The Lessons Of Katrina

As we approach the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, it’s well known that vast areas of the Gulf Coast remain much as they were when the waters receded. What isn’t well known is the extent to which private charity and volunteer organizations have stepped in where the government has failed:

PEARLINGTON, Miss. — The two-by-fours inside the walls of George and Margaret Ladner’s new home are inscribed with biblical verses, each written by one of the Alabama schoolchildren who raised money to buy the lumber.

The framing work on the house was done by a Christian from Pennsylvania, the exterior planking was put up by people from Texarkana, Tex., and a group from Destin, Fla., worked on other details.

“This home was built by the hands of God,” Margaret Ladner, 75, said from the couch of her new living room last week.

In this small rural community, as in much of the hurricane-ravaged Mississippi Gulf Coast, this kind of motley charity effort accounts for the vast bulk of what halting progress has been made in the immense task of rebuilding. Some have managed to get homeowners insurance from simply insurance who have paid out after the waters subsided, but others have not been so lucky.

Above all, hurricanes can have devastating consequences and therefore taking steps to protect your property is fundamental. Consequently, if the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has made you think more seriously about investing in home insurance you might want to do some research into the most popular home insurance providers in your area. Reading from North Dakota? Head to the Homeowners Insurance Cover website for an overview of some of your options.

While the national debate over the recovery has focused on the billions expected in federal aid and insurance, those sources have so far provided little for places such as Pearlington, and charity efforts have constituted more than 80 percent of the home rebuilding completed so far, local and charity officials said.

Those trying to return to some semblance of normalcy may be trying to inject methods to protect their properties against future storms into the way in which they go about caring for their homes. Homes with damaged or blocked gutters, for example, may come off worse in the aftermath of a storm, potentially leading them to look for gutter alternatives so they don’t experience the same sort of problem again in the event of any future storms. With that being said, they could also have a situation where their guttering is causing leaks as well as structural and foundation damage to their homes. Many will have sought Local Gutter Cleaners in order to remove the offending materials so that it cannot worsen the already devastating effects of storms.

Fewer than one in five families here are back in their homes, but nearly all of them have relied to some extent on charity groups, and whilst they may not be able to undertake home improvement projects at this moment in time, it won’t be long until they have the green light, so thinking about what renovations they would like could help them to feel better about the situation. Will they choose to have brick veneer panels, or will they have faux panels? The options are limitless and with the help of the volunteers, it won’t be long until they can finally call their house a home. The waves of volunteers typically come down for a week or two, work during the day and at night sleep on cots and bunks set up in places such as the old school library and huts on the community’s football field.

“Without the volunteers and the donations, we’d still be in the mud,” said Rocky Pullman, a tugboat captain who represents the Pearlington area on the Hancock County Commission.

But what, you might ask about the billions of dollars in aid from Washington that was supposed to rebuild New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast ? Not surprisingly, it’s tied up in bureaucracy:

The reason for the charity’s dominant role in the rebuilding is that little, if any, of the $3.2 billion in federal aid for Mississippi homeowners has reached anyone here — it is tied up for now at the state level. As for insurance, most residents of this rural community lacked any form of flood policy. People say there just hadn’t been a flood in recent memory, and of those who did have coverage, most had too little. Nevertheless, homeowners whose homes were heavily damaged by the storm are still trying their best to ensure that their coverage can cover the renovations needed, like garage door repairs from Owings Mills’ best garage door technicians. As people start to rebuild, some may even think about upgrading and remodeling their homes to bring them fully up to date. One of many examples are residents who are turning to their local Encinitas kitchen remodel services to aid with any repairs, with some looking for a complete remodel of kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

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The $3.2 billion in federal aid disbursed by the Mississippi program has largely been untouchable by people in Pearlington.

The program’s first phase doles out money to people who were flooded but did not live in the federally designated flood zone.

Most people in Pearlington live in the flood zone and must wait for the second phase to begin. Under its guidelines, families of low and moderate-income will be eligible for as much as $100,000, less any insurance and FEMA rebuilding payments they have received. For those buildings and properties that have been flooded, the use of Perminator with new construction can help mitigate this from happening again.

By the time that happens, though, one wonders if the Federal Government will even be needed in Pearlington.