Friday, January 04, 2008

Those FEMA trailers

FEMA trailers are still being used in the wake of Katrina. I took a ride to the central part of town the other day, about a 5 mile trip, and counted about 50 trailers still being occupied while people rebuild their homes.

Not only is there a danger of becoming seriously ill from formaldehyde poisoning, these fires are pretty damn flammable. Here are a few cases:

Slidell April 06 . A couple is burned.

August 2008, a Cameron Parish evacuee dies in a trailer fire.

December '07 - The East & Slidell. One
unoccupied trailer burns in The East and in Slidell, a pile of flaming debris from the demolition of a FEMA trailer got out of hand, destroying the remains of the unoccupied trailer and damaging two occupied ones nearby, fire officials said.

Pearlington, Ms. April '06 A fire takes the life of a 71 year old wheelchair bound man

A 13 month old baby injured in Waveland, December '06

July '07, Biloxi, Ms.

February '07, Kenner, LA

Pascagoula, Ms, 63 year old man dies, July '06 in a trailer fire

What it's like to be temporarily Living two years in a FEMA Trailer

Not only are residents of these trailers susceptable to formaldehyde and the danger of fires,now there are reports of toxic mold From the Institute for Southern Studies' Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch website:
In the Institute's August 2007 report titled "Blueprint for Gulf Renewal: The Katrina Crisis and a Community Agenda for Action," [PDF] Sharon Hanshaw (executive director of Mississippi's Coastal Women for Change) described how many of FEMA trailers have become infested with mold, compounding formaldehyde-related health problems and forcing cash-strapped survivors to continuously replace ruined possessions.

One science building expert who examined the inside walls of two FEMA homes in Ouachita Parish, La. found one type of mold spore at up to 30,000 times the levels found outside, indicating a wall exposed to excessive moisture levels

The cause of a good number of these fires could very well be related to how these trailers were set up....usually by people totally unaware of the safety measures that should be taken when installing. From the Institute for Southern Studies' Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch website:

One LPGC inspector told Gambit that working with the government contractors was "like dealing with used car salesmen on the seedy side of town." Are these really the kind of operators to whom taxpayers should be handing millions of dollars in no-bid contracts?

From the Independent Weekly website cover story "Up in Flames"
While many trailer fires and explosions can be attributed to discernible causes, others leave firefighters and investigators stumped. Many of the fires are blamed on trailer occupants themselves, but some are tied to shoddy installation and maintenance by FEMA contractors, according to fire investigators.

I wonder how FEMA is going to bullshit their way out of this situation?
A fake news conference?

Here's a look back at their performance since '05

More here....

I could go on and on and on, but you get the idea.

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