Stop FEMA Now Founder Skeptical About Hurricane Sandy Finances
George Kasimos, Founder of Stop Fema Now, talks about the status of many displaces New Jerseyans four years after Superstorm Sandy and why he disputed the claims made by Rep. Frank Pallone that 99 percent of the insurance claims from Sandy were fully processed and millions of dollars had been paid out.
"Welcome to "New Jersey Capitol Report." I'm Steve Adubato. My colleague, Rafael Pi Roman, is on assignment. It is my pleasure to welcome back, once again, George Kasimos, who is the founder of an organization called "Stop FEMA Now" and FEMA stands for? Federal Emergency Management Agency. Okay. We're taping this program in November of 2016, a little over four years after Sandy. What's up with FEMA? What's up with Sandy? Where are we? There's 20,000 people still waiting to get paid. And FEMA's actually lying to our congressmen and senators and saying virtually everybody's paid. Four years... Paid for? Their original claim. When a lot of people... Insurance claims? Insurance claim. A lot of people think we're looking for a grant from FEMA. These are people that paid for flood insurance. Flood insurance program is so big, it would financially devastate insurance companies. So only the government backs it up through the National Flood Insurance Program. Now, we paid flood insurance premiums for decades. We have a claim. We expect to get paid. Four years later and now there has been two incidents of fraud just in New York and New Jersey concerning Sandy claims, and people are still not paid. It's a problem. How do you rebuild if you don't get paid from your insurance company? How did you get into this, George? My home got flooded. And originally we had a problem with the flood maps and they told... I got a letter. My neighbor Jack came to me and gave me a letter and said, "George, our flood insurance is going to go from $1,000 to $30,000 a year." And I said, "There's got to be a problem." And I went to the mayor and the council, and I am a letter writer, and for a month or two, I didn't get any answers. So I just started, the kids started a little Facebook page, and it grew up, and we have tens of thousands of members, not only in New York and New Jersey but across the country because flood insurance premiums are affecting everybody nationally now, not just in New... see, we thought it was a Sandy issue, but it's actually a national issue with flood insurance. So here's the thing, Congressman Frank Pallone, who represents the Jersey Shore area and Monmouth County primarily... Yeah. Holds a hearing, and he's been engaged and involved, and from every indication we have... and Rafael and I have spoken to Congressman Pallone... he talks about how committed he is to helping the residents of Sandy. Now, from my understanding is he was speaking and our partners at NJTV news reporting this..."