Where are the 100,000 residents supposed to go? FEMA has no plans for permanent housing for the FEMA trailer residents. In fact, while HUD is taking over rental assistance for
What is more, what medical treatment is being provided today to take care of the rashes, respiratory and other health effects of long-term exposure to high levels of formaldehyde? I met a gentleman last night who is living in a FEMA trailer park in
FEMA will not be able to use this formaldehyde scare, the same issue that these residents raised with FEMA over two years ago, to get residents out of their FEMA trailers quickly, silently, and without a plan to deal with the long-term health problems they have caused and permanent, affordable housing options for these folks. These residents have been continuously fighting for lives, they have spent too many long hours dealing with FEMA’s bureaucracy and have even found time to develop community plans, which they have presented to FEMA, which would allow FEMA to move folks out of trailers equitably and safely. It is now FEMA’s turn to respond with the same energy and respect that the trailer residents have shown. It is time for FEMA to step up and respond with real recovery efforts dedicated to these people, which we have been waiting on for far too long.
To begin with, FEMA needs a plan that goes beyond hotel rooms for these residents. If HUD is not going to take over rental assistance for trailer residents who are being evicted, what long-term plan is in place? We are particularly worried about the elderly and the disabled trailer residents, many of whom have been left behind and will continue to be left behind in any movement to find permanent housing. As the CDC recommends, multi-agency collaboration will be required to achieve safe, healthy, permanent housing for these residents.
Secondly, the long-term health problems of these residents and their immediate and continuing need for medical assistance must be addressed immediately. The CDC recommends that FEMA should consider establishing a health registry and long-term assistance to the
Lastly, these residents have been telling FEMA what they needed all along. They have been arranging meetings, signing petitions, developing plans, and writing letters, all to no avail. We expect FEMA officials to start listening to the people and step up to the task of providing for their needs. These folks know what they need... they have been saying it all along.
The KatrinaRitaVille Express (www.krvexpress.org) outside of the CDC/FEMA Meeting in Baker, Louisiana, on Monday February 25, 2008.