Charleston, WV -- Flood victims who received travel trailers from FEMA as temporary housing, while making repairs on their flood-damaged homes, are urged to complete these repairs quickly or consider alternatives before winter arrives.
"We urge people to be responsible," said Carlos Mitchell, federal coordinating officer. "The purpose of travel trailers is to provide short-term housing for flood victims. These units are not intended to be used for an extended period of time through the winter months."
Families with travel trailers received up to a maximum grant of $10,000 for home repairs. This money covered essential repairs, based on an inspection, to make a flood-damaged home livable again. FEMA provided the travel trailers until such time as the home is made safe, secure and livable.
Travel trailers do not have the proper insulation and heating system that would allow habitation during cold weather. Occupying a travel trailer during extreme cold weather could create a fire hazard. As winter approaches, flood victims living in travel trailers should complete repairs of their homes or find alternative housing soon.
It is FEMA's intention to provide a more suitable living condition before cold weather sets in. If flood victims have not made their homes safe, secure and livable, FEMA will be offering one of the following options:
- Move to a state/FEMA group mobile home site
- Move in a mobile home in a commercial or private site, in accordance with laws and guidelines for flood plain management
- Move to rental housing
Any of the above alternatives will be at no expense to the flood victims, except for paying utilities.
FEMA is making contact with more than 600 families that are currently living in travel trailers.
"We know repairing a home takes time," said Mitchell. "However, flood victims should complete these repairs or let us help them find another place to live before the weather turns cold. Their cooperation is appreciated."
More information is available on FEMA's For the Media site, at www.fema.gov/about/media.shtm, from SBA at www.sba.gov, and Fax-on-Demand at 202-646-FEMA. Radio actualities are available from the FEMA Radio Network 800-323-5248.