As progress is being made moving people into travel trailers and mobile homes during the Mississippi Hurricane Katrina recovery effort, state and federal emergency management officials are asking people to heed warnings against moving emergency homes from assigned locations.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) point to safety and legal issues in moving the units.
“A lot of planning and research goes into situating the trailers at particular sites and connecting them for use,” said Nick Russo federal coordinating officer for the Mississippi disaster recovery. “Besides being unlawful, attempting to move them creates a number of problems.”
Russo said there could be difficulties lining up sewer lines, disrupting function and flow to a travel trailer or mobile home. Changing electrical connections could pose safety issues, especially if the electrical gauge is different from the original setup. Also, an inexperienced person may hit water and or electrical lines in trying to re-anchor a unit after moving it.
“The travel trailers and mobile homes are property of the federal government,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “Each trailer recipient is informed in writing about rules and regulations when they sign a lease or occupancy agreement for one of these units.”
If the delivery address for the trailer must change, the occupant should call FEMA as soon as possible to eliminate delay. If a person wants to change the location of a trailer after it is delivered, call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing-or speech-impaired.
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