Two weeks before President Bush's mid-October goal for moving Hurricane Katrina victims out of shelters, more than 100,000 people still reside in such makeshift housing, and 400,000 more are in hotel rooms costing up to $100 a night.
Housing options promised by the federal government a month ago have largely failed to materialize. Cruise ships and trailer parks have so far proved in large part to be unworkable, while an American Red Cross program -- paid for by the federal government -- that allows storm victims to stay in motels or hotels is scheduled to expire Oct. 15. It is projected to cost the Federal Emergency Management Agency as much as $168 million.
Meanwhile, more than 100,000 people remain in about 1,000 shelters operated by the Red Cross, smaller charities and churches, scattered across two dozen states as far-flung as New York and Washington.
FEMA is tasked with directing the relief and recovery, and the appear to have no clue about what to do. They spent millions on the hurricane Pam drill, but did not learn a thing. How they can run the drills and still have had not idea of the scope of recovery is one answer we need.
Katrina was a huge disaster, but not an unexpected one. How the government agency who's only job is to plan for and direct recovery of disasters could be caught so unprepared is alarming.
It is very doubtful that the current investigation will even ask these basic questions. This whole response is a mess, and is indicative that there was more to do with this disgrace than just having an unqualified director.