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Disaster Relief

September 23, 2009 | Richard Fausset
The state of Georgia faced continuing headaches and heartache Tuesday from a pernicious series of rainstorms that had claimed the lives of at least seven people and flooded more than 1,000 homes -- although weather forecasters said the worst of the deluge likely had passed. On Tuesday morning, Gov. Sonny Perdue formally asked President Obama for an emergency declaration that would make the hardest-hit areas eligible for federal disaster relief funds. A day earlier, Perdue had declared a state of emergency in 17 counties in the Atlanta area and north Georgia.
February 9, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied nearly 650,000 applications for housing aid after Hurricane Ike hit southeast Texas, finding that nearly 90% of all claimants were ineligible for FEMA help. Those rejected and their attorneys say the inspectors are unqualified or poorly trained, and the inspection system is flawed in ways that withhold help from deserving people. FEMA says the numbers reflect a misunderstanding of the agency's mission. The Houston Chronicle reported that FEMA has received more than 730,000 applications for help with home repairs, mobile homes or other housing services needed after Ike caused widespread damage in September.
September 24, 2008 | From Times staff and wire reports
Gulf Coast officials asked lawmakers for fast federal money for hurricane recovery -- and a minimum of red tape. Texas is looking at $11.4 billion in damage from Hurricane Ike, including $16 million in damage to Houston, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said. Devastation in Galveston is an additional $2 billion, that city's mayor said. Louisiana faces $1 billion in damage, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said. New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said in prepared testimony that the $40-million cost of evacuating his city for Hurricane Gustav had led to hiring freezes and a halt of new expenditures until disaster costs could be reimbursed.
July 29, 2008 | From Reuters
The top U.N. humanitarian affairs official said Monday that the world body had suffered significant losses while delivering cyclone aid to Myanmar because of a distorted official exchange rate. This month, the United Nations issued an appeal for more than $300 million in extra aid to cope with the effects of Cyclone Nargis, which left about 140,000 people dead or missing when it struck the Irrawaddy delta region in early May.
June 10, 2008 | From the Associated Press
U.N. helicopters loaded with relief supplies have reached several areas of Myanmar's Irrawaddy River delta that had been cut off from regular aid since a devastating cyclone five weeks ago, a World Food Program spokesman said Monday. Four of the five aircraft that arrived over the weekend shuttled emergency supplies such as rice and water purification systems to villages, said Paul Risley, the spokesman. More sites were expected to be reached today, he said.
May 24, 2008 | From a Times Staff Writer
Declaring a breakthrough for stalled cyclone relief efforts, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Myanmar's leader had agreed Friday to ease restrictions on foreign aid workers. Senior Gen. Than Shwe agreed to "allow all aid workers regardless of nationalities" so they could "reach all these areas where needy people are still awaiting our help," Ban said. Than Shwe also said the Yangon airport would be a hub for relief deliveries, Ban said. The United Nations chief said Than Shwe took "quite a flexible position on this matter" during their meeting in front of several generals in the military government's remote new capital, Naypyidaw.
May 23, 2008 | From a Times Staff Writer
Among the hundreds of cyclone survivors who staggered through the doors of a monastery here, staring straight ahead and too traumatized to even blink, was one village's last living man. The abbot was quick to care for the group, feeding refugees from rice stockpiled for students who, in better times, came to learn meditation and the wisdom of the Buddha. Within a few days, however, local officials barged into the monastery.
May 9, 2008 | Mark Magnier, Times Staff Writer
The growing standoff as governments and aid groups around the world await necessary approval from Myanmar to bring in large quantities of badly needed emergency supplies suggests a leadership battered by indecision and fear, analysts said. A small quantity of high-energy biscuits arrived Thursday in the isolated nation aboard a commercial flight, but its load paled against the enormous needs of a battered population.
February 27, 2008 | Amanda Covarrubias, Times Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a cabinet-level office for volunteer service Tuesday that aims to raise the profile of volunteerism and emergency relief in a state beset by wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Schwarzenegger named Karen Baker, executive director of the governor's commission for volunteerism, as secretary of service and volunteering, the first such state cabinet position in the country, he said.
February 13, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Some of the thousands of trailers sitting unused since they were purchased by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2005 for Gulf Coast hurricane victims may finally be put to use -- to help victims of last week's tornadoes. Some members of Congress have accused FEMA of playing down the danger of possible formaldehyde contamination in the trailers -- more than 6,300 of them stored at the Hope airport -- but an agency spokesman said that the trailers were safe. The decision to use some of the trailers for Arkansas and Tennessee twister victims comes after requests by state officials and members of Arkansas' congressional delegation, who have criticized the trailers in the past as a sign of federal ineptitude after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
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