The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is not only dealing with massive natural disasters in America, it also has its own internal catastrophic disaster going on. With so much going on, there is a chance they could run out of funds.
FEMA only had money in its emergency account to cover some FEMA expenses to move supplies to locations where they are needed for Hurricane Harvey. Dealing with Hurricane Harvey, used up all the available FEMA funds. Hurricanes Irma and Hurricane Jose’, which is still yet to arrive, are going to overwhelm any remaining FEMA resources.
DCReport.org says that FEMA is already burdened by more than $25 billion in debt and it takes about $400 million per year just to pay the interest on the loans. The damages from Hurricane Katrina and Rita are the reason for this lack of funds. FEMA never recovered from having to pay out all those claims.
FEMA is now forced to cancel flood insurance in parts of the country that really need it. Flood insurance cancellations begin at the end of September 2017. Up to 2 million homes may lose flood insurance, out of the 5 million homes covered by the federal flood insurance plan.
Salon reported that as of last Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, FEMA had $2.14 Billion in emergency funds. That amount dropped to $1.01 billion as of Thursday, September 7, 2017.
The aid package of $7.85 billion pushed through to be approved by the Senate is money earmarked for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Nothing in that bill is allocated to the damages that can be caused by Hurricane Irma. The Senate wants to allocate even more money for Harvey, but with Irma on the way, there are many questions regarding where the money will go. We are “up the proverbial creek without a paddle.”
One of the things most Americans do not realize is that America had to raise the debt ceiling just to keep the federal government operating for the next three months and to cover the borrowing needed to get the first money for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Most estimates are that the damage from Hurricane Harvey alone will exceed $180 billion dollars.
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To have record-breaking hurricanes in such close succession has never happened in American history. Hurricane Harvey was bad enough. Hurricane Irma is worse. Its potential destruction path is larger than the entire state of Florida.
People always hope the federal government is able to step up to help out in these situations. The brutal reality is there is only so much that can be done by the government. Much of the hurricane relief efforts will now fall on the private-sector charities that operate in America, with the support of other kind Americans, who are not affected by these storms, helping out with volunteering and giving money for relief donations. Right now, we have to Make America Dry Again and that is going to take all of us doing our best to help.
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