FEMA policies for the new hurricane season

Jun 3, 2008

Miami Herald--Jun 02, 2008

The Associated Press

The Bush administration has been lambasted for its 2005 response to Hurricane Katrina – particularly the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s handling of disaster housing. FEMA placed thousands of victims in travel trailers that were later found to have high levels of formaldehyde.

Here are new FEMA housing policies for this hurricane season, according to a draft obtained by The Associated Press:

-Travel trailers can be used in response to catastrophic disasters only if they are tested for formaldehyde and meet a standard of a very low level of the preservative set by FEMA. FEMA did not have this requirement in 2005.

-Only the FEMA administrator can authorize trailer use.

-Disaster victims cannot stay in trailers beyond six months.

-FEMA will use alternative housing units which it is currently testing.

-FEMA will ask states to decide what types of disaster units they want, instead of leaving that decision to the federal government.

-FEMA will ask communities to decide where they want the housing units placed as opposed to FEMA making that decision.