for everything out of our pockets.

We didn't drive to the Superdome expecting the
government to take care of us. We didn't pillage the
Dome. We didn't rape anyone. We didn't murder
anyone. We didn't loot our neighbors' homes. We did
the right thing: We evacuated, despite the fact
that I'm awaiting spinal surgery and possible bypass
surgery when we return to New Orleans.

Last week on TV we saw the unfortunate people in the
shelters in Texas receiving their $2,000 awards from
FEMA. It was money badly needed by them and everyone who
has evacuated. Unfortunately, some of those receiving
the money may be the pillagers, rapists and murders from
the Superdome and Convention Center.

I went online and filed a claim with FEMA. Twenty-four hours later the response I received online from FEMA about my claim was that "an inspection of my home was necessary."

Since then, I've called FEMA every day to explain that an inspection
of my home is a little
difficult given we aren't allowed into New Orleans.
Every day I've been told their hands are tied.

Today I received a new excuse why I wasn't being given
the same help as other evacuees. I was told my
application was flagged and being held up because my
wife and I both work and we make money.

Guess we just have to keep digging into our money
until it runs out, and then that will force our
government to help us.

George Avery
New Orleans
Now in Cedar Rapids, Iowa