FEMA is doing a helluva PR blitz. Their concern for the residents is underwhelming. They are more concerned about lawsuits for health reason then the good of the people.
As the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s self-imposed deadline for moving residents out of the last six group trailer sites in Orleans and Jefferson parishes arrived Wednesday, FEMA officials said that 47 families remained at the locations but were close to vacating the trailers.
Agency spokesman Andrew Thomas said FEMA will place the family members remaining at the sites in permanent housing by Monday, in most cases in apartments.
Four families were moving out Wednesday, after the agency conducted move-out inspections, and 15 families are expected to vacate today, Thomas said. Others should be out of their trailers by Monday, he said.
The families occupied trailer lots at Louis Armstrong International Airport, the Apostolic Outreach Center in Gentilly, Canal Street 1 and 2 in New Orleans, the Ideal Place Playground in Gentilly and at two sites near the French Quarter, the KW Esplanade Property and the Cultural Arts Center overflow parking lot.
“No one has ever been known to be made homeless by FEMA, and housing has been found for all these families,” Thomas said. “We wanted to move them into permanent structures because it’s safer and definitely better for the families.”
For one, many feel trailers would be unsafe during high winds. Secondly, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study in February found that many of the trailers had dangerously high levels of formaldehyde, a chemical that can cause respiratory problems and that is a suspected cause of cancer.
FEMA has typically tried to secure housing in apartments and rental houses for families that have been living in government trailers. As a last resort, agency case workers may turn to hotel rooms, but Thomas said they try to avoid that option because it doesn’t provide a lasting solution.