IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES DISASTERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LOOKS THE SAME. TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT MAKES THE US A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY AND THESE CHILDREN WILL BE INVOLVED IN MORE THAN RECOVERY FROM HURRICANES.
We are watching a system that has our youth and unemployed sent to work with agencies that used to be public but are now being privatized. The corporations tied to FEMA CORP are the same corporations that defrauded the American people of tens of trillions, shipping it to off to off-shore accounts, crashing the economy and leaving it stagnant just to create high unemployment.
THEY CREATED HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT TO CREATE THIS SYSTEM OF INTERNSHIPS THAT HAVE YOUTH CAPTURED IN EFFORTS TO WORK AND/OR PAY STUDENT LOANS.
As you see below the privatization of FEMA is leading to the same conditions as all other public private partnerships----corporations are funneling huge amounts of public money towards profiteering and not providing the goods and services these funds are meant to provide.
At a time when disasters are going to intensify and increase-----neo-liberals and neo-cons are privatizing and breaking apart our public disaster defense. Bush placed this on steroids and now Obama is as well. Meanwhile neo-conservatives are pretending all of these public private partnerships are SOCIALISM GONE MAD----WHEN IT IS NAKED CAPITALISM GONE MAD---ALLOWING OUR GOVERNMENT RUN BY CORPORATIONS IS NOT SOCIALIST FOLKS!
Below you see that insurance agencies were allowed to use taxpayer money to pay for rebuilding that should have been covered by insurance corporations while the public went without help. The designation of Hurricane Sandy damage as flood and not storm was a deliberate attempt to deny insurance policy holders coverage for this disaster. These are things corporate neo-liberals do and not democrats!
Insurance companies getting FEMA to pay their post-Sandy bills
by: John Wojcik People's World
November 27 2012
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Anger is growing here as thousands in the New York area are told by their insurance companies that they're not covered for damages resulting from Hurricane Sandy.
Adding insult to injury, the insurance companies are apparently benefitting from the quick response to the crisis by the Obama administration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency inadvertently footing the bill for claims denied by the insurers.
Bobby McCann's brother Mike, who lives in the devastated Breezy Point neighborhood, was told by his insurance company that his storm insurance was no good because the damage to his house was caused by flooding, not by a hurricane or a tropical storm.
"My brother should be covered," said McCann last Friday night as he put down his quart container of beer at Farrell's Bar in Brooklyn's Park Slope. "The company says that because he don't have flood insurance he's s-t out of luck," McCann said, "but he had storm insurance and that should be all there is to it."
As many as a quarter million homeowners in flood-prone areas of the city of New York and Long Island may be in the same situation.
While the insurance companies have been denying claims since the storm hit, that's how many homeowners have applied for the emergency housing money that the Obama administration made quickly available. Unlike in the Bush administration response to Hurricane Katrina, where such aid was often delayed for months or didn't reach some areas at all, FEMA's emergency housing funds were available here just days after Sandy crashed on shore.
The purpose of FEMA's emergency housing money is to allow people whose homes are uninhabitable to temporarily rent new living quarters but because insurance companies are failing to pay damage claims, homeowners say they are using some of that FEMA money to pay for repairs.
The result is more and more people here expressing outrage at insurance companies they once saw as guarantors of their security in the event of a catastrophe and now see as greedy profiteers shirking their responsibilities.
When Mike McCann had returned to his Breezy Point home after the storm he said he was glad that he was, at least, better off than many of his neighbors. He was not among the hundred-plus families whose homes had either burned down completely or among those whose homes were otherwise totaled by Sandy. All Mike had to contend with was half of an entire wall that was missing and huge pieces of wood and other debris from outside that were now sitting inside his home.
McCann's policy covered wind damage and objects falling on the house but the insurer told him that the damage incurred at his place was not from wind, but from water and that the wood and other debris sitting in his house had not fallen on top of the house but had, instead, been forced through the wall by water. The adjuster said the determination was made based on how the wall had collapsed. The debris from outside, the adjuster said, could only have ended up inside the house as the result of having been pushed through the wall by floodwater.
Homeowner insurance policies, according to storm victims who have lost property, often cover damage caused by "falling objects." It is apparently up to insurance company investigators to decide whether an "object" that has damaged a house actually fell on top of the house or ended up inside the house as the result of some other process.
Allstate, the company famous for the refrain, "You're in good hands," is one of numerous companies that insured Sandy victims, including victims who say their claims have been denied. No one at Allstate would respond officially when asked to comment.
Chet Held, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 130, in New Orleans and a life-long fisherman on the Louisiana Bayou, said that the experience people in the Northeast are having with insurance companies is similar to what people experienced on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.
"My home was under water up to the roof after the Hurricane," he said. "The adjuster told us that they would cover only the top 12 inches of the attic because the damage to the rest of the house was not from the hurricane or the wind, but from flood water."
"It was a shame, what happened," Held added. "Some people who had no insurance whatsoever actually did better when the government-funded Louisiana Recovery Authority came on the scene. They got more help from the state agency than people got from their insurance companies."
"I would never have thought they would do this to my brother," said Bobby McCann at Farrell's Bar as he picked up his container of Budweiser. "For 15 years Mikey paid his premiums every month thinking he was covered and his family was safe. There's not much you can do about the weather but how could a country allow an insurance company to get away with something like this?"
How else can we subsidize the costs of corporations doing business? We find yet more ways for youth to 'volunteer' while working for private corporations. FEMA is being outsourced to private corporations built from disaster relief and now our students and newly graduated are to go to work for these private corporations doing the work employees would have done for greatly reduced wages or none at all. Remember, our economy crashed because of massive corporate fraud and off-shoring of tens of trillions of dollars. Unemployment is high because of this and because US global corporations do not need to work in the US as they expand overseas to earn profit. So, using the people who are left unemployed to maximize profits for these same economy -crushers.....THIS IS VERY, VERY,. VERY, VERY BAD CORPORATE POLICY. We already have AMERICORP doing the same with unemployed students. It was Arizona's Napoliano that built this program and she was appointed by Obama and runs as a democrat while serving to maximize corporate profits at public expense. NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE DEMOCRATS!
This FEMA CORP has more for concern than using our unemployed youth for free labor....neo-liberals have changed the definition of natural disaster to mean any domestic emergency. So, if you get crowds demonstrating en masse creating civil disobedience as will happen if things are left to become too oppressive----these youth are the next line of defense after national guard and swat police. We have large sectors of our youth being sent into these CORP groups rather than graduating and simply starting a career and gaining wealth. It is all happening because of policies THAT ARE SIMPLY STEPS TOWARDS TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT (TPP).....GIVING GLOBAL CORPORATIONS COMPLETE CONTROL OF OUR SOCIETY.
Deliberately creating massive unemployment and then forcing people into these CORP categories is autocratic/totalitarian!!!!
Announcing the Creation of FEMA Corps
Michael Widomski FEMA
Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012 -- Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, discusses the new partnership between AmeriCorps' Corporation for National and Community Service and FEMA. The new partnership is designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters while expanding career opportunities for young people.
Along with our partners at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), we announced the creation of FEMA Corps, which sets the foundation for a new generation of emergency managers. FEMA Corps leverages a newly-created unit of 1,600 service corps members from AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps who are solely devoted to FEMA disaster response and recovery.
The full-time residential service program is for individuals ages 18-24, and members will serve a one-year term including a minimum of 1,700 hours, providing support working directly with disaster survivors. The first members will begin serving in this August and the program will reach its full capacity within 18 months.
The program will enhance the federal government’s disaster capabilities, increase the reliability and diversity of the disaster workforce, promote an ethos of service, and expand education and economic opportunity for young people.
At today’s event, Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, remarked:
...[FEMA Corps], helps communities recover, it trains young people, helps them pay for college, and it doesn't cost taxpayers an additional dime. Whether you're a young person looking for work, a member of the community that's been hit by a flood or a tornado or just a citizen who wants your tax dollars to be spent as wisely as possible, this is a program you can be proud of. This is really government at its best.
And it's part of the president's larger vision for an America built to last. Today, so many of our young people have shown that they're willing to do their part to work hard, act responsibly and contribute to their communities. But in tough economic times, it's up to all of us to make sure that their hard work and responsibility still pays off.
We have to preserve what President Obama has called the basic promise of America, that no matter who you are, where you come from, you can make it if you try, if you fulfill your responsibilities and you make a contribution.
During the event, Secretary Napolitano described the program:
First and most important, it will help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters by supporting disaster recovery centers, assisting in logistics, community relations and outreach, and performing other critical functions.
We know from experience that quick deployment of trained personnel is critical during a crisis. The FEMA Corps will provide a pool of trained personnel, and it will also pay long-term dividends by adding depth to our reserves -- individuals trained in every aspect of disaster response who augment our full-time FEMA staff.
Second, the Corps will help us make the best use of taxpayer funds as we bring in FEMA Corps members at a significantly lower cost.
Third, FEMA Corps will provide participants with critical job skills and training. Emergency management is a growing field, much larger than FEMA alone. The recent high school and college graduates entering this program will emerge with the training and the on-the-ground experience that provides a clear pathway into this critical profession.
And finally, this Corps -- it encourages and supports the ethic of public service tapping the energy and dedication to helping their communities that we see among so many young adults today. Many here today, myself included, know that a career in public service presents opportunities and rewards far beyond paychecks.
The new initiative will promote an ethos of national service and civic engagement by mobilizing corps members and community volunteers to provide critical disaster services. Once trained by FEMA and CNCS, members will provide support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors, to supporting disaster recovering centers, and sharing valuable disaster information with the public.
Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, spoke about this new chapter in national service:
By opening up new pathways in emergency management, this partnership will give thousands of young people the opportunity to serve their country and gain the skills and training they need to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow. This is a historic new chapter in the history of national service that will enhance our nation's disaster capabilities and promote an ethic of national service while achieving significant cost savings for the taxpayer.
Deputy Administrator Serino discussed the importance of FEMA Corps:
People have asked, why is this important? Looking into the eyes of survivors, looking at communities that are devastated, having young people that can step up and help out in the time of a disaster who are trained will make a difference in people's lives. That's why we're doing this.
As we continue to move forward and we look for opportunities to be more efficient, to look for opportunities to get young people involved in government, to get young people involved in service to their country, [we] will make a difference. We've had the opportunity to work with CNCS in AmeriCorps in the past, and this is broadening that -- expanding it, so we have the opportunity to bring this talented, young, will-be-trained workforce to help our staff.
They are augmenting our reservists, augmenting our full-time employees. This will be an opportunity for us to strengthen our nation's disaster response capabilities, create pathways for young people and really help the ethos of national service.
Mayor Walter Maddox, Tuscaloosa, Ala. also attended today’s announcement, and from the perspective a mayor of a town still recovering from a major disaster last year, the mayor expressed his excitement about the new agreement:
This new partnership between FEMA and the Corporation for National and Community Service will be crucial in supporting cities, counties and states in their time of need. I commend FEMA and CNCS for understanding that to effectively respond during a crisis, we have to extend beyond political, geographical and even bureaucratic boundaries to ensure all resources are made available to the citizens we serve.
To recap, the purpose of the program is:
Strengthening the Nation’s Disaster Response Capacity: The partnership will provide a trained and reliable resource dedicated to support disaster operations, while enhancing the entire emergency management workforce.
Creating Pathways to Work for Young People: By providing training, experience, and educational opportunity, the partnership will prepare thousands of young people for careers in emergency management and related fields.
Promoting an Ethos of National Service: The partnership will strengthen our nation’s culture of service and civic engagement by mobilizing corps members and community volunteers to provide critical disaster services.
Modernizing Government Operations to Improve Performance: By working together, CNCS and FEMA will advance the President’s management goals of working across government, managing across sectors, and promoting efficiency.
Think about what is happening with the FARM BILL just passed. It basically gave the mid-West global agri-businesses billions of dollars more in agriculture subsidy at a time when global warming will turn the mid-west into a dust bowl. We all know this is the future coming for our bread basket. Rather than use all those farm subsidies building small farms in areas of the country where food can be supported-----along the northern borders of the US----neo-liberals doubled-down on subsidy for what will be food disaster for America. Remember, all those US global agri-businesses are now overseas buying all the world's fertile soil with the intent of having Americans import the food from overseas. Fracking is destroying our water sources and now our food sources are being deliberately undermined. Think this is any different than nations with continuous famine having US FOOD AID delivered in exchange for control of that nation's public policy?
IT IS THE SAME POLICY----THEY ARE SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE US TO BE A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY.
If you think the article below is hyperbole you do not understand where neo-liberals are taking the US. As we move to small farming----a good thing----Federal laws are being passed that allow for confiscation during emergencies. Because the mid-west will be a dust bowl----our farms will sequestered----we will have no control of our own resources. Think of the middle-ages when the royals rolled through the countryside taking all they needed from the people as they went.
THE FARM BILL SHOULD HAVE SUBSIDIZED THE MOVEMENT OF US FARMING AND FOOD TO NORTHERN CLIMES TO ALLOW FOR CONTINUED NATIONAL FOOD SYSTEM. INSTEAD, THEY ARE SUBSIDIZING EXISTING MID-WEST FOOD KNOWING IT WILL DISAPPEAR.
FEMA to confiscate food from local farms in emergencies?
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: FEMA, food confiscation, health news
(NaturalNews) - Since our nation's founding the federal government has, in times of emergency, claimed extra-constitutional powers and authority. Under the guise of acting in the public's best interests, Washington has taken away privacy rights, free speech, and habeas corpus, among others. There's no reason to think it wouldn't happen again.
With that in mind, would it surprise you to find out that if disaster strikes in your part of the country, the federal government is prepared to take over local food supplies, in part by confiscating farms?
It shouldn't, says "Farmer Brad," a Texas-based farmer who said in an interview about food security with Mike Adams for Natural News TV that during Hurricane Katrina, an inventory of local farms and what they produced was conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"FEMA was doing an inventory of all the farms around ... metroplexes," he said, which included nearby Houston and other large cities. "They started calling up farms and wanted to know where farms were, and they were being prepared to maybe take food if they need to, from farms, you know, for a crisis like that."
Brad, of HomeSweetFarm.com, said that while the agency didn't come right out and say they would confiscate crops and cattle, "they were making food assessments, you know, what is in the local food shed in a metroplex."
He said the agency's assessment took into account a number of potential emergencies and disasters, including spikes in fuel prices or even sudden disruptions - anything that might hinder or prevent the delivery of food to stores. Such scenarios would also lead to dramatic increases in food prices as well, Brad said.
"The distribution system for food is so fragile, you know, and there's only enough food in these grocery stores to last, literally, for just a couple of days," he said, noting that store shelves during Katrina were stripped bare "within hours."
Worse, Brad said, because of mass evacuations from the big cities, traffic choked local roads, making even short-distance travel impossible. He said he and his family couldn't even get into town to go to the store.
"We heard all kinds of stories from our local residents about what it was like - people camping out in the Walmart parking lot; grocery stores were empty; food wasn't coming in," he said. "We had people from 90 miles away from Houston and some other metroplexes coming into our town because we were one of the few that still had gas."
Brad said that FEMA didn't send agents to farms but made phone calls instead asking, "what are you producing, how much land do you have, wanting to get the details of the local food sheds in the area." He said he and local farms were voluntarily providing the information but that the food security aspect of the questions made them all "a little suspicious."
As people flee the large cities, Brad says most of them will be unprepared and that his farm - through theft or through confiscation - will likely be "wiped out."
The amount of money lost to fraud of FEMA is far more than is given below. Billions of dollars are lost because there is no oversight and accountability. This is a reflection of what happens overseas with defense and foreign development aid. THEY ARE BRINGING TO THE US THE SAME LEVEL OF FRAUD OVERSEAS BY DISMANTLING ALL OF OUR PUBLIC PROTECTIONS.
Maryland is #1 in doing this and all of Maryland pols are neo-liberals!
THIS IS WHAT TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT LOOKS LIKE AND OBAMA IS SIMPLY CONTINUING WHAT CLINTON AND BUSH STARTED! DO YOU HEAR YOUR INCUMBENT SHOUTING AGAINST ALL OF THIS? IF NOT---THEY ARE NEO-LIBERALS.
Most of the business done with FEMA these days are national corporations with made to-look-like regional offices. So, where ragtag groups of fly-by-night contractors no doubt defraud people----it is the disaster corporations fleecing billions of dollars. This is why we now hear there just isn't enough money for the people's needs in disasters.
Inspector: Millions in improper Katrina, Rita aid not yet recovered
By Mike M. Ahlers, CNN
January 3, 2011 10:33 p.m. EST
FEMA disbursed more than $7 billion in aid after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit in 2005
Later, FEMA estimated that about $643 million were improper payments
FEMA cited human error and fraud as the causes of improper payments
An inspector says FEMA "has not given final approval" on a process to recoup the money
Washington (CNN) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has not attempted to recoup some $643 million in payments that were improperly given to 160,000 individuals for housing and other aid following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, an independent government investigator says.
In a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Inspector General Richard Skinner wrote that a federal court in 2008 ordered FEMA to change its process for recovering the money. But Monday, three years after that court ruling, "These payments remain uncollected because your office has not given final approval of a new recoupment process," Skinner wrote.
Following the back-to-back storms in 2005, FEMA disbursed more than $7 billion in assistance to survivors. At the time, the government placed a premium on distributing the money quickly because of the dire needs of residents of the Gulf Coast. The money was intended for rental assistance, home repairs, housing replacement, moving costs, medical costs and other individual assistance.
But in the storm's wake, FEMA estimated that approximately $643 million of the payments were improper due to human error and fraud.
Early efforts to recover the money were themselves flawed, and in June of 2007, a federal judge ordered FEMA to discontinue its debt collection until changes were made to the process. FEMA immediately complied, Skinner wrote, and in 2008 the agency announced that it was stopping its recoupment of improper disaster payments until it could establish new procedures. FEMA also announced it would review each case of suspected fraud to confirm the validity of the debt.
But, Skinner wrote, FEMA's new recovery process has been awaiting approval by the administrator since late 2008. While FEMA has established a strategy, identified the necessary staff and initiated a review of the 160,000 cases, "your office has not instructed the responsible parties to restart the recoupment process," Skinner wrote to Fugate. "Further delay only makes aging debts more difficult to collect," Skinner wrote.
In a statement to CNN, FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Racusen said FEMA is "committed to being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars."
"Not only do we agree with the Inspector General's recommendation to recoup disaster assistance payments that were improperly disbursed... but we are and have been actively working with state and local leadership and other stakeholders to finalize plans to recoup misspent funds, while continuing to support Gulf Coast communities as they recover," she said.
"Under our current leadership, we have worked diligently to put protections in place that will safeguard against fraud and abuse, significantly reduce the percentage of improper payments, and develop a fair, open and transparent process for recovering these payments," Racusen said.
Racusen said she did not have a date for when Fugate would authorize collection of debts, but said, "We are well underway in taking the steps we need to begin this new process."
In Skinner's letter to Fugate, Skinner wrote Fugate should "promptly take action" to recover the money. Noting that President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum in March of 2010 asking departments to identify and reclaim misspent funds, Skinner said Fugate should "promptly authorize the collection of this debt," he wrote.
As an environmentalist I do not want developments in flood plains----these are wetlands that never should have been developed. You remember me---I'm the one with the sign that shouts STOP THIS DEVELOPMENT! Development was allowed on floodplains because of the amount of money that could be made on waterfront property. Middle-class families saw it a ticket to quality of life. To allow developers a wide income bracket to sell waterfront property the policy of Federally subsidized flood insurance started and sent the middle-class moving into the floodplains. Now, I am definitely for ending Federal subsidy for flood insurance to keep people out of flood plains, but millions of middle-class families bought these homes needing these subsidies and are now losing homes with their life wealth equity----it is just as bad as the subprime mortgage fraud. Either give these families a fair value for these homes or grandfather those homes into coverage. Neo-liberqals say----GET THE HECK OUT OF HERE WHILE CORPORATE SUBSIDY SKYROCKETS.
Steep Flood Insurance Rate Increases Are Result of Federal Government's Mistakes
Posted: 03/27/2014 3:36 pm EDT Updated: 03/27/2014 3:59 pm EDT Huffington Post
New Orleans Katrina Floods Flood Zone Maps Levees Army Corps of Engineers
The steep premium increases in flood insurance being seen by policyholders all across the nation are the direct result of the federal government's failed levees in New Orleans in 2005.
While the worst rate spikes will occur gradually over a period of years -- thanks to a bill that President Obama signed into law last Friday -- a reported 1.1 million homeowners in flood-prone areas will still face sharp premium increases.
These overnight increases, some as high as 15-fold, have their roots in the failure of American civil engineering know-how almost nine years ago.
Before Katrina arrived in New Orleans, even the most insistent calls to evacuate did not warn that the levees could breach and fail. Such a scenario was unheard of and undreamed of.
But levees and floodwalls built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, catastrophically collapsed -- many at water loads well below their design heights-killing more than 1,600 and causing in excess of $100 billion in economic damages.
The subsequent discovery of egregious levee design errors were the catalyst for many national changes in policy including revisions to levee-building, better and more uniform levee inspections, and the creation of a National Levee Safety Program.
But the levee breaches also revealed that flood zone maps were severely outdated and needed to be modernized.
In a May 2006 keynote speech, David Maurstad, Federal Insurance Administrator and Director of FEMA's Mitigation Division, stated at the 2006 National Flood Conference held in Philadelphia, PA:
"...In the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane season, we're pushing forward with our five-year, $1 billion initiative to modernize our Flood Insurance Rate Maps..."
In 2010, when the new maps were completed, they in turn were used to overhaul the federal government's flood insurance program, the NFIP, a rigged actuarial system that apparently did not even try to balance its books or calibrate premiums in ways that would encourage safer housing practices in areas that flood repeatedly.
And now, like a shock wave, the new rates are being rolled out, and they affect a lot of us.
Fifty-five percent of the American population lives in counties protected by levees. Thirty-nine of the nation's fifty largest cities lie, at least in part, on a flood plain. This can be explained by the historic tendency for the population to settle next to water for navigation, irrigation, recreation and aesthetics. This is not madness, this is life.
The failure of the Army Corps' levees during Katrina was not an admirable event in American history, but the event must remembered, at the very least, for its value as a pivotal moment. The payouts after the 2005 floods came from the U.S. treasury, and this was proper since the U.S. Army Corps failed the people of New Orleans and was responsible for the flooding. Now, all NFIP policy holders in the U.S. are paying more because the failure was a catalyst to national policy changes.