SALEM, Ore. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state of Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) have worked together following the severe storms, mudslides, landslides and flooding of Dec. 1-17, 2007, to identify temporary housing solutions.
FEMA and the state have traditionally sought temporary disaster housing by using existing rental resource as close to the disaster-hit area as possible to help displaced families quickly and to put money back into the damaged area.? FEMA has provided an initial two months' rental assistance to those who qualified for housing assistance.
"There is a well-documented shortage of rental resources in the Nehalem Valley, especially in the Vernonia area, as well as a lack of hotels or motels within reasonable commuting distance," said Abby Kershaw, state coordinating officer. ??
This deficiency has forced FEMA and the State to look for other housing options.
"FEMA no longer uses travel trailers, so manufactured homes are one solution to help these families begin to put their lives back together," said Glen R. Sachtleben, federal coordinating officer.
If an applicant requests a manufactured home and has a place to put that home, that is one option.
Another option is to place a manufactured home on an existing commercial site.? FEMA and the State are in the process of scouting sites in Vernonia and have located one possible site that would hold approximately 18 temporary manufactured homes.? The land would have to be leased.?
Certain criteria must be met before a manufactured home can be placed on a private or commercial site. These criteria include location, lot size, state and local building codes and ordinances and environmental review.? FEMA and State officials have been working steadily to accelerate this portion of the process.
Pursuing a permanent-housing plan (repair, rebuild, replace or relocate) is a must while occupying the unit. Applicants' progress toward this end will be confirmed monthly.
The first step in receiving federal assistance starts with a phone call to 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY at 1-800-462-7585 or going online to www.fema.gov by February 7, 2008. Registration line hours are from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Pacific Standard Time, Monday-Friday.? Applicants may also register any time online at www.fema.gov.
A Disaster Recovery Center is operating at the Vernonia City Hall to offer answers to disaster related questions, information about state and FEMA programs, help with completing paperwork and rebuilding tips and advice. The Recovery Center is open daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.?
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.