Saturday, July 01, 2006

Fresh Eyes

Just about all posts at the moment will be updates from a gentleman named Gary who has travelled down again to do what he is able. He was with FEMA the first 3 months he was there. And now he is just Joe Citizen trying to make a difference.

His contacts are GREAT, so his difference WILL show! His work is mostly with Fire Service, so try to look at it through those eyes.

7/1
Have arrived at Hancock County and find that day time help is very limited. There are difficulties in getting FEMA money they are entitled to and forms from MEMA just confues the fire department.

I looked over all the engines and tanker that I used to drive to refresh my memory. I had to touch the buttons to get the feel of what was where. It has been six months since I drove. I don't know why but air pressure doesn't seem to hold as long as it should. You have to build it back up every few days.

All donations have been made at this time. Laurie over to the school remembered me from October and greatly appreciated the food, soap etc I dropped off. I have not seen the little girl that has the library, but she is living next to Laurie.

It sounds like Pealington is the community that no one cares about. Little head way has been made. A few new homes are built or being built. Water and sewer service are a primary concern. Lots are not big enough to meet building code for septic system. In the past sewage was run in ditches or over ground but that is no longer allowed.

You would not think a community had open sewage in 2006!!!! Supposedly a sewer is going to be built. I don't believe much without seeing it first hand.

The Presidnet of the IAFC promises to help anywya he can. He stayed aout a half hour. We need to get a list of equipment needed as well as a list of equipment that has been received and donated to othre communities.

I hope to visit a couple of the other stations while I am down here. More later.

Later...

A few people have rebuilt. A few more are in the process. I would say less than 10% though. We drove around last night checking on fires. There is a burn ban in effect but rules and laws don' t mean a heck of a lot. I still see people living in tents. The FEMA trailer lot in Purvis is full again. It was almost empty in January. That raises some issues. Trailers are brought down one at a time. So God knows how much money was spent to transport trailers only to have them sit in a vacant field. An optimist would think they are returns from people who have rebuilt but I very much doubt that.

Today the "Castle Law" takes effect in Mississippi. If someone breaks into your home or car while you are in it you can assume they are intending to do serious harm and shoot them. Guns in cars were a common item before and now will be even more common. I wonder how many people will be shot around here.

The fire danger is extreme. There have been many forrest fires. Unfortunately, the only thing that happens when youi put them out is you get more dead forrest to burn. The fires get into the pine trees and start to crown (fire gets into the tops of the trees insted of just on the ground). I don't have to explain what a few thousand Christmas Tree fires going off at one time is going to look like. Somehow they manage to get the fires out. FEMA trailers and RV parks are up against the woods and in some cases actually in the woods.

Debris pick up has stopped. So now the locals put debris in the back of the pick up truck and take it down and toss it in the ditch. Some lots have been cleared and debris pushed into the ditch. Its just a matter of time before someone gets tired of looking at it and lights a match. There is no such thing as a little fire. Everyone has a lot of potential since things are so dry. Fireworks are included in the burn ban but can be purchased with in a short drive. I expect a busy weekend.

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