Thursday, November 13, 2008

Am I Special or Not?

So my lender tells me I'm in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and will need to get flood insurance. I went online to the FEMA website. I tried to view maps of my area and determine the flood zone. I tried to print. I tried to download the map for $2.50, and after an EIGHT-MINUTE download, I couldn't open the file because it was too large. I went back to see whether I could do it differently and it began the endless re-load, which I stopped.

I found a LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment), which says that a particular parcel has been re-zoned. Get this: the letter is addressed to Mayor Daley, and states that he should make this publicly available because FEMA would not be distributing it to lenders or insurance personnel.

Oh, and then I get a pop-up Survey form FEMA. One question asked, "What would you change about this site?" I answered, "Good God, EVERYTHING!" I mentioned the ridiculous, slow, cumbersome map-viewing software, the circular links, the slow downloads. I offered that my visit to the FEMA website explained a lot about the Katrina response. Oh, yes I did. I WENT there.

I also sent them an email asking them whether they understood that they are supposed to be an agency of rapid response.

Oh, and it looks like while I'm snuggled next to an SFHA, it looks like I'm not in one.

Of course, I tried using my insurance agent, but the woman I was dealing with seemed to be, well, stupid, It was a sthough this was unfamiliar territory for her, so she wasn't doing anything. I did find an agent through the FEMA site, so I'll call them tomorrow.

Why does all of life feel like neverending work?

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