Dealing with the aftermath of devastating Category 4 Hurricane Ian, the state of Florida quickly realized it didn’t have enough shelter for all the displaced residents who needed a safe roof over their heads. On the 7th of November, the Division of Emergency Management sent an urgent request to Thomas McCool, the FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer working out of their officers in Bradenton, FL.

What the state was asking for was an expansion of Section 403: Emergency Protective Measures for Sheltering in Home for Recovery Continuation (SHRC) RFI Response. It would turn loose FEMA dollars to help the state pay for temporary home repairs – tarps, roofs, safe utilities, etc – so folks could live safely in their still damaged homes, instead of in communal shelters, or face the prospect of being homeless while desperately looking for somewhere to live. The damage is so widespread, there are no rentals nor enough FEMA trailers/temp shelters to be had.

The repairs those funds would effect – done by volunteer labor, no less – would specifically target “ineligible survivors” who were living in the storm-damaged ruins of their homes, had no relocation prospects, and no way of repairing their property. In other words, the most vulnerable residents, from whom Ian had taken everything.

On Saturday, the state got the federal response from FEMA:


Needless to say, that didn’t sit well with Governor Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis was ready with particulars on how the state was planning to get to work providing safe shelter regardless of what the feds did in the meantime.

…DeSantis said Florida will be giving up $25 million in state funds for building materials to restore damaged homes, giving those to registered non-profits organizing repairs.

The governor noted initiatives like the Unite Florida Portal for state housing and reporting other assistance needs.

The repairs will provide houses livable conditions while permanent repairs are made. DeSantis emphasized the importance of getting impacted Floridians from the borderline Category 5 storm back in their homes.

He said $35.2 million is also being designated to support the state’s home repair program and support fulfillment of unmet needs via the Florida Disaster Fund, which has raised over $57 million.

For all Biden’s bluster about how important the folks here in FL were before the election

…FEMA has hardly been covering itself in glory from the minute they set their little tents up. What a cluster. They’ve got the government circle jerk down pat.

FEMA encourages hurricane victims who are denied assistance to appeal

A 76-year-old woman who is disabled was flooded out of her home and said she was denied assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FOX 35 News went to FEMA for answers.

“Every night, I cry. I’m worried so much,” said Theresa Scardina whose home at the Good Samaritan Village was flooded during Ian.

“It’s crazy, absolutely crazy,” said Scardina’s son, Joe Marois. “I’ve called everyone’s number possible, and they keep referring me to FEMA which has done absolutely nothing.”

Marois said his mother was denied assistance even though she is legally blind in one eye. He said her scooter was also destroyed by the floods. “FEMA basically told me I needed a FEMA letter, and I’m like, ‘I gave you all the documentation. I made an appeal letter’,” he said.

It’s unconscionable. Call FEMA for assistance as you’re instructed and also when you’re denied the assistance you were promised.

Hundreds of Hurricane Ian survivors denied FEMA help after being approved

…Pam Johnson and her husband, who are North Port residents, waited weeks for the money they needed – only to find out it’s not going to come. The couple rode out the hurricane in their home of 22 years as the wind howled around them and grew stronger.

…Johnson and her husband waited and checked their bank account and mailbox, but nothing came. When she placed a call to FEMA on Monday, she was told the $700 wasn’t coming.

“It’s bad enough you’re going through something like this, but to be promised by the federal government that you’re going to get some kind of assistance, even though it’s little. Just a little thing means a lot when you’re going through a disaster. It really does,” she said.

FEMA admits it made a mistake. They said an error occurred and 441 people who were told they would receive Critical Needs Assistance (CNA) were then denied.

Slick liberal trolls have been coming in on the DeSantis Twitter thread, pointing out that FEMA claims it’s already spent “$3B on Hurricane Ian relief“…

…as if that somehow should be all the assistance feds give and DeSantis is a whiny charlatan. Estimates will take years to finalize the total damage the cat 4 storm did rampaging through the state, but as of right now, a median for wind and flood damage number range is $41-$70B. Mind you, those are the insured numbers. There are lots of retired folks who live in FL who aren’t, tragically. Then consider the agriculture damage alone is hovering at an additonal $1.9B mark.

Big numbers, right? With a $3B FEMA expenditure in the whole state of FL so far. Let’s visit the Wayback Machine for giggles, shall we?

Super Storm Sandy caused – in 2013 dollars – $19B worth of damage to New York City alone. (We’re leaving everyone else affected out of this because NYC is kind enough to have all their own figures.).

Let’s just say that their requests for help were met with a little friendlier reception.


There was a sitting Democratic president then, too, I might note, although we definitively do not have a Democratic constituency on the receiving end this time. Could that be the problem?

YMMV but I do have my own suspicions. I’m cynical that way.

It must stick in their craw that FL has a big, fat disaster fund sitting there, which means we can start these projects even with the feds purposefully throwing roadblocks. That, to their utter dismay, makes DeSantis even more of a folk hero than he already is for getting deeds done.

I’m also curious to see what the Biden administration does next, when DeSantis goes after them, as you know damned well he righteously will. The White House can’t ever stop poking the bunny, even when it…well…you know.

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