We are still in Dunedin in the Mothership. I had some observations about the impact of Wilma that I posted over on our flight simulator scenery web site. Since many of the reports were by our users I don't feel I have the rights to post them again here but you can go to the discussion thread by clicking here and read them yourself. One of our users has a real knack for reporting.
My interface with FEMA was a kind of surreal experience. You can read my post over on the Freeflow site but basically all I was looking for was some reimbursement for relocation expense. We moved the Mothership up here to Dunedin since the power was off in our neighborhood for nine or ten days. I figured I would apply to FEMA just to get some compensation. I will not repeat what I posted over at the Freeflow site but the bottom line is that I got a big packet of stuff in the mail at home that related mostly to small business assistance loans. My neighbor and good friend called me on the phone to tell me that. Nothing in it that seemed to relate to expenses incurred for moving or for buying a generator. I called FEMA again and they told me to just attach all of my receipts to a note with my FEMA registration number and they would be reviewed for payment. What? I started thinking about what it would be like if I were poor and lived in New Orleans or even in South Florida. I would have no power, no phone, no computer and would be just waiting for someone to help. Ok, so maybe I could get to a phone and apply to FEMA. Then I would get a big packet of forms in the mail relating to small business loans? What if my mailbox and house had been destroyed? There has to be a better way. Got to my Freeflow site here and read some of the observations of our users over there. Very interesting.
We are planning on returning the Mothership to her base next Tuesday. Power has been restored in our neighborhood but the infrastructure down there has been hit hard. It will be months or years before things get back to normal. Years? Hurricane season starts up again in 8 months or less. Hmmm. Think, about that and the fact that all of the experts predict that we are moving into ten or twenty years of much more active hurricane seasons than we have been in for the last twenty or thirty years.