Young People Reflect On Hurricane Response, Recovery So Far

By Toni Miles - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Life is pretty much back to normal for James Demoruelle, but nearly three years ago, he, his mother and father sought refuge in the attic as Katrina destroyed most of their home.

"We got in our attic, and we sat there for a good two hours and wind and everything. It was pretty rough," Demoruelle said.

His family became one of thousands waiting for a FEMA trailer. It finally came in November of 2005, but Demoruelle wishes the temporary housing had arrived sooner.

"It kind of felt long. Because we had to live with my aunt, and it was really tight. And we had to live with ten of us in there," Demoruelle said.

Teenager Kyle Mitchum gives the President high marks for the way he's handled Katrina and the aftermath of the storm.

"I think President Bush has done a good job. He got relief down here afterwards, and he's still helping with supplies. And there's still money coming down here, so I think he's doing a pretty good job," Mitchum said.

One thing the federal government will be handling differently, should another disaster strike, is ice distribution. In future disasters, FEMA will only give ice out for people with medical emergencies or life threatening situations. State and local governments will be responsible for the rest.

All three of these young men agree the ice distribution after the storm helped out a lot and hope it will be available should another storm hit.

"We got ice and water brought to us when we were at the house you know, at the house with no power," said Price Tyson.

"I do think it's an essential item because if we don't have ice, how are we going to keep our food and drinks and water and all that cold?" Mitchem asked.

President Bush will make a speech on Wednesday morning in New Orleans and meet with leaders here on the Mississippi Coast later that day.