As you recall, we had a couple of hurricanes this season. By and large, New Orleans dodged the proverbial bullet (NB: Is there really a proverb about bullets?), but the majority of us still chose to evacuate for Gustav. Yeah, we may be stereotypically stubborn down here, but 90% of us know when to take a hint. And Katrina was a VERY BIG HINT.

As you may also recall, the evacuation did not go exactly as planned. Leaving, we were dicked over by Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, when he chose to shut down I-10 eastbound and forced everyone up I-59. Returning, we were screwed by our screwball mayor, who couldn’t seem to make up his mind about the process of re-entry. The Picayune even published an editorial entitled “Next Time, We’re Not Leaving”. It was definitely a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t moment.

At long last, however, there is some good news to report: FEMA has now made housing assistance available for everyone who evacuated. Specifically: FEMA will reimburse you for the cost of your hotel stay during the evacuation. Seriously: check the image at the top of this post. That’s the letter I got from FEMA just this morning. They’re not going to cover gas or meals or admission to the botanical gardens, but it’s better than nothing.

If you haven’t signed up for disaster assistance from FEMA, you still have time to do so. Click here to visit the Hurricane Gustav disaster page, then follow the links at the top to apply. Eventually, FEMA will kick out a letter and a reimbursement form for you to fill out and turn in. While you’re waiting for that to show up, you should probably go ahead and call the hotel where you stayed during your “hurrication”–unless you’re the really organized type who keeps these sorts of things lying around in accordion files. I am not.

Good luck!

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