Tallahassee, FL – Many concerned citizens who have been affected by hurricanes know the real problems with well sponsored organizations such as Salvation Army and the American Red Cross. Although both agencies look helpful and self-assuring from the outside, their inner intentions have been so often misunderstood, and no one knows better than a hurricane victim. Unfortunately, no one felt it important to create awareness about the hazards of mold or any intervention techniques.
Case in Point
Chantelle Murray of Perry, Florida barely survived the effects of the last hurricane season. Since Murray’s home was soon infested with dangerous, pathogenic molds from the hurricane damage, she began to exhibit extreme symptoms from these disease ridden molds. She, along with her husband and four children became very sick from the active fungal growth inside their home and abandoned it, only to cross-contaminate their RV that they were residing in parked in their driveway. Murray and her children were exhibiting several symptoms of mycotoxicosis, including respiratory difficulties, memory and cognitive problems, serious rashes, anxiety, vomiting, bruising, and her son was even uncharacteristic autism like behavior.
Murray, concerned about the safety and welfare of her family, contacted FEMA out of desperation. The administrative staff was supportive, as she says, but provided no assistance. They arranged an appointment for a FEMA inspector to assess the damages. The inspector who came out to investigate the fungal contamination of their home and RV was neither sympathetic nor understanding. In fact, in the words of Murray, he was downright rude. He told Murray that FEMA doesn’t help victims of mold infestation, even in the case of a hurricane, as this was not a disaster. That night, Murray’s daughter, Arielle, had such severe health problems related to the fungal exposure, was rushed to the hospital. The following day, Murray contacted the American Red Cross, who emulated the same disposition, mold, even caused by water damage from hurricanes, is not a crisis and is the individual’s own problem.
General Lack of Help
These stories are becoming all too often with no recourse. Red Cross has had previous problems with misappropriation of funds and ineffective emergency management assistance and this is another prime example. Red Cross has actually done very little, if any efforts to assist hurricane victims and are not even present in most emergency areas at present. Mold Help received a generous donation from Anthony Scirpoli from Bio-Science of their enzyme-based antimicrobial to help clean up their moldy trailer that the family was residing in their driveway that became cross-contaminated as a result of their mold infested belongings from their home. Bio-Science has been extremely helpful to hurricane victims with their compassion, resources and generosity. Mold Help, Bio-Science and a few, select other proactive organizations are currently working on a mold prevention program to assist and encourage safe building practices for healthier living. This will be announced shortly.
Since the pharmaceutical industry has little impact on the healing of fungal exposure, there appears to be a general lack of help with any aspect of this nightmare. Murray finally found a physician who was trained in treating mold patients. He put her on Cholestyramine (CSM), a renowned remedy for patients who are poisoned with chemical and environmental pollutants. After a lengthy protocol of these, Murray was not recovering so she finally asked MH for some assistance since she felt she was only treating the symptoms and only removing trace toxins in her system. We recommended our well-researched nutriceutical therapy, and within two weeks, she began to feel much better (MH may possibly make this protocol available to our readers, due to prevalent demand). A month later, Murray and her family are beginning to feel as though they are on their way to recovery, with no help from FEMA, the Red Cross, or even her high-priced environmental physician who prescribed drugs as opposed to what worked for her. Sadly, she is living in a hotel room with her family until they can find a way to purchase a new trailer or find clean temporary housing that is not infested with mold since they are all hyper-sensitized to the very fungal properties that poisoned them in the first place.
Murray’s story is not an isolated one. Strong criticism of the response to hurricane Katrina is leading to suggestions by some lawmakers that the primary U.S. government agency responsible for handling emergencies should be separated from the large and fairly dysfunctional Department of Homeland Security created after the September 11, 2001 alleged terrorist attacks.
Perhaps in the media you have seen the faces of terrorized hurricane victims screaming, “How can this happen in America?” Obviously many are still ignorant about the woes of many. Hundreds of thousands of mold victims have been saying this for years as this nation turns their back on them at their greatest time of need. Everyone ignores this problem and its only going to get worse, until someone does something that is proactive for the public, in general. In this country it is time to understand that it is about every person for themselves because there is no real assistance.
When the huge and over-controlling Department of Homeland Security was created in the wake of the unprecedented 2001 terrorist attacks, what had been the autonomous Federal Emergency Management Agency was included in the massive reorganization.
FEMA was never without its own massive problems, but the false hope was supposedly that America’s ability to respond to emergencies would be dramatically improved, which it didn’t. However, most of the attention was focused on how to deal with potential new alleged terrorist attacks and the main self-incurred problems were never dealt with effectively in the first place. This was an ill-fated attempt at an already bungling group of bureaucratic waywardness.
Few imagined that the first major test for FEMA would be the hundreds of thousands of complaints stemming from victims of the aftermath of these disasters. These victims have lost their homes and health from the effects of toxigenic mold as a result of the first catastrophe, but only to fall on deaf and dumb ears. The second major test for FEMA would come from what could be the most second most costly natural disaster in U.S. history and the devastation of a major U.S. city, Hurricane Katrina.
So, in other words, FEMA only appears to care for the superficial top layer of a ‘federal emergency’ and leave the bulk of the disaster to the innocent citizens of this country. This is clearly another case of government fluff over substance which is leaving the American people more vulnerable to death and disasters than ever before. What is the government doing over this debauchery on humanity? They appear to be doing absolutely nothing. It appears to be their intent that scratching the mere surface of a major problem is better than nothing. Where have we seen this stance with the government before? Let’s see. . . Just let your imagination loose with that thought.
Why doesn’t FEMA want to do a real service to the American people by serving the victims of disasters properly? Because after the big headlines of natural disasters, the thousands of affected people just fall through the proverbial cracks of truth and no one cares about picking up the pieces since the attention of the problem has been diverted to another media headline. Never mind that thousands of mold victims lose their health and homes everyday, no one wants to hear about that, nor will anyone want to hear about the mold contaminated areas affected by the hurricanes, because in the eyes of the American consumer, its yesterday’s news. But unlike past hurricanes, there has not yet been one of this magnitude, and it leaves many wondering if they can sweep the horrendous after-effects under the rug as has always happened in the past. With that said, FEMA wasn’t set up to handle disasters properly, bottom line.
Republican Congressman Michael Burgess of Texas, where thousands of evacuees from New Orleans are ending up, points to bureaucracy he says hampered a more effective response. “Trying to get assets and food and supplies to where they are needed has been too laborious, it has taken too many steps, and we need to eliminate those barriers now and get those assets where they are needed,” he said.
Republican Congressman Roy Blunt underscores the importance of learning lessons from the situation in New Orleans. “Hard lessons have been learned, tragic lessons have been learned I hope, but I hope lessons have been learned that we have to respond more quickly, we have to respond in the right ways and be sure our priorities are right,” he said.
President Bush’s acknowledgement that relief and rescue operations were not acceptable unleashed a wave of new criticism and calls for FEMA to be removed from the Department of Homeland Security, which never should have been under such hopeless jurisdiction in the first place. Bush went on to cover his sorrowful leadership tactics by stating that FEMA’s director was doing a “fabulous” job. But regardless where FEMA’s jurisdiction lies, it will never be a competent resource for handling national catastrophes because it is understaffed, over- subjugated, and so limited in it?s resources to handle these disasters, there is no way that it can ever succeed and be the agency it is supposed to be. The excuses made to long-term victims are also inexcusable as an apparent government of cowards, greedy opportunists, and ‘yes men’ bureaucrats continues to topple the economy to disaster.
Republican [Florida] Congressman Mark Foley urges a top-to-bottom review of FEMA operations, saying the agency is stuck in what he calls a top-heavy bureaucracy. He will introduce legislation to remove FEMA from the homeland security department.
New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell says there are no excuses for what he calls [incompetent] relief operations. He describes FEMA as dysfunctional, asserting that it can’t carry out its responsibilities effectively within a larger Department of Homeland Security focused on terrorism rather than natural disasters. Why wasn’t anything said before, when so many helpless citizens have lost their homes to mold? If mold is supposedly so sublime, or not a disaster, why did George Bush have the governor’s mansion evacuated in Austin when he was a resident there? Why did he have the mansion remediated of the mold at the cost of the taxpayers for over $300,000? Additionally, why did he have the Whitehouse remediated of mold last year at the cost of $1.3 million? Other politicians in similar situations sought alternative means for moldy residences such as manufactured housing donations, living in their own homes, etc., but not Bush. Why was it an ’emergency’ for him to have his own residence remediated at the cost of the taxpayers, but not for anyone else? Its because in the eyes of the government the good citizens of this country are not as important as George almighty and the cost is simply too high.
In the face of tough criticism from the media and others this past week, FEMA Director Michael Brown had this defense of his agency. “This is an ongoing disaster. This disaster did not end the day [hurricane] Katrina made landfall. We had pre-positioned men, equipment, supplies, truckloads, caravans, search and rescue teams, all of those, to move in as soon as it was safe to do so,” he claimed.
Mr. Brown declined, during an ABC Television interview last week, to respond directly to a statement by the local head of emergency operations in New Orleans who described FEMA’s coordination efforts as a national disgrace. Nor has he commented on the false ignorance that FEMA’s representatives portray as they are bombarded by sickened mold victims who cannot live in their hurricane rampaged homes due to the disease ridden mold that sickens them, some to the point of death.
FEMA additionally fails to give emergency loans to these victims as many reside in homeless shelters, trailers in their driveways, and even their cars. As politics plays more and more of a role in the debate, one lawmaker (Democratic Congresswoman Diane Watson, has already called for a congressional inquiry into the government’s response to the hurricane emergency.
House Republican majority leader Tom DeLay claims Congress will examine how the relief effort was handled and, in his words, what kind of reorganization might be needed so that decisions are made more quickly. This sounds more like a marketing plan to cover damage control; the lack of assistance that was provided to hurricane victims. Remember, this is only scratching the surface once again as they are just talking about immediate assistance. The government prefers to use the words stop-gap measures. In this respect we should just call FEMA a stop-gap measure agency because that is all it really is.
In light of the news that our government agenices are failing the American public, American’s have loss a grand sense of security and trust towards the Bush administration and government in general. The people are quickly learning, as thousands of mold victims have so blatantly in the past, that in case of emergency, it is basically every man for himself. The consumer confidence index has dropped dramatically in the last week, and there are much higher than average numbers of home refinances this week than anytime in the past year. Americans are frightening and have little confidence in a government they trusted in the past to protect and assist them if they needed it. Now the truth is finally coming out and these actions speak much louder than words.