CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- Operators of commercial mobile home parks in Hancock, Brooke, Marshall and Wetzel counties in the Northern Panhandle are urged to notify the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the availability of vacant pads for mobile homes.
FEMA is building an inventory of mobile home pads as part of the federal-state push to insure safe, secure housing for individuals and families affected by September's Hurricane Ivan flooding.
To be added to the mobile home "space bank," commercial park operators are asked to call 1-877-390-2885 as soon as possible.
"Our appeal for potentially needed mobile home pads is gaining urgency with the approach of cold weather," said Lou Botta, federal coordinating officer. "We want to be sure there is enough housing available for people who need it."
So far, FEMA does not have a lengthy waiting list of people in need of mobile homes in the Northern Panhandle. But that could change as its outreach continues and the status of housing damaged during the flooding becomes more fully determined.
For mobile homes supplied by FEMA, pads must be able to accommodate mobile homes that are 14 feet wide by 70 feet long with utility hookups. For the present, FEMA is simply building a reserve of possible pads, not actually leasing them. Even so, the need to locate commercial parks with open pads is pressing, said federal and state officials.
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.