A New Four-Letter Word
Posted by Nancy on November 6, 2008
For those of you who think they want the government to provide their health care, boy do I have a word for you. It has four letters and starts with “F.”
Yep. That’s it. FEMA. As in the acronym for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. I don’t want any government that invented this to have authority over my medical care.
“Just fill out the online application and we will start treatment for your heart attack. You’re number 437 for the next available computer.”
I have attended meetings on eligibility for FEMA flood grants, a workshop on how to do the required cost/benefit analysis, and one-on-ones with the homeowner we are trying to help. The homeowner whose house has flooded five out of the last six years. The homeowner whose house will probably continue to flood unless something is done.
I have spent innumerable hours on the phone with various county and state employees, gleaning esoteric information they just have to have. I have spent even more hours days actually working on the cost/benefit analysis software (give it an award for being some of the least user-friendly software invented by man) and the online grant application itself. I am trying to get a grant to buy this house and tear it down, since changes in the watershed appear to have caused intractable flooding problems.
The deadline is Monday, and it’s not looking good for getting it done by then.
I had Hope earlier in the day, until the newly certified first floor elevation reading showed the house is one foot too high to qualify. You see, if your house isn’t in their flood plain you are out of luck. It also doesn’t seem to matter that they themselves don’t have a certified base elevation for their flood plain to justify what is and what isn’t a flood area.
So I started in a different module of the program, using a USDA flood map and trying to justify the grant through repetitive losses. That one came out even worse. I need to talk to someone at state EMA tomorrow and see what I am doing wrong. Maybe nothing. Maybe this is what I get for all this work – booted before the project even qualifies to apply.
Oh, and let’s not even talk about the historic preservation/endangered species section. I don’t think there are too many endangered species living in this guy’s yard, but who have I talked to in order to document that? Where is my attached justification? Not to mention that he lives near a historic road, for crying out loud. I need documention to show that the project won’t have any adverse effect on the road.
I like a challenge, but I’ve decided that FEMA is the most bureaucratic agency I have ever dealt with. I have dealt with a lot, and I haven’t found a federal one yet that is user friendly for the average person.
Keep that in mind when they start talking Universal Health Care. In the federal government service doesn’t go to the person who needs it most, but to the one who knows how to work the system best.
If I were a drinking woman I would be hitting the bottle pretty hard right now. Instead, I am going shopping. Nothing like a little retail therapy.