Suggestions for FEMA


I entered Florida yesterday during a raging downpour. Stopping at the welcome center for my free orange or grapefruit juice and a clean rest room, I was told by an attendant in the welcome center that there was a tornado watch in central Florida.

This morning I heard that tormadoes, thunderstorms and high winds had devastated areas of Florida and caused at least 19 deaths. Many homes, trees, buildings, trailers (pardon me, Mobile homes) had been destroyed.

There have been many news conferences today and pleas for help. And the fantasy that the federal government and private insurance companies will help the people in this area. There has been much talk about why there was very little warning in the early morning hours just before the tornadoes hit.

I think that one reason these winds hit without warning is that "old timey" local sirens that warned residents of impending danger have been replaced by tv and radio reports. Very few people are listening to a radio or tv at 3 o'clock in the morning.

There have been many news conferences where community, state and federal "Leaders" are talking about who should be doing what to help victims of this disaster. They are talking about finding victims and counseling survivors and why people were unaware of the danger.

Warning sirens should be blaring tornado warnings when there is an approaching twister. We should not have to read a crawl across the local tv screen to know that dangerous weather is approaching.

For this particular incident,I think that FEMA should start moving the mobile homes that are still unused after the Katrina fiasco. The trailer parks that already have the infrastructure to accommodate these homes can be used for temporary or permanent housing for folks who are homeless. Even if there is no electricity, water, sewer, etc at this minute, it would probably be easier to fix than other options.

Instead of talking, local officials should be arranging to have the ruble cleared as soon as possible and utilities restored. Find temporary food, water and shelter and stop depending on someone else to do it.

Waiting for federal help is ok, but there is nothing wrong with a little do-it-yourself ingenuity. Get the place ready for the new trailers. It is possible that FEMA will be better this time. The feds might have learned something. Don't count on it; but, almost anything is possible.