More than 31,000 families displaced by Hurricane Katrina last August in Mississippi are now housed in new travel trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in partnership with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). In addition, 403 families have been relocated to mobile homes throughout the affected areas.
“FEMA and MEMA are making great strides in providing trailers and mobile homes to people whose homes were destroyed or made unsafe to live in until repairs are made,” said Nick Russo, federal coordinating officer for the disaster.
More than 85,000 people are now in these safe and secure living quarters, located primarily on private property but also at Emergency Group Sites (EGS) that accommodate from 10-200 manufactured housing units. Currently there are more than 38,000 travel trailers and almost 3,000 mobile homes in Mississippi. More than 10,500 were purchased from Mississippi- certified small dealerships at a price tag of about $203 million.
“We do realize that this is a tremendous goal to house so many hurricane victims following Katrina,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “And although we still have more families who need this assistance, we are working with FEMA and private contractors to help Mississippi families begin to rebuild not only their homes, but their lives on the Gulf Coast.”
Trailers are delivered and inspected on a daily basis. During the last week, 1,193 trailers were delivered in fulfillment of recent requests.
In addition, about 355 units that are friendly or compliant with guidelines established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have been provided to those with disabilities. Currently more than 950 now live in ADA friendly or compliant travel trailers and mobile homes in Mississippi.
Before a trailer or mobile home can be moved onto private property, an inspector will call to arrange a visit to review the site. After the site is approved and permits are obtained, a unit can be delivered and a time arranged to hook up the utilities and prepare the unit for occupancy.
Katrina victims needing a travel trailer must first register with FEMA online at www.fema.gov or call toll free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-657-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. Those who require an ADA-compliant or friendly trailer must inform FEMA at the beginning of the process so they receive housing to suit their individual needs.
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