SALEM, Ore. -- Seven Vernonia families, homeless since the December 2007 flood, will move into temporary housing - new mobile homes - beginning at about noon tomorrow, March 22, 2008.
"We are delighted to be handing over the keys to these first seven families," said Abby Kershaw, state coordinating officer with Oregon Emergency Management (OEM). "Now these families will be close to their homes, schools, and neighbors as they continue the recovery process."
The seven mobile homes are the first of 21 to be located at the new mobile home park on Maple Ave. in the heart of Vernonia. The new residents can use the mobile homes temporarily for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration, which was December 9, 2007.
"Everyone involved in this project has worked tirelessly to make this happen," said Glen Sachtleben, federal coordinating officer of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Vernonia has been an inspiration to us."
There are 19 more mobile homes at a Portland staging area. If needed, FEMA's Oregon field office will order additional homes from a FEMA staging area. All units will have been tested for formaldehyde.
Every new resident of a FEMA mobile home will be provided the results of formaldehyde testing for their unit along with a detailed summary about formaldehyde, its risks, how to reduce exposure, and how to interpret the test results.
Kershaw said, "The state and FEMA won't quit until every eligible family has a mobile home."
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.