Katrina Networking

I am using my networking and marketing skills to pass along vital information to organizations, volunteers and survivors of the 2005 hurricane season. Grants, networking, advocating, assistance resources, articles and more. Updated regularly to better assist you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ocean Springs Closing FEMA Park

Ocean Springs FEMA park to close Aug. 15
Residents urged to find other homes


The more than 50 residents living in trailers behind the Ocean Springs Civic Center on U.S. 90 have until Aug. 15 to find another place to live.

Mayor Connie Moran announced Tuesday the city is planning to close the site.

The announcement was made during a meeting with FEMA representatives to discuss changes in the city's new trailer policy made earlier this year by the Board of Aldermen.

This decision comes after board members last week voted to postpone their decision to extend the Aug. 15 termination date for the closing of the trailer park.

FEMA representatives requested the board consider an extension until March 2008 but the board requested more information from FEMA and the residents living in the trailers.

"The representatives from FEMA never gave us the information we requested and we needed to make a decision about this site," said Moran.

"Of course, they can appeal the decision if they want to," she said.

According to FEMA representatives there are only 43 available apartments in Ocean Springs and they are all 125 percent above the fair-market value.

There are currently more than 90 Ocean Springs residents living in temporary trailers in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties.

"Ocean Springs has worked actively with FEMA and other agencies to ensure that all of our citizens have a place to call home," said Moran.

"As the deadline of Aug. 15 looms, it is important that anyone affected by it make appropriate plans," she said.

Moran says the city's biggest concern is the elderly, disabled, fixed-income, and single-parent households. City officials are encouraging people in these categories to contact FEMA to see if they qualify for the department's rental-assistance program.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Petition Through Oxfam


From Oxfam
Two years ago, Americans united to help the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But recovery of the region suffers from neglect.
We need to urge all presidential candidates to show their commitment to keeping America's promise to the Gulf Coast by issuing an agenda outlining how, as president, they will ensure the recovery of the hurricane-devastated region.
Please sign Oxfam's petition.
Bob Fertik

Two years after the devastation brought on by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Gulf Coast is still hurting. Tens of thousands still live in temporary housing. Schools are closed. Businesses are struggling.

A lot of people made a lot of promises as the flood waters drained, but these days, the worst disaster in recent US history is barely mentioned by the media or politicians . Continued neglect threatens to leave people more poor and more at risk. With our leaders suffering from Katrina amnesia, the current presidential campaign is our best chance to bring Gulf Coast recovery back into the spotlight.

Tell the presidential candidates to keep America’s promise to rebuild the Gulf Coast.

Oxfam America and a broad coalition of groups are calling on all the presidential candidates, from both parties, to make Gulf Coast recovery a top priority of their campaigns.
We'll need thousands of people to take action. With your help, we can make sure the new leadership in the White House recognizes that, even though the issue isn’t on the front pages anymore, the recovery is NOT over - and we can't yet close this chapter of our history.

Click here to tell the presidential candidates to keep America’s promise to rebuild the Gulf Coast.

Thank you for supporting the people of the Gulf Coast.

Tim Fullerton Oxfam America

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New Radios for Emergency Services

Feds give $11M to Mississippi to fix post-9/11 radio problems


The state of Mississippi will receive $10.9 million to fix communications problems between police and fire departments six years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

According to U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott, both R-Miss., the Mississippi Department of Public Safety will spend the money in areas where first responders need compatible voice, data and video communications systems to be used during disaster response.

The money is part of $968 million awarded nationwide Wednesday.

"It is essential that our firefighters, paramedics, police, and officials from MEMA and FEMA have equipment that will provide for seamless and uninterrupted communication," Cochran said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Gov. Haley Barbour announced that the state and Motorola Inc. had signed a contract for the wireless company to provide a statewide emergency communications network to be used during catastrophes.

Motorola was selected last November by Mississippi's Wireless Communication Commission after a competitive bidding process.

Motorola officials said the company would ship thousands of the radios within 24 hours of a disaster and dispatch tower crews when needed to assist in an emergency.

Motorola said it will design and implement the system in three phases, beginning with the southern region. When completed, the network will include 135 radio tower sites statewide.

Cochran said the ability of emergency agencies to communicate among one another is crucial in disasters.

Lott said Mississippians who experienced Hurricane Katrina understand how important first responder communications can be before, during and after a disaster.

"Our state and local communities are already acting to upgrade and prepare emergency communications systems for the next disaster, and I'm confident this federal initiative will compliment and help expedite those efforts," Lott said.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday that the money should get the entire country up to a basic standard of effective emergency communication by 2009.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Allstate Settles with MS

Allstate settles Mississippi Katrina claims
Insurance company reaches settlement with state's customers over outstanding property damage claims from 2005 hurricane.
June 25 2007: 6:23 PM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Allstate on Monday reached a settlement with Mississippi customers whose homes and property were damaged by 2005's Hurricane Katrina, resolving one of the largest groups of outstanding claims in the two-year-old wrangle.

Terms of the settlement with the Scruggs Katrina Group, the legal team that negotiated the deal, were not disclosed.

Allstate spokesman Michael Siemienas said 99 percent of all of the insurer's claims from the hurricane in Mississippi are now resolved.

Katrina, the most costly storm in U.S. history, caused $40 billion in insured losses, including $3.6 billion to Allstate, the nation's largest publicly traded home insurer.

Home insurers have been battling with Scruggs, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and other officials over claims from Katrina, which sent a 30-foot wall of water crashing into the Gulf Coast state.

Private insurers pay claims for wind damage, while water damage is generally covered by federal flood insurance. But U.S. and state authorities have been pressuring insurers to settle with the flooded-out homeowners.

Two Subpoenas

In May, Allstate received two subpoenas, one from a grand jury in southern Mississippi on how it handled claims from Hurricane Katrina, and one from the Department of Homeland Security for documents on homeowner's claims from the storm.

Allstate said at the time that it was working with the U.S. attorney's office and remained "confident of our claims settlement practices."

Allstate (Charts, Fortune 500) is the third-largest home insurer in Mississippi after mutually-owned State Farm and a state company.

State Farm had originally agreed to settle with Scruggs and his clients earlier this year, but the settlement fell apart when a federal judge expressed reservations about it, and Scruggs withdrew the case.

Subsequently Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale proposed a method for State Farm to pay disputed claims from the hurricane. The insurer said that under this plan it has already made offers totaling more than $10 million to policyholders.

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