U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites..

Temporary Housing Unit Safety Tips

Release Date:
February 25, 2021

Here is a list of tips to stay safe while living in a FEMA temporary housing unit (THU).

Things to Avoid Doing:

  • Minimize clutter in the FEMA THU to reduce fire hazards.  
  • Do not block doorways. Keep all entrances and exits clear.  
  • Do not ignore unfamiliar smells. For example, an odor could mean a propane leak, which can be detected by its distinct smell similar to rotten eggs or a skunk.  
  • Do not flush anything down the toilet other than toilet paper to avoid clogging the septic and sewer system in the unit. Quick dissolving tissue is the best option for travel trailers.  
  • Do not store items beneath your unit outdoors.  
  • Test the carbon monoxide alarm and ensure the fire alarm is working. Make sure your smoke, propane, and carbon monoxide detectors always have working batteries. 


What to do During Severe Weather:

  • If severe weather is predicted, stay alert to weather warnings and comply with any evacuation orders.  
  • Evacuate immediately if local officials recommend manufactured housing occupants find sturdier shelter; however, leave the THU in place.  
  • Never take shelter in a THU during high winds, tornadoes, hurricanes or floods. 
  • Do not leave your pet behind in a THU during severe weather.    
  • Place any important items on the highest shelves and disconnect nonessential electrical devices.  
  • Protect your propane tank, if applicable for the THU. Propane can be ignited by sources such as flames, smoking materials, electrical sparks and static electricity.  
  • More techniques for minimizing severe weather risks are available at www.ready.gov.


Other Things to Keep in Mind:

  • The FEMA THU is not your permanent home or personal property. FEMA THUs are government property and all occupants living in them must follow the rules outlined in the revokable license agreement.  
  • FEMA has a contract in place for the upkeep and maintenance of all occupied units to ensure the THUs remain habitable, safe, and secure. FEMA will provide free routine, preventative and emergency maintenance.  
  • Every unit is inspected monthly for safety as part of the Preventative Maintenance Initiative to minimize the chance of routine or emergency maintenance problems occurring.  
  • It is vital to keep your contact information updated with FEMA. FEMA contractors are required to attempt contact with you 24 hours before inspection the home or performing maintenance with the exception of emergency situations where no prior notice is required.  
  • Always make sure you are following FEMA guidelines. FEMA reserves the right to revoke your right to occupy the THU if an occupant is noncompliant or in violation of the revocable license.

FEMA has expanded its services to accommodate your questions about temporary housing units. If you were not provided a point of contact for your housing needs, you may call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use TTY call 800-462-7585. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service. The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit fema.gov/disaster/4559. For the latest information on Hurricane Delta, visit fema.gov/disaster/4570. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

Last updated February 25, 2021