When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is there to help, weather permitting of course.
Earlier this week Mayor Bloomberg and the federal government touted their new warming centers as a shelter for those in need of food, water, supplies and a little heat. But, as is generally the case with government, when help is needed they’re nowhere to be found.
FEMA disaster recovery centers in Hurricane Sandy-ravaged sections of the city that were supposed to provide assistance to hurricane victims went MIA Wednesday morning, posting signs saying that they were closed due to the approaching Nor’easter.
The temporary shuttering of the facilities, which help victims register for disaster relief, as well as city food distribution centers come even as many of those still reeling from the monster storm were not told that they had to leave the battered areas.
“The storm is coming. We don’t know how hard it’s going to hit us,” said Jenny Cartagena, 46, who found the FEMA center in Coney Island closed Wednesday when she went there looking for food. “I need some help now.”
Because the FEMA centers were located with food distribution and warming services, some residents who arrived there were confused by the closed centers.
The city’s food distribution centers, a lifeline for the thousands left without power, heat and water for more than a week, would only be operating until noon Wednesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced.
Tens of billions of dollars spent for disaster preparedness and the lone agency responsible for providing recovery assistance in the midst of crisis fails, once again, to deliver on their promise.