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More than 1000 Katrina Evacuees Remain in KC Area

By Sylvia Maria Gross

Kansas City, MO – More than 1400 Hurricane Katrina survivors were still in the Kansas City area as of last week, according to data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Dan Best, of FEMA's Region 7, says most of the people who came here from the Gulf Coast self-evacuated and already knew people in the area.

DAN BEST: The folks that self-evacuated did it a little before the storm, they had a plan usually which they had already worked out in their mind and they were following which is something that the national weather service highly recommends that everybody do along the gulf coast is that they have a plan to evacuate and where they would go and how they would set up and what kind of contacts they would set up and what kind of resources they would need.

People who were flown to Region 7 from New Orleans after the floods went to St. Louis, Wichita, Omaha and Des Moines. By December, FEMA had registered about 5,500 Katrina survivors in Missouri, and 1200 in Kansas. Best says local governments and non-profit organizations were ready to offer what they could.

DAN BEST: There was a very strong volunteer effort, as is common in the Midwest here and in Missouri in specific, there's a lot of good voluntary organizations which are well-organized and really put forward a strong effort when it comes to disasters of this magnitude.

More than a hundred Katrina survivors received Section 8 housing vouchers in Kansas City, but they have not continued to be tracked by city or state programs.

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