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FEMA In Hot Water After Hurricane Victims Discover What They 'Gave' Them

When you’re communicating via social media, email, or text, a quick proofread can help you avoid a ton of unnecessary problems. While some folks are particularly diligent about doing just that, even the best of us can fire off a quick message without giving it a once-over. Oftentimes, serious calamity is avoided by that oversight. However, there are times when that carelessness can open up a gigantic can of worms.

As the Daily Dot shares, that recently happened to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also known as FEMA. The agency’s Region 4 social media account was quickly attempting to relay some helpful information for the victims of Hurricane Irma. The massive storm did a number on the state of Florida, and there are scores of victims out there in need of help. As such, the agency was attempting to reach as many people as possible in an efficient manner.

“#FL: If your roof was damaged due to Hurricane #Irma, Operation Blue Roof may be able to help: 1-800-ROOF-BLU or http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/blueroof/,” the agency wrote.

Since there’s plenty of folks out there with damaged roofs right about now, there was a lot of response to the post. Unfortunately, there was a slight problem with the number provided. Callers were greeted with offers for a whole different world of services.

“Welcome to America’s hottest talk line. Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you. Press ‘1’ to connect, free, now,” the message blared.

Ok, so is FEMA engaged in other kinds of assistance as well? Not quite. It seems that there was a rather large typo in the original tweet. As opposed to the correct prefix of 1-888, the agency included 1-800 in its post. Dialing that prefix plus the number provided directed callers to a phone sex hotline.

“That was a different kind of assistance,” exclaimed an anchor for the local NBC affiliate in Fort Myers.

This was an embarrassing and avoidable gaffe, and we can only hope that callers that called the incorrect number were able to quickly get their hands on the correct number. In a perfect world, they were able to have a little chuckle when all was said and done. As we can all imagine, a little levity is probably a very welcome thing for those that have had their lives impacted by a devastating storm.

In any event, this incident helps shine a bright light on how imperative proofreading really is in the grand scheme of things. Misspellings, poorly-phrased sentences, typos, and grammatical errors can easily give the words and sentiments you’re trying to convey a whole new meaning. That will lead you to have to explain yourself even further in a best case scenario. For a worst case scenario, look no further than FEMA Region 4. We would imagine the agency will be taking the time to proofread each and every one of its social media posts, at least for the foreseeable future.

Source: Daily Dot
Photo: NBC Screenshot

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