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Anger Over Hurricane Sandy Relief Grows: Could FEMA’s Response Spell Trouble For Obama?

Hurricane Sandy victims overflowing with anger about the alleged lack of help from FEMA and the Red Cross could mean a decrease in support for President Barack Obama on Election Day. The Huffington Post reports that although Obama initially received praise for his handling of the massive disaster, many storm victims are boiling over with fury because they are still without adequate food, clothing, and heat.

After the hurricane the Federal Emergency Management Agency was contracted to provide 24 million gallons of fuel. A total of 230 fuel trucks were sent to New Jersey and New York to be distributed, the Huffington Post also notes. Some local residents are furious that shortages still exist more than a week after the storm. Elaine Kelley at the FEMA headquarters in Washington was unable to clear up the mystery about where all the fuel has gone.

New Dorp resident Carlos Francheshini had this say about disaster aid, according to BusinessInsider:

There’s been no assistance. Everything we have the public has given to us, they bought it at Home Depot. None of it came from the city or government. Every day the smell gets worse.”

Hurricane Sandy victim Jodi Hannula had this to say to CBS New York about the boots on the ground aid:

“Red Cross is here with hot chocolate and cookies. We need blankets, we need pillows, we need clothing. We can get hot chocolate and cookies, we need help!”

The Staten Island Advance reported on Monday that residents can begin registering for disaster relief at mobile FEMA offices. The hurricane victims must provide a list of damages, a bank routing number, and the name of their insurance company. If the claims are processed as quickly as promised, eligible Sandy victims can set up an appointment to have their homes inspected. How long it will take to get a home inspection and direct deposit of monetary aid is unknown. Some of the folks applying for aid may become eligible for a low-interest disaster recovery loan.

Victim Lauren Parks stated the aid has come from neighbors helping each other, that there is no one there from relief agencies to help. Cathy Murphy stated that she did make contact with FEMA, and was told that they would be mailing her a check. Murphy is worried about receiving the check since the post office would have to maneuver along storm damaged roads to make it to her home.

Drop-off centers created by charitable citizens and groups were able to quickly garner dozens upon dozens of bags of gently used clothing, food, and necessity items for the storm victims.