It is hard to be critical of an organization like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, given the huge tasks it faces after storms like Superstorm Sandy.
But on Monday night's television news there was a story about a woman who was staying in her mostly destroyed home on the East Coast so she could ward off looters.
She had been contacted by a FEMA official and had been advised that it would be "seven to 10 days" before they could determine if she was eligible for temporary housing.
Imagine - she won't even know for up to a week and a half if she is even eligible for the housing. And this conversation took place six days after the storm.
In the meantime, the poor woman sits in her ravaged house without power. Every couple of hours she goes out and starts her car. She turns on the auto's heater to get warm.
Maybe there is something to be said for directing the bulk of FEMA's money directly to the states. Certainly state officials should have a better handle on where - and how much - temporary housing is available.
As we stated at the beginning, we are not criticizing FEMA. It is simply too far removed from communities facing natural disasters to be able to react quickly.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.