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FEMA bailouts

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Tellafriend, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. Tellafriend

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    If you have been watching the news lately you have seen where Louisiana has received too much rain which has caused flooding. Most of the homeowners there (80%) did not have flood insurance-- just like the folks affected by super storm Sandy up north. So, the federal government, through FEMA, comes in and give grants which is just a fancy word for handouts to those folks who don't have insurance.

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    Makes sense, doesn't it? (Rhetorical query).

    Those folks who purchase flood insurance to protect their property are now being forced to subsidize those who chose not to. Meanwhile, FEMA - which is broke- annually raises premiums to cover the difference on the people who make the responsible choice to purchase insurance.

    At its core this is just another forced redistribution of wealth.

    Carry on.
     
  2. GlenBaccarat79

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    About FEMA. I have some experience with them from the Hurricane Katrina days. I was initially hired by Kohler Generators to pick up a load of generators in Wisconsin and head to Mississippi with them and provide manpower and unloading services along I-10 and haul the gen-sets to all the disaster tents (medical and food tents) south of I-10 and more specially south of the RR Tracks. Very small street and also lots of debris crowding them, so they knew having their drop deck semi trailers trying to get in there would be impossible to next to impossible. Well, I initially sent down 2 large flatbed wreckers I had in my fleet to handle this. Upon our arrival there, we set up camp in Alabama in a small town called Theodore.

    I arrived about the 4th or 5th day after the storm stopped. Everything was a complete mess. The first couple of days we are working solely for Kohler Corporation under our agreement. I was unloading one of their semi trucks which was in a secured zone, south of the deployed razor ribbon fencing with army reserve guards at the entry and exit points. A huge RV motor home pulls up to a disaster tent where I am struggling to slide off a huge generator, air-handler and supply boxes onto a large 25' slide back bed I was operating. The driver gets and prances over to me, puts his hands on his hips and before he said anything, I went off on him. It was in the upper 90's with about 100% humidity and just real nasty out. I was working from 5 AM to Midnight was our schedule. Food sucked most places and everything super hard to find or get. Anyway, the guy tells me---while I am yelling and screaming at the guy to get the fuck out of the way, there is a full blown Colonel from somewhere on board and he wants to talk to me, etc. I tell him something along the likes of, "So what the fuck you want me to do pal"? He mumbles something like, don't you know a full blown colonel is the most senior rank in the field? Right under the Brigadier General rank? I had sweat pouring off my forehead and could barely see, I was drenched from head to toe in it, I was hungry and tired and I had like 80-100 gen-sets and air handler units to unload and position all over Mississippi and on the eastern extreme edges of Louisiana. All I kept telling him was to get the fuck out of my way. Well a few minutes later off steps the so-called Colonel and a few of his assistants from this brand new RV and prancing their way up to where I was at. The colonel gets up right next to me and the guy I was talking to pulls him back and is talking to him. I go about my business and finally get the huge air-handler off the step-deck trailer and onto my 25' slide back. It was tough, real tough to maneuver. As I am getting back in my cab to pull around the rear of the disaster tent the Colonel once again gets up in my face. I tell him I have no time, stand by and I will be out of there within 30 min's and his tent can have the air conditioning to move in the medics, etc.

    The Colonel backs off and stands there. I finish up the positioning of the gen-set and the air handler and I put my truck back together. The Colonel once again comes over and tells me, I am in a secure zone. I tell him I work under agreement with Koehler and they are the Army's vendor to supply all the power and AC units to the military's disaster tents, etc. He shrugs his shoulders and tells me he could arrest me and seize my vehicles. He said, when I entered the secure zone where the razor ribbon was, I became property of the US Government and so on and so forth. Now his assistant's with arm bands on that said MP and in shorts and tee shirts with their holsters and guns, etc., looked like some scene straight out of Apocalypse Now. I told him, "I don't give a fuck, I am doing a job for the military's vendor and I have a business to run and things to do". The Colonel says, "I need you and your other trucks and I need you to do what you are doing for Koehler but for the Army, what's it going to take". I told him I can't I have an agreement with Koehler and they need me, no one else has these types of flatbed carriers here, all the other ones are too small. He shook his head in agreement.

    (Con't in next post)
     
    #2 Aug 18, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  3. Breeze147

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  4. GlenBaccarat79

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    We went into his RV and I told him I was hungry. He had one of his people cook up some sandwiches and then we ate and talked. I told him my biggest problem was my agreement with Koehler had a bonus of $200.00 per employee and per truck for each consecutive 10 days I worked for Koehler without stopping. Which meant good $$$ top me and that was three trucks with 3 employees. $1,200.00 a day X's 10, meant $12,000.00 bonus alone plus the cost of the work and services each day, etc. He said he did not care and wanted to make a win-win before he just put me in jail and took my trucks. I don't 100% know if he could have but I do believe so because that was a secure zone we were in. But, I was a business person. So, I told him he would have to fix it with Koehler that we could work for him and Koehler both and Koehler's job would be slowed down. There was no way he would have all the trucks and trailers rolling into the area at the same time anyway. He said he would get on the phone to Koehler and arrange it with them, if they would not consent, which would be highly unlikely because Koehler was on a federal contract, etc., he would pay me everything Koehler was going to and then some.

    He gets on the phone right then and there to Koehler and works it out. Tells them for the next 30 days, he would be giving us work as well and they were not to cancel or take any adverse action against us if we were delayed in responding to any location they dispatched us to, etc.

    So we get on the subject of compensation and an Agreement with FEMA. He makes my company a FEMA authorized and certified contractor right then and there. He agrees to our rates that I was charging Koehler plus a $300.00 per day bonus for each employee and truck. He also agrees to fuel our trucks for the next 30 days for free because of the problem in getting diesel #2 fuel at limited amount of truck stops that were still open and operating, etc. The army had bulk tankers brought in with fuel and gasoline from out of the area and stationed at various exit ramps all along I-10.

    In the Agreement the authorized contractor continues for a period of 5 years and the compensation is set at $750.00 a month for agreeing to a stand-by status and also agree to respond within 5 hours to any FEMA disaster declaration upon request. The same rates and fees for employees and trucks were included within the agreement. I signed it.

    As he was about to leave, I asked him. "Would you really have arrested me and seized my trucks". He said, "absolutely".

    I did what they wanted, and the agreement continued. I got called out 3 times to various floods and storms. The agreement went until 2010 and then renewed again. Their $750.00 check came like clock work each and every month.

    I have some pictures of this and will post tomorrow once I can find them in my scrapbooks.

    That's my FEMA experience.
     
    #4 Aug 18, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  5. Hard4

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    Damn Glen. Bet you're glad you talked to the colonial and signed that paper. From reading about your other experiences, it very well could have ended up the other way around.

    Hell of a business deal.
     
  6. GlenBaccarat79

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    The fuel was a god-send just to avoid the lines at the truck stops there. Most were closed or limited fuel inventory anyways. At least the first 60 days of it. Three trucks, 100-120 gallon tanks and we were burning 1 to 1.5 tanks a day per truck! If I recall if was over $3 a gal. So a savings of at least $1k a day in expenses.

    I have some pictures my guy snapped back then. I have to find my scrapbooks from Katrina and pull them out. I know I have them, but not here in my office.

    I had a great time at Katrina, all in all. We spent about 6 months down there in Theodore, Alabama a few miles east of Mississippi and worked that whole Mississippi coast line for Koehler, FEMA and eventually one other client called Co-Part International for hauling salvaged vehicles from the roadways to their lot in northern Mobile, Alabama.

    Here is one picture I found from the truck the Colonel saw and started all this with FEMA. The lettering on the back says; "Qualified-Authorized Disaster Contractor" and FEMA/Homeland Security sent us those large decals for the ID of the trucks that would ever respond on their behalf.
     
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    #6 Aug 18, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  7. dvandentop

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    Thanks for sharing the story Glen very interesting
     
  8. dahammer

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    Re: Sandy up North, are you sure about 80% uninsured?

    Living in a shotgun shack in flood prone New Orleans vs. having a $500k condo as a second home at the Jersey Shore. You can't get a mortgage without flood Insurance.
     
  9. VEGASBJ

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    old FEMA story -

    so we were living in Northridge, Ca. when the big 1994 quake struck. Felt like someone had planted bombs under our house and set them off. Our house flexed so much that all the windows in the house blew out, our slab foundation had huge cracks running through it, all of our good china, crystal glasses, etc were all gone, etc. Since we lived at the end of a cul-de-sac, we had this huge pie shaped yard, with about 500' of cinder block walls that came down on all sides of the property line.

    A big rumor at the time was that the quake was actually much stronger than the eventual 6.7 they reported. Mind you, Caltech that reports the quakes is in our vicinity. First news of the morning on local radio said 7.1, then next day they said 6.9, then finally drifted down to 6.7. The big "reason" the quake was "rumored" to be finally calculated at 6.7 was that any quake over 7.0 called for mandatory disaster relief, and under 7.0 it was relief that was available, but had to be paid back. (This is nothing that I looked up, just recalling the stories that were going around the neighborhood at the time). We took a FEMA loan that was offered at a very low interest rate (I recall about 2-3%, which was low for that time period) for about $58k to fix all the damage to the house, and this was a loan that had to be repaid. All docs official, notarized, and recorded as a loan against the house. Nowadays, it seems that all this disaster relief is free money?? I don't know but would be interesting to see from someone that had Katrina or Sandy disaster relief.

    I guess the whole point is that previously this relief $$ was to be repaid, and now it seems like it's not??
     
  10. Nevyn

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    My understanding from the article is that the FEMA grant money is available to the insured and the uninsured alike, but only for expenses that the insurance would not cover.
     

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