Tupi arrived in Florida to meet Justin again. "How are things?" Tupi asked.
"Bad..." Justin said. "Quite disappointed with people. How is Dominican Republic and Haiti doing after the storm?"
Tupi immediately recalled his experience in the hurricane. "Oh that..." Tupi said. "I don't see any thing particularly wrong there."
As Tupi went to the large supermarket to get some toiletries, they ran out of a lot of basic necessities, like baby milk formula, water and fruits. "Its like a war zone down here." Justin said. "We are not that affected. But this is crazy.. People are hoarding."
"This is ridiculous." Tupi said. "Outright disgusting."
Tupi was not affected as he could find soap, tooth brush and toothpaste. As Justin drove by some other stores, Tupi saw some supplies stocked at the gas station. "They have it there..."
As Justin drove by, Tupi saw the price of a carton of bottled water. "Seriously??" Tupi exclaimed. "$50 for a carton of bottled water?"
"Not all the supplies arrive yet, and there is still a gap, and many people are looking to make a quick buck." Justin said. "That is why I have stock stored away in my basement."
"There are also a lot of fraud." Justin said. "There are robo calls calling to tell you they can help claim from FEMA for a fee, there are also calls that tell you your insurance lapsed and need to pay them quickly. I paid a contractor to clear up debris from my yard. He took half the money, started removing some debris, and left. I never saw him again."
"Why are people cheating the victims of the hurricane?" Tupi asked. "Don't they have morals?"
"Some cheats will tell me that they can help me claim for damages, even though my house was not damaged." Justin said. "I've seen reports here to tell people not to donate to fake sites set up to get donations even when they do not do work here."
"What happens when there is so much fraud?" Tupi asked. "Does the government do anything?"
"Well, these fraud cases simply cause the claims to be delayed as the investigators need to look at every claim and the government has taken more time to investigate their legitimacy, and longer to pay benefits. Yup, the victims suffer when this happens."
Justin and Tupi returned to the house. Much of the streets are cleaned up and the flooding was gone. "Are people still in shelters?" Tupi asked.
"Nope, they are home now. Slowing repairing their houses, but most of them are home or with relatives." Justin said. "Sadly, the money and help is slow to come in. Some FEMA inspectors also want some money on the side to come first... Not sure how true it is, but the situation is bad."
As Tupi was on the road, he noticed that some parts of town still had no power and some restaurants were still closed after a week. "Seem like Dominican Republic and Haiti either got less damage or recovered faster." Tupi said.
"Probably recovered faster." Justin said. "They get disasters more than us. And our government is not particularly fast in providing support to regular people. Just good at giving money to the rich. Don't worry, I have food at home, we have dinner at my place."
Tupi was still a little shocked to find out that disaster recovery in Florida is slower than in Haiti and Dominican Republic. When Tupi unpacked, he found the MRE and Lifestraw he bought and said. "I hope I can use them here, or give it to people who can use them."
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