FEMA trailers intended as stopgap

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 11, 2006

BATON ROUGE – When the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency made temporary travel trailers available to individuals affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the agency’s intent was for them to be just that – temporary.

&#8220Individuals need to make it a personal priority to find permanent housing and continue living their lives as they did pre-Katrina and Rita,” said Scott Wells, the federal coordinating officer in charge of the recovery effort.

FEMA officials emphasize travel trailers are a temporary solution.

The trailers are provided to affected individuals while sufficient – and more suitable – housing is sought or while their homes are being repaired.

And while FEMA wants residents to be comfortable, the agency urges individuals to be mindful of the bigger picture, which is getting back on their feet.

Once a travel trailer is provided to individuals, they have up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration to find more permanent housing.

To date, FEMA and the State of Louisiana have provided more than 18,000 travel trailers for individuals and another 2,950 for housing displaced workers who have returned to bring critical facilities back online.