The FEMA inspector that came here - very arrogant, rude. He was not interested. And I think our $2,855.10 showed that. He was not interested in us at all. And I would have appealed that but I didn't have time. I've not had time to appeal or do anything other than keep our head above the water.
Renee Lee, her children, and others from her
community of White Stocking survey the damage
to her grandmother's home. Photograph by Rob Amberg.
Many survivors of the flood describe the difficulty in navigating the bureaucracy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Association (SBA) in order to file claims for storm damage and receive aid. For many, this was the first time they were applying for government emergency assistance, and it was difficult to find transportation and time during clean-up efforts to check on their claim status at a FEMA or SBA office. Others spoke of the frustration and confusion of the evaluation process, during which a FEMA officer would visit their property to estimate the damage in order to begin processing their claim.