Friday, October 07, 2005

Comments on Very Odd FEMA Decisions at Falls Creek Remote Rural FEMA Camp

I'm really wondering about this.. Has anyone heard anything?

6-9-2005 That is friggin WEIRD, Val. By the way, thanks for helping people out like this. Its nice to know that Christian charity is not dead. The whole story kinda gave me the creeps. But it also shows the massive failure of burocracy. FEMA rejecting your clothing donations, when they probably wouldnt have enough after sorting through what they had? Bill O'Reily, who I seldom agree with, made an excellent point about relying on or trusting the government to help you or do anything for you. Its a farce. FEMA's management of this disaster, plus the blunders of Homeland security show how top heavy, slow, and a waste of space the government agencies are. Apart
from the military, the helping hand from the average private citizen has been more effective and better organized. Hell, your church seemed to be doing far more to help the victims/refugees/detainees than the idiotic feds.

Thanks for sharing these pics and the story though. Im begining to think that stories of FEMA detention camps and such aint so crazy after all.

posted on 6-9-2005 Does it seem to strange to anyone else that within a matter of days FEMA has leased this whole place, set up complete communications, security, staff, organized id and housing systems, setup a system of rules which everyone has already been trained to understand, prepared organized buckets of toys for the kiddies, racks of clothes, etc. etc. etc...???

I mean it's not like the church leased out the property last month or even last week, yet the paperwork has all been done and the staff is ready and in place. For a government agency that didn't even show up until almost a week after the crisis hit, it sure seems a bit odd that something like this would come together so well so soon.

BTW, what exactly happens in 5 months when the lease is up and obviously these people still have no homes, no where to go, haven't been in contact with the outside world in almost half a year and have basically just been held captive under conditions that are similar to a military quarentine facility or POW camp without the torture??? There weren't any any large "shower rooms" with unfamiliar pipes or exhaust fans attached to them anywhere to be seen were there???

posted on 6-9-2005 All through the aftermath of the hurricane I was thinking about this before Vall's post. My question is this - what happens after 5 months when those Americans have been de-Americanized so to speak? No one can say that all they've been through including detaining them so far away from society can be good for them.

Think about the institutionalization people suffer from in prison and mental hospitals, not to mention camps of this nature. Even under the best conditions and with food and shelter and a warm bed, they will be undergoing who knows what while they are in confinement.

What will happen after? can't believe what I'm reading. They can't leave?? Why the prison conditions? What have these people done but lose everything? I have suspicions about everything I've heard and seen so far. I notice how quickly people are to turn on 'looters' and 'thugs' as they are
now known in the rhetoric of this disaster.

It all sounds too familiar because most of the US went down this path when Iraq and Saddam were turned into the scapegoats for 911.

The people are said not to be allowed to leave the camp for any reason for at least 5 months. What is not being allowed to leave a location in the middle of nowhere for 5 months called then if it isn't detention or detainment?

I don't think that was said. They can leave, but cannot come back was what I understood. Now given the location and the total lack of any personal property this may be more than a trivial exercise. But if a relative calls me from the camp based on what I understood from the intial post I could go and pick them up. But they cannot return.

Right. I want to make this clear (according to what the host said). They can leave. They can't come back. If they have family/friends that will put them up, the host said they could leave to go stay with some one...but they can't come back.

Who knows...maybe FEMA will taking them on buses some times some where. It's 25 miles to the nearest "large town" if they want to go shopping. It's about 70-80 miles to Oklahoma City which would be the closest "shopping mall".

6-9-2005 Thanks for clarifying that. I was under the impression they couldn't leave at all.
Lets hope alot of these people have family elsewhere in the US that will take them in.
And yeah Valhall, my comment about the scavengers is the Mainstream press. I'd say milk them for as much as you can with everything you can and turn the money over to charity. They are portraying survivors of Katrina as monsters, losers and vermin.

6-9-2005 I have another possible explanation for the way this is being handled, especially the "if you leave you can't come back" policy. Perhaps FEMA is worried that the refugees will get used to living in these camps at the expense of the state and will become financial and logistical burdens indefinitely, so FEMA is ensuring that life in the camps is as unbearable as possible whilst still within the limits of public acceptability. Then, when people can't stand the isolation, the lack of entertainment (TV, etc), the lack of milk for Pete's sake, and especially the lack of independence or opportunity to find work, they will start to leave of their own accord. This then absolves the
Feds of any responsibility since they, on the surface, provided shelter and food, the rules were made clear, yet the refugees still left of their own free will.

The Detainment Camp theory seems to be somewhat in line with some popular conspiracy theories, many of which I myself am a proponent, but I think we may need to call out Uncle Occam with his shaving kit for this one, at least this time. Have to wait and see I guess...

6-9-2005 Is the area with the cabins enclosed by a fence or otherwise? Or is it possible to just stroll away from the cabin for a walk through the hills?

Apparently you have been in touch with your church officials, correct? Maybe they can offer some insight. What is/are the closest major highway(s) into this area from LA? I'm just wondering if someone could intercept the convoy and mingle with the evacuees along the way at a rest area or similar. Get a feel for the type of people being bussed in.

As far as the statements "you can leave but you can't come back", you should try to get your hands on any hardcopy documents stating as much. It's a very interesting scenario. It could all add up to nothing, but there are some parts of this that I'd like to hear more about. Keep us posted.

6-9-2005 Well first of all I'd like to give thanks to Valhall. That was one of the most excellent stories I've ever seen, and I'm glad you took the time to report it. I'm also thankful that they're people like who're willing to do so much for disaster victims. But on the other hand I find this story disturbing, very very disturbing. Something is definitely wrong here, I have to admit I've never
heard of anything quite like this. This seems almost inhumane, even considering the circumstances. However I have to ask, why on earth would they do such a thing. Nearest I can tell it seems a bit controlative, depsite the fact that these aren't very happy people. I have to say, I smell a conspiracy, but even this one puzzles me to no end.

6-9-2005 Church official, yes. My father is a deacon of the church. Springer will contact the preacher today to follow up after my visit and see what he has been told about access. As far as the route - I-35 up to the Highway 77 - Turner Falls/Davis, Oklahoma exit. The camp is approximately 160 acres. Treat it as a circle for all intents and purposes. 2/3 of that circle is fenced, the back 1/3 is closed off by mountains. If you decide to leave the camp over the mountains you would be hiking through fairly rugged country. But if they find their way to Devil's Bathtub (it's up in the mountains and a favorite "trek" for the teenagers who go to summer camp), they could follow the creek bed and end up finding their way to the interstate. That would be quite a trek, especially if you had kiddos with you.

6-9-2005 quote: Originally posted **** What is/are the closest major highway(s) into this area from LA? I'm just wondering if someone could intercept the convoy and mingle with the evacuees along the way at a rest area or similar. Get a feel for the type of people being bussed in. Valhall mentioned that it was about 70 miles to Oklahoma City If I recall so here are the Directions from NOLA to Oklahoma City or about 720 miles. I do not know if the took a direct route or came from some FEMA staging area or even from Texas

6-9-2005 Valhall, I wonder if this is the small amount of money they were talking about?
quote: Patrick Rhode, deputy director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said evacuees would receive debit cards so that they could begin buying necessary personal items. He said the agency was going from shelter to shelter to make sure that evacuees received cards quickly and that the paperwork usually required would be reduced or eliminated. Cash Cards

6-9-2005 We have been told that the refugees coming to this camp are coming straight from some where in Louisiana. Second issue - i'd damned sure hope they aren't going to make these people pay for personal items when we were told yesterday there has been so much materials donated by the members of churches of Oklahoma that FEMA has had to rent two warehouses, one in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and one in Davis, Oklahoma to house the stuff.

6-9-2005 I'm a speechless. This Oklahoma place is in the United States of America isn't it?

There is an interesting thread where an ex Airforce Vet who was trained in disaster relief deployment discusses why deployment didn't happen for four days: Another possibility
She gives some pretty detailed info on what she was trained to do and indicated that disaster relief vehicles and resources were in place close by and could've been easily and quickly deployed to provide relief to the victims, so the excuses on why there was a four day delay in providing disaster relief just don't cut it. I wonder... If the powerplant in N.O. became flooded, wouldn't that introduce "toxins" into the flood waters, causing anyone exposed to the water to be exposed to radiation?

Katrina quote: Originally posted by **** While everyone worries about roo for the Katrina victims, I cant stop thinking that Joel Olstein for example amongst many other TV preachers have gigantic Churches and could very well open them to the victims... of course that would imply loosing a couple of weekend donations.... What you have to remember about Joel Osteen and his ilk is that helping hurricane victims in an organized church way does not correspond to his positive Christianity outlook of the rich christian life. The obvious class distinctions of his message and his blatant appeals for material greed as the reward for being a good christian does not contrast well with the obvious need of the evacuees. Since the class he is trying to endear himself to with the old Gospel of Wealth message have a low tolerance for bad circumstances, it is not profitable for him to help these people. Contrast what Jesus himself says in the Gospel in the Synagouge of Nazerath with this man's pandering to the rich and the rich want-to-be's.

Aid turned away in Colorado V is not alone, seems to be the same here too:
In flood of helping, don’t forget local needs Colorado Springs recently received its first contingent of exhausted, shellshocked Katrina evacuees. I went down to the Red Cross disaster relief headquarters with a basket of clothing, and to offer pedicures to the weary women from New Orleans. But I was met at the door by a uniformed police officer guarding access to the evacuees."
I found this on google news I didnt read this entire thread, but I imagine someone from here wrote it. Definiitely check out ...
The link above in ***post. It is a lot of info, the gal doing it is posting as she discovers stuff and having a few problems. That said, her thesis could explain a lot of what Val saw/was told at Falls Creek. Even before I got to that thread, I didn't find the Falls Creek story all that alarming. The medical personel in blue jumpsuits would eventually have included nurses and doctors trained for this kind of thing. Overloading the emergency rooms of nearby Oklahoma towns would have created a much worse problem.

FEMA has to "outsource" some of the work. I really don't see that the State of Oklahoma's response and preparation has been out of line for what the needs, problems and available resources are likely to be. If anything, they seem to have done a pretty good job of having secured living quarters for that number of people and the fire trucks, ambulances, etc ready and waiting. Having lived with too
little police protection, the evacuees might just be very happy to have the extras.

On top of the medical concerns, including the exposure to the toxic waters, there will be many psychological issues. In addition to depression, it is extremely difficult to gauge what kinds of PTSD reactions will start to surface as time elapses. If these people are from the thousands stranded in NO, not those who evacuated before the storm, they probably had inadequate health care going into this. Could a summer camp that has heating, out of an urban area and away from a lot of TV, actually be better for people who need to decompress and pull themselves together? Part of the success of Outward Bound and similar wilderness experiences is due to the healing capacity of mother nature - even for urbanites.

Perhaps the camp command doesn't have the capacity to take 1000 + people to local churches. Um, do the Church members who camp there go to the local churches or have services right where they are? As far as self-deployment in standard disaster situations, it can be a real problem. Even if you have some training, the incidence of well intended rescuers becoming victims is too high. Since this was far in excess of a standard disaster and the Federal response was not happening, a lot of people went on in. In the case of places like Falls Creek, the potential for a few nuts to create significant problems is the adult version of the idiots who had to put their chewing gum under the desks in grade school. And far more dangerous.

The requests for people to bring donated items to central distribution areas saves the trouble of having to take the donated clothes, etc back to the women who volunteer their time to check them. And sometimes cash is needed - to pay for gas, electricity, unusual needs, food. It seems very likely that some of the initial precautions will be relaxed once people have been medically checked out and settled in. If they haven't given up on the site altogether, it will have plenty of scrutiny. I have debated about bringing up what may seem trivial. To me, it is a part of American culture that is very confused. Given all the posts ending with "Pop Tarts are NOT junk food" I have to comment. Maybe it is the definition of junk food that is the problem. Having studied nutrition for 40 years and been in health care for almost 30 (RN), this is frankly an enormous problem that we are paying for in health care costs. And it is only going to get worse.

I went to the aisle with pop tarts yesterday to check the contents - in case they had improved. I only looked at the ones without the frosting. Pop Tarts have calories and a few vitamins from the "enriched" white flour. The calories are from simple carbohydrates and fats. The fat is partially hydrogenated and pop tarts have negligible fiber or protein. The simple carbs drive blood sugar up very rapidly requiring the pancreas to dump a lot of insulin in the blood. After enough years of doing this, you are very likely to become a diabetic. A healthy snack -or meal- is low in simple carbs ( fresh fruit excepted), has a balance of carbs, fats and protein, plus fiber and naturally occuring vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. A high quality daily vitamin/mineral supplement is now advocated by most nutritionists and doctors.

Want to talk conspiracy? Do you pay attention to the food industry commercials? The one I can't believe is the gal watching a basketball game with her box of Cheese Its. In the dark background you see headlights and her husband enters as she frantically changes the channel to a tear jerker movie, hides the crackers and picks up a kleenix. Hubby decides to go upstairs to watch the game
and she waits for him to be out of earshot to change the channel and bring out the cracker box while the voiceover says to "Get your own box" So, instead of sharing the game together and sharing the box; the couple should practice deception so they can have their own box of junk food?

I would certainly hope that the people in the camps could eventually be allowed to do some cooking - especially what are called "comfort foods". It would also be beneficial for their mental health and some of it could be in the Red Cross or Salvation Army food prep centers.. Teaching their secrets of LA cooking would be another boost to their sanity. These things can be worked out - when they
have absorbed the initial shock and are up to the daily grind of fixing meals. While I have concerns about government secrecy, taken to major excess by this administration, I still try to look at a situation believing that people operate out of good intentions and are usually willing to correct mistakes if not put on the defensive.oh boy i really have to re-read thisHave we determined that all prisoners have been accounted for in NO? It appears that up here in the northeast, the evacuees are being called detainees by some groups in the military.

When Bush asked for everyone in NO to please be identified and he used the $2000 card as an incentive, I wondered if that was part of a cover-up operation to flush out some released fugitives.
Any thoughts on this? Slightly off topic?


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