Baltimore, MD -- Travel trailers are now serving as temporary shelter for some Maryland families who've lost their homes due to Hurricane Isabel and have no other housing alternative.
Disaster officials placed the residents, unable to live in their damaged homes, in the trailers because they had no options for alternate housing. The disaster temporary housing assistance program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides travel trailers only when other forms of alternate housing are not available.
"FEMA's first priority is to help people find alternative housing within the community, whether it's an apartment, house, or condominium," said William Lokey, the federal official in charge disaster recovery. "Travel trailers are considered for alternative housing only when these other sources have been exhausted or are non-existent."
All disaster recovery actions are undertaken so that people can return to their own home or find permanent housing as quickly as possible. One of the advantages of travel trailers is that they are small enough to be placed on the homeowner's property, allowing residents to oversee their home repairs.
If it is determined that an individual or family cannot be housed through other means, FEMA may provide and install the units according to state and local codes, arrange for leases and remove the units when no longer needed.
Those who have suffered damage or losses due to Hurricane Isabel are urged to register for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for speech or hearing impaired. The deadline to apply for help is November 18, 2003.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.