6 Investigates: FEMA’s bureaucracy – worse than you might think


tonight tooks investigates FEMA a federal agency that many Harvey survivors have come to know well and some would rather forget chief investigative reporter Rick sprawl gives us an exclusive look at FEMA from inside FEMA’s own files showing just how hard they can make it for those who need the most help to get it it’s almost as if they want you to give up that’s what a glance at tabatha Castro’s FEMA file brings to mind FEMA’s top Texas officials says hurricane Harvey recovery efforts are the work of federal state and local officials and that they’re setting the standard nationwide it has really set the bar for our nation and is being held as a model for response Rockport’s tabatha castro begs to differ I mean this has been my worst nightmare almost nine months since hurricane Harvey took castro’s home she’s still dealing with FEMA it’s very frustrating I mean I cried many nights we introduced you to Castro in February that was right after she’d been assigned a FEMA trailer and then told she wasn’t going to get one after all that decision forced Castro to move in with her father six people in a two-bedroom FEMA never has been able to give an explanation of what happened there but one thing Kevin Hanna’s would admit to us is that FEMA is a slow-moving bureaucracy performing exactly as expected for that person out there that hasn’t gotten or assisting yet or is that struggling with with getting the assistance it’s never going to move fast enough why because we let’s face it we are a bureaucracy Castro’s initial call to FEMA came on August 28th their response a $500 check but that’s when it stopped being easy in the five months since Castro has struggled to prove to FEMA that she and her deceased husband Jesse actually owned the trailer that she lost in the storm it’s never been enough and I guess when a hurricane comes instead of packing your stuff you get all your legal documents because that’s what they want time and again FEMA rejected Castro’s attempts to prove that they had legally owned that trailer and yet for us it took 30 seconds during a simple search of the Aransas County appraiser’s website meanwhile six investigates has fought for and received Castro’s actual FEMA file and inside the proof of the bureaucracy the average fema survivor must confront utility bills receipts marriage certificates death certificates a paper trail so long we ran out of hallway before we ran out of paper a paper trail more than 100 feet long in exchange for just a few thousand dollars in rental assistance now FEMA did approve Castro 1,400 dollars to repair her home we don’t have time to go into the details there but just suffice it to say by the time she got that money her home had already been demolished you get a phone call oh well you’re missing this or oh you’re missing that I mean it’s just it’s devastating and most of the time the phone call came from someone different in Castro’s file the names of 74 separate FEMA representatives involved in her case so while Kevin Hennis says FEMA’s setting the bar Castro wonders which bar he means I mean FEMA needs to come and talk to some of the residents of Aransas county because their story is gonna be completely different than what FEMA is saying I think they failed they’ve a zero to mean since our interview Castro has been approved for 18 months she’s hoping she can build on that and save the money needed to buy a new trailer someday Ric spruill 6 investigates next week we’ll have more from that interview with the FEMA representative and a look at whether FEMA is set up not only to make it hard to get help but also to deny aid to those who need it most

7 thoughts on “6 Investigates: FEMA’s bureaucracy – worse than you might think

  1. I live in Louisiana. After Katrina FEMA dropped off thousands upon thousands of trailers at the now closed Evangeline Downs Racetrack (the old and original tracks) it’s since moved. But those trailers sat unused on that property for several years before they disappeared.

  2. The barges were full of people who was dumped in the ocean..wtf..happened to those people

  3. Don't trust fema they want to imprison people. Once you get into a fema camp you will not get out

  4. Miss be glad that you didn't get a fema trailer from them because they will put you on fema barge or fema camp will not be able to escape

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