The Washington Post recently reported that the Bush Administration turned down over 800 million dollars in Hurricane Katrina aid from foreign donors. A sampling of offers wasted or rejected: cash money, oil which could be sold for cash, cruise ships for housing, medical supplies, food and water, and search and rescue teams. The U.S. declined 54 of 77 offers of aid from Britain, Canada, and Isreal alone. The incompetence of the Bush administration never ceases to amaze me, so I would like to apologize to all the nations who offered help. Not only that, I would like to accept your offers.
My home took in only about a foot of water. Not much in comparison to what many people lost, but I was not allowed to return to my home and begin clean up for one and a half months. In that time, the furniture and walls soaked up the canal water, the food rotted in the refrigerator and the rain came through the holes in the roof. Since then I've dealt with more than one shady contractor, (they never come back once they realize you're not going to pay them until they begin the work,) and a few honest ones. Dial One put a new roof over my head by Christmas 2005 but the shingles were terrible and failed to sit properly on the roof. After one phone call to my contractor, he had representatives from the manufacturer on-site for an inspection and two weeks later they re-roofed my home at no cost. I also used them for my electrical and plumbing contracting and they've so far performed well.
That said, I'm still running out of money. I was underinsured on the property and content and coupled with the huge increase in materials and labor post-Katrina, I'm finding it difficult to complete my repairs. I tried to apply to the Louisiana Road Home Program, but since I was insured and did not suffer "more than 50% damage" to my home I was ineligible for assistance. Here's where the nations of the world come in; I would like to accept your gracious offers of aid.
To return my home to it's pre-storm condition I'm still short about $20-30,000. this money will be used for the bottom half of my walls, (the sheetrock soaked up canal water and began to mold and had to be removed,) repainting the walls, replacing the electrical outlets, (even though they took no water and currently work, the city informs me they must all be replaced) replacing the kitchen cabinets and appliances which took in water due to a hole in the roof, patio and sidewalk repair, (the concrete has cracked and shifted due to subsidence from floodwaters and even though the city claims to own the sidewalks, they insist it's my job to pay for the repairs,) landscaping, (you have no idea how many new weeds and plants have taken root where the floodwaters stood,) storage for what possessions still remain while the work is done, and repainting the outside of the house. I've already started painting in a red and white color scheme, (I'm of Polish descent,) but if you want, I can paint in the colors of whichever nation would like to throw some cash my way.
Now I'm not just asking for money, (and I really don't expect to get any,) because if there are roving bands of foreign contractors looking to donate materials and labor I'll accept that too! You can stay here with me while you work, there are four bedrooms and two bathrooms. If any nation wishes to help me out here, I'll gratefully erect a brass plaque on the front of the house detailing your contributions to returning my home and my life to a reasonable sense of order. Please send an e-mail and I can arrange for one of your representatives to visit my home. I wouldn't ask you to donate without confirming my veracity.
By the way, this includes the United States of America. If the current administration wishes to take care of its own, that would be just fine by me, but I'm not expecting much more from them than the usual ignorance and carelessness. Thank you all and I look forward to hearing from you!