Are ‘new and improved’ FEMA trailers coming to La. flood victims?
BATON ROUGE (WGNO) – As thousands of people return home to assess the damage after historic, deadly floods ravaged Louisiana, it’s unclear yet whether FEMA trailers will be brought in for residents who have nowhere else to go.
FEMA trailers? Those toxic, formaldehyde-laden boxes that caused health problems for thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims? Not exactly.
According to FEMA, if the federal disaster agency decides that temporary housing is needed in South Louisiana, the FEMA trailers, or “manufactured housing units” as FEMA calls them, will be new and improved.
“Unlike many of the mobile homes we’ve relied on in the past, this next generation of temporary housing meets the rigid standards created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” FEMA officials said when announcing the new housing units. “And they’re built to house survivors much longer than previous units used after disasters too – an important consideration because rebuilding can take months or even years.”
FEMA said the new and improved trailers have sprinkler systems for fire safety and indoor emergency strobe lights.
The company that manufactured the first round of FEMA trailers, which housed thousands of people in New Orleans and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, settled a class-action lawsuit in 2006 for $42.6 million. There were 55,000 plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
FEMA will typically try to find rentals for flood victims before deploying the trailers, according to report from Yahoo News.