ORLANDO, Fla. -- With the passing of the Oct. 31 deadline, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has closed its books on the 2004 disaster housing effort in Florida, which at one point included more than 17,000 FEMA-issued trailers and mobile homes scattered across the state. As of today, less than 0.5 percent (less than one-half of 1 percent) of the agency’s manufactured housing units in Florida remain occupied by victims of the 2004 storms.
“This mission has been a tremendous success by any measure and concludes FEMA support for all 2004 victims,” said Scott R. Morris, director of FEMA’s Florida Long-Term Recovery. “We brought to bear every avenue available to FEMA under the law. Our sales program, combined with FEMA’s donation policy, enabled us to close this chapter in the 2004 Florida recovery effort,” Morris said.
“We have passed the baton to county governments, non-profit associations and faith-based organizations, which took advantage of FEMA’s policies to assume total case management and responsibility for more than 600 individuals and families,” said Morris. He added that an additional 550 individuals and families purchased their units from FEMA at an affordable cost.
The agency’s attention now turns to finalizing contracts, closing the books, as well as removing and assessing units destined for reissue, salvage sales or use in another disaster, and tackling the 2005 housing mission in Florida.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, economic status or retaliation. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, you should call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or contact your State Office of Equal Rights. If suspicious of any abuse of FEMA programs, please contact the fraud hotline at 1-800-323-8603.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003