The rain started to come May 29, 2007 and it rained and rained and rained. The wind blew pretty hard too and blew tree branches onto the top of of my roof and made holes in it. The rain continued to come and so I ended up with a home that I can NOT live in anymore!
I am disabled and cannot afford homewoners' insurance. It is doubtful if they would have assisted me anyway since Katrina, insurance companies have been rather leery about insuring homes in some places. I do not live in a flood plain. This just happened to be a freak occurance.
Because my area was declared a Presidential Disaster Area, I called FEMA. They were very good about sending a guy out to look at the damage. He took photos and wrote a report and got me into the system the very next day! He told me to call the Red Cross for my more immediate needs. Sounded like a good idea. You see the dramatic commercials on TV anout the selfless rescure workers helping the kids, the old people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and colors and disabilities. Sounded like a good deal to me!
So I called FEMA and they referred me to American Red Cross. I called their toll-free line and a couple of volunteers showed in a very small car. They were supposed to look at my home and ascertain what sort of assistance I was elgible for. I have two large playful dogs outside and the men did not want to get out of the car and never did go inside my home to see how bad it was.
They RELUCTANTLY gave me two small personal hygiene care product bags and a home clean-up kit in a box and left the property. ZI am not sure they wrote a report about me. So I spent the night being bitten by mosquitos, blood sucking flies, a small brown recluse spider and several fire ants... in the cab of a very small Ford Ranger pickup truck! It was also stifling hot and I had a difficult time breathing. I am supposed to be doing a 20 hour a week grant-funded job, incidentally, and have to be presentable for the public, by the way.
I thought that there had been a mistake and so I called the Red Cross again. I was told that I could come out to the Central Texas Red Cross HQ Austin,TX and someone would talk to me and I could schedule another appointment for a case worker to talk to me.
I went and this time, some lady wrote down on my application that they needed to contact THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF A NEARBY COUNTY ABOUT MY HOUSE --the idea being that it was going to be condemned as a blight under the International Building Inspector's Code --which means that the county can seize my property without having to pay me for it ---and I hadn't even had time to clean my property up ( there would be at least two additional days of rain). By this time, I am a little upset. I came there to get HELP NOT LOSE MY PROPERTY! I kept the sheet of paper, by the way so I would have proof to show my elected officials.
By now, I am hungry, confused and more than a little angry. Finally, I got to see a caseworker who took some information and gave me another home clean-up kit in the box, a case of bottle water, two containers of insect repellent, two plastic bags of personal hygiene care products ( by this time, I probably looked haggard enough to need them), a container of plastic trash bags, a packet of fabric softener and a large manilla envelope exeplaining how to cope after a disaster --none of which applied to me. I was told that a cse worker would come by my house the next day --- only no one came.
You get scared. You feel depressed. Above all, you feel BETRAYED!
That Monday, I called the Red Cross in my county only to be told that I would have to contact the Central Texas Red Cross HQ. I thanked the nice lady and hung up the phone in desparation. if these people can get your house condemned and taken by the county government ( Have you read the latest Supreme Court decision concerning "eminent domain" lately?), because of a disaster which is none of your fault, then manybe I don't want to have anything to do with them!
Some Katrina refugees I know who happen to be African American had some horror stories told me I was a FOOL to try to get any assistance at all from the Red Cross but after seeing and hearing all the soul-stirring, reassuring commercials with the magnificant symphonic scoring all of my life, I thought when my moment of need ever came, I could be helped. HA!
There is no family who will help me out because they are all deceased. They helped me out be leaving me this property and the house on it which I can not afford to have repaired becaue of a natural disaster which was not my fault!
CHECK OUT THIS FUND RAISING APPEAL:
IS THIS MONEY GOING TO HELP U.S. DISASTER VICTIMS???
Corporate Donations Help American Red Cross Comfort Victims of South Central Texas Floods
Annual Disaster Giving Program Members, Businesses Support Red Cross Disaster Efforts; Visit McCoy's Building Supply Centers, Coinstar Supermarket Locations and Local Banks to Donate Now
WHERE IS THIS MONEY REALLY GOING TO GO?
IS IT GOING TO HELP AMERICAN CITIZENS WHOM IT NEEDS TO HELP???
SAN ANTONIO, JULY 23, 2002 Twenty-four leading U.S. organizations are supporting the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts by making long-term financial commitments to the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) to ensure that funding is available whenever and wherever disasters strike. The annual financial gifts of these organizations provide a stable base of funding for disaster relief across the nation and help the Red Cross respond to 67,000 disasters each year, enabling the organization to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need.
Because of the advance support of these organizations, the Red Cross has been helping the residents in 24 counties in south central Texas affected by the devastating floods. Damages have been severe and these latest floods are the worst to hit Texas since 1998 when the Guadalupe River overflowed, costing the Red Cross almost $10 million. Red Cross chapters in Texas have already opened 44 shelters, provided 47 mobile feeding units and served more than 246,505 meals to affected residents and relief workers. More than 40 Damage Assessment Teams from the Red Cross continue to survey the area as access becomes available and so far the teams estimate 10,000 to 12,000 homes have been damaged and nine deaths have been attributed to these floods.
In addition to the support of the ADGP members, McCoy's Building Supply Centers throughout the state are serving as official donation sites to collect cash gifts for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by implementing the "Your Help Counts" program. Donations are also being accepted at local Washington Mutual, Compass Bank and Bank of America locations as well as at Coinstar machines, which are found at most major supermarkets and collect spare change for the Red Cross relief efforts.
"By serving as official donation sites, Coinstar, McCoy's Building Supply Centers, Washington Mutual, Compass Bank and Bank of America are demonstrating a commitment to the community," said Skip Seitz, senior vice president of Growth and Integrated Development, American Red Cross. "The Red Cross is grateful for all of our ADGP members and corporate friends, who help our organization provide shelter, food and counseling immediately to those in need. The people of Texas are facing a difficult time right now and the Red Cross will remain with those individuals and families every step of the way as they rebuild their lives."
Members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program include:
American Express Foundation
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Computer Associates International
ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Delta Air Lines
Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Company
Sears, Roebuck & Company
Sony Corporation of America
State Farm Insurance
Woodmen of the World/Omaha
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of the Texas floods and thousands of other disasters across the country each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make secure online credit card donations by visiting www.redcross.org. Donations are also being collected at Coinstar machines at local grocery stores across America. To find the nearest Coinstar machine visit www.findcoinstar.com.
THE OFFICIAL FEMA REPORT:
Designated Counties for Texas Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding
Disaster Summary For FEMA-1709-DR, Texas
Declaration Date: June 29, 2007
Incident Type: Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding
Incident Period: June 16, 2007, and continuing
(Assistance to individuals and households):
Archer, Bell, Burnet, Cooke, Coryell, Denton, Eastland, Grayson, Hood, Lampasas, Parker, Starr, Tarrant, Victoria, Webb, Wichita, and Williamson Counties
I HOPE THAT JUST MISINTERPRETED THIS AND THAT SOMEONE IS ACTUALLY HELPED! I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY REFUSED TO HELP ME! I WONDER IF IT IS BECAUE I AM NATIVE AMERICAN!
IF I HAD HAD A FAMILY OR ANYONE IN THE COMMUNITY, I WOULD NOT HAVE HAD TO ASK ANYONE ELSE FOR HELP!
IF I HAD NOT BEEN POOR AND DISABLED, I WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO AFFORD HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE AND GOTTEN HELP FROM MY POLICY!
I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THIS HAPPENED TO ME!
Somewhere In a Disaster County of, Texas
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Red Cross