I had intended to write a blog about FEMA bulletin W-15023 which was released on Friday May 29, 2015. In my initial reading of the bulletin I was happy to see that FEMA was bringing a common sense approach to claims handling, at least for total loss structures. The bulletin was an amendment to the claims adjuster manual and removed the stringent requirements of a room by room and line by line replacement estimate when the structure was unsafe to enter. Rather, the new bulletin stated the estimator was to measure the footprint of the building and use their best efforts to map out the interior of the building to closely approximate what was there.

That is the blog I intended to write, however, when I return to FEMA’s website to retrieve a copy of the bulletin to post here, I was shocked to learn that not three days after its publication, FEMA rescinded the bulletin. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, FEMA has suffered a massive public relations blow and has taken steps to try to correct its response to Sandy and future events. Bulletin w-15023 was a giant step in the right direction, but appears to have been a step too far for the agency.

We can hope that Bulletin W-15023 was withdrawn only to be fine tuned and re-released, but only time will tell. This back and forth reminded me of this old song I remember hearing on my dad’s radio as a kid: