I just had a flash of insight. Why not scrap F.E.M.A and have people manage their own DISASTER SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (DSAs)? If we run into problems when someone else is paying for things, why not use the same concept to manage disasters?
I figure this might be a good idea for those of us who don’t live in recurring disaster zones to keep paying out-of-pocket-expenses to the government because some Gulf Coaster haven’t figured out how to move after their first disaster. Some people who live in these area don’t carry the insurance probably because they think the government is going to bail them out. Even if the government does give them money, the amount available probably isn’t even going to help get you back to where you are. FEMA probably should just offer disaster victims bus tickets and first two months rent in the next biggest city nearby. Maybe if we even tied FEMA into the Foster Care system…people could sign up to take any number of emergency transplanted people. They could register every year or so, to say how many people they could provide living space for…say, for at least 2 months. Those people could then receive emergency stipends when their living space is taken up by victims.
The victims of the disaster would have a place to live, receive mail, sleep, eat, contact loved ones….the Feds could offer some money to cover meals provided for the family, increased phone usage, and extra supplies for the two month duration of their stay. At which time, the victims could work towards securing more permanent living arrangements. If they decide to stay longer, they could negotiate with the families helping them out.
This would help cut into the federal government pouring ungodly amounts of money into temporary shelters (temporary housing which only seems to be catch-basins for increased crime rates for most areas) or private companies from pocketing the money (cruise ships, as the example). Those who sign up to house victims would have an interest to get someone in their place, so they would probably end up getting involved to lighten the load. Local assistance could then be solicited from Red Cross shelters to help the supporting families provide help and services, instead of relying on shelters and services in damaged areas.
Well, it was a thought.