FEMA tackles an “overload of work” to meet people’s needs

October 19, 2017

No one was prepared for the amount of destruction America faced these past few months, not even the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). America was hit with three major hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria.


“This was beyond anything we could have thought to prepare for,” said Jennifer

Holderman, FEMA’s public information officer.


Despite the obstacles, FEMA is still working hard to meet all the needs of those affected

by the major hurricanes which hit America.


FEMA opened up a disaster recovery center Wednesday, Sept. 20, in Palm Beach

County for people seeking aid. It was supposed to close Sept. 24, but because of the massive need, people just kept coming. It has been almost a month later, and about 100 people are still coming every day.  


“We do not want anyone left behind,” Holderman said.


FEMA is encouraging residents with any significant damage to register for assistance, even if they have insurance. People are able to register for help from FEMA by going online, on the phone, on the app, or a recovery center. The time to register is ending Nov. 9.


It usually takes five to seven days to get an inspection, but because of the magnitude of the event, it could take about three weeks, according to Angel, disaster recovery center manager.


“FEMA cares about those affected in the community and will do their best to help,” Angel said.


When FEMA workers are deployed to help with a disaster, they are deployed for a maximum of 30 days, but because the overload of work, they had to change the minimum to 25 days.


Holderman expressed the difficulties she was facing with being gone from home so long. “We want to go home, I mean we have a job to do, I do not want to leave here until my job is finished, but at the same time, my family wants me home. I wanna go home,” Holderman said.   

Holderman is scheduled to go home Oct. 25 but it is still possible for that to be extended.

FEMA workers are having to put the needs of others before their own desires.


“We are here to do everything we can to get the state of Florida back on the road to

recovery,” Holderman said.



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