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Old 11-14-2005, 05:41 AM   #15
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Sounds like FEMA needs to hire some inspectors and personnel to monitor the use of these trailers that all of us are paying for. I can understand how someone might have to buy a car, but a new BOAT, should be grounds for eviction..

As I sit here at the computer writing this I just saw 2 more of them headed south on I-65, shame to think that they are headed for someones use that will complain about their size and location, not take care of them but stay in them as long as possible and leave them totally trashed.
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Old 11-14-2005, 08:40 AM   #16
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I have some experience with the FEMA trailers while volunteering with the USFWS. The reason that I do is that once the FEMA trailer is no longer needed, a few are stored for quick response, but not many because they do not store well and they buy them pretty cheaply. Most of them are first made available to other federal agencies for less than origional cost if they have a use for them. I can't speak for other agencies, but the USFWS buys some each time that are used for student interns housing as well as for some types of volunteers and also for temporary housing for staff members while working at remote wildlife refuges. Since most wildlife refuges are far from any city, they use a lot of them. I have not seen any refuges that had none of them and most have several. They replace them periodically with newer ones after the next disastor. Once each federal agency has their choice of the units, then the states are offered them at the same price and many state agencies do take advantage of that. Cities and counties get the next chance and the remainder that no government agency buys are then sold to the public. So the dealers get last choice.

As to what is in the trailers, they are built to the FEMA specs for temporary housing and not for RVs. They have all 120V lights, a 120V low cost home refrigerator, no holding tanks of any kind and no 12V system except to run the furnace and the water heater which are usually of RV design. A few have electric water heaters of the apartment style. All that I have seen did have an RV furnace and propane to fire it and usually propane for the stove top and the water heater. I have seen two that had an electric stove. These are no frills trailers, but they are not junk. The are not designed to be moved constantly like an RV so the consturction is different. Some do have slides, but a tip-out is more common. There is no outside storage in most of them. They are not intended to be RV's but rather low cost temporary housing to house victims while costing the tax payers as little as possible.
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:20 AM   #17
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Thanks for the info, so what it boils down to is that they are small "house trailers".

I worked for the government for 40 years and know how the system works as far a transfer/sale of government property goes. State and local governments usually don't want the stuff because if no government agency wants it,, it (most of the time) isn't worth having.

The exception is things like these trailers where they have more of them than they have a (reasonable) place to store (although military bases make good storage yards).

Regardless of the cost to tax payers, I still think their use should be more closely monitored to limit abuse because there is no reason why we should have to buy new ones every time a hurricane hits the US.
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Old 11-15-2005, 04:07 PM   #18
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I am from New Orleans and we lost everything that we owned, except for our suitcases. We went back to see our home and it was horrible. We actually lived 2hr SE of NO. There's nothing there you say,... we lived in an itty bitty town called Venice at the mouth of the MS river. End of the road. There was an actual sign down there at the CG station that said "this is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here". No kidding. My dh was pastoring a small mission church down there. Both our home and church are gone. I have pictures of that area, and our home and church if you would like to see them.

The news keeps talking about NO and MS, but Buras (just north of Venice) took the original eye of the storm and softened the impact for NO and MS. We had levees that broke as well. It was horrible. For 45 miles at least on both sides of the river, the only choice is to bulldoze EVERYTHING, burn it, and rebuild. There is still no power there almost 2 months later. They will be getting FEMA trailers to use until they can rebuild, which could be a year or more due to the drastic impact. No lumber, sheet rock, or labor. My mom lives just east of NO and she had a foot of water in her home. She has had to gut it and replace everything including all appliances. She is on the list for a FEMA trailer, but they are giving her a hard time. Her homeowners ins is paying for all repairs, she just can't afford to pay her mortgage and rent every month. Even though her damage is relatively minor, it will still take for ever just because of the lack of supplies and labor. She is also getting very sick due to the mold.

My dh was in the army reserves as a chaplain and planning on going full time. The army pushed up his orders and put us in base housing ASAP. When we first got in we were sleeping on air mattresses. Oh, and the echo in a house with tile floors and no furniture. We now have almost everything replaced, but still have some. We had been saving for a popup so since we lost all of our camping gear, went ahead and bought one. We figured just get the camper rather than replace our camping gear only to get a camper in the next few months.

Anyway,on the FEMA front. We got a call from FEMA the day before we picked up our camper offering us a trailer. I had already talked to them and told them I had relocated to NC and had a place to live. The lady seemed upset when I told her that I did not. Like I had wasted her time. Hey, she called me. I could have just said, Yeah, send it here. The dealer where we bought our camper said that FEMA was buying a lot from him. So not all of them are the FEMA plan ones. Some are straight off the lot ones. This dealer is filling them with food and toys before he sends them.

Anyway, don't be too hard on the people. Trailers are not made for 7 people to live in 24/7 for 1-2 years. I feel so sorry for what they are going through. I feel lucky that I had a place to go. Now, I also know that some of the people are low life moochers that are going to take advantage. When Ivan came through last year many people in Venice claimed things that had been wrong for a long time, got HUGE checks, through a tarp on the roof, or a patch of plywood, and then went out and bought a new car. You would see people living in trailers falling apart, filled with huge TVs, game systems, and brang new cars. The honest ones got screwed because their damage was not enough. So, trust me, I know some take advantage.

OK,sorry for the long novel. I do have pictures of the area if anyone wants to see them. They are quite disturbing to some (my friend could not handle them) so instead of posting them here, you may want me just to email them to anyone who wants to see them.
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Old 11-16-2005, 05:17 AM   #19
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Personally I think some take an emergency and turn it into a tragedy that effects them for life, never thinking of reaching down, grabbing the boots and pulling themselves up. Some take advantage of the emergency to rise above the rest and use it for a new opportunity.
Seems to me, that some in the lower u.s. never learned to care for themselves. I believe in helping others when needed but this has become a joke at some point. Dec 1, they quit paying motels bills and the people are screaming about it. How long does it take to find a new house or apartment? FEMA has agreed to pay apartment or house rent, but the motels are too high. How much is enough?
Offer em a trailer, if they dont like it, hit the streets.
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Old 11-16-2005, 05:24 AM   #20
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Hi Sandra
I feel for you and your family. Although the destruction here was about the same it was limited to a much smaller area. I can only imagine the devastation there ... please take care and try to look on it as a new adventure.
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:05 AM   #21
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Oh, we are fine. We are so grateful for what we have. It has given us a new perspective on life. We had been talking about clearing out the clutter, and now we have no clutter problem. We are in the process of replacing our stuff and are actually getting things from this century. We replaced our 35mm with a digital, our old sony camcorder (that we paid 600 for 12 years ago and worked fine so we had no intention of replacing) with a new one that is so tiny (and it was only 300), we are replacing our old computer (that also worked fine and we did not plan on replacing) with a faster one for WAY less than we paid for the original. It is amazing how the cost of technology has come down. We are the type of people that have no desire to "keep up with the Jones'". We don't replace things until they are dead. We joke about maybe this was the Lord's way of getting us to join the 21st century. We are not taking advantage, but we are not passing up the help that we NEED. We could have stayed in a hotel longer, at FEMAs tab, but when the army made an offer to get us in and a house, we jumped on it. We had to get a 3 bedroom though. A 4 bedroom would have been a 1-2 month wait. Like I said, we could have stayed in a hotel at no cost to us, but we just wanted to settle down.

I too am sickened by the disgusting stories of ungrateful greedy people taking advantage. A friend of mine said that people living in the same house are putting 12a, 12b, and 12c so that they can make 3 claims. If there are 3 adults with separate ss#'s, they can do it. We made one claim under my ss#. We were not asked for dh's. He could have called and make a separate claim. They did not ask for anyone elses ss#, nor their names even. Talk about a loophole (an illegal one however). So if there are 3 adults, with 6 kids between them, they can file 3 claims with 9 dependents each and get a whole lot of money. If they at least had to give the names and they were checked for duplication, they could AT MOST make 3 claims with 3 dependents each. FEMA really needs to fill that gap.
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:13 AM   #22
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Oh, and I am all for cutting the ones off who abuse it. AND making it so they can NEVER file a FEMA claim again. It is amazing how they can get away with so much, and even more amazed at how selfish, greedy and evil people can be to do it. I feel guilty getting the little bit of help that we have. I have a friend telling me not to blow off other help because there are so many taking advantage. I don't want to take any more than we NEED.

You would not believe how much there is to replace. Not just furniture, but clothing, towels, pillows, pots and pans, dishes, the list never seems to end. It seems like everyday I remember something we lost. FEMA has given us enough to replace everything that we lost, although some things are not replacable.

My dh says that it has given him a new appreciation for his family. He knows how close we were to destruction.

Oh, and one more little rant... about those people in NO at the dome and conv center. The media pushed that they were poor and had no cars and therefore no way out and how nagin should have sent buses. BOLONEY! They had cars. They may have been on welfare, living in the projects, but most drove nicer cars than me. When we went back home to see our home, we drove through NO east and saw the apartment complexes and neighborhoods FULL of almost new cars (of course they don't work anymore). They could have left, but did not. Why? I have no idea! You are in a below sea level city, a cat 5 storm is heading your way, and you stay. I think this is caused by what someone else was talking about (total dependence on government).
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Old 11-16-2005, 05:14 PM   #23
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I don't think anybodyy begrudges those in need. I lived in California for 40 years and saw the aftermath of several major earthquakes.

We are lucky to live in a country that can and does provide help when needed. It is those that abuse the system that get to those of us who do not. And those who expect the government to just "take care of them" without any effort on their part.

I just watched a news story about a guy and his wife in Los Angles who are getting their FEMA payments for their motel cut off. "I don't know what we are going to do", My suggestion is that they get jobs, they been sitting on their backsides since the Hurricane in a nice motel in Los Angles, doing nothing.

I am 57 and retired, why, because I worked from the time I was 12, never without a job of some kind from when I was 12 till I retired last December. I saved money every chance I got. I took jobs at times just to make ends meet, I drove limosines, worked as a security guard, pumped gas, painted and mowed grass but I always had a job and as often as not 2 jobs and have yet to get the first cent of government relief in any form.

Again I do not begrudge helping those who actually need it. As for those who didn't leave N.O. Not all of them fall into this catagory, but alot of them didn't leave because they didn't have to buy gas to get out of town, pay for a motel, pay for food or anything else, it was freebies, backfired on them didn't it.

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Old 11-17-2005, 04:12 AM   #24
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Oh my, someone was staying in LA? Well, man oh man, if I had known we could stay anywhere, I would have gone to disneyworld. The hotel is quite a chunk of that trip. Oh, and they would have paid for food too huh. Oh wow what a deal. (said with sarcasm and disdain).

It is amazing to me how some people are. My father was like you and never missed a day of work.

dh and I have gone through some hard times and made some bad choices, but he has taken jobs that he normally would have never considered just to take care of us.

Most of the time when people say they "can't find a job" they mean "can't find a job that pays a lot for just a little work and that I don't think is beneath me".
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Old 11-21-2005, 10:53 AM   #25
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Sandra I know without a doubt where Venice is, or was.....

I have fished out of Venice Marina and Cypress Cove for years. Lots of good hard workin folks (And a few not so hard workin ones) who lost everything. But as with storms before, the hard workin ones will re-build and make it better.

One of my favorite's when down there was to get the "Seafood stuffed potato" at the little diner next to the Venice Inn. Man-o-man that's GOOD eatin!

I have not been that far down since the storm. But I have taken trailers to Chalmette and Michoud.

Also have spent time since the storm in Pass Christian (Where our camp\summer home is) cleaning up and starting to re-finish the camp\house. Like you we got storm surge in the house. Actually three feet on the SECOND floor. So I know what kind of work it is to clean up the mess and get a house re-finished inside. But unlike yall, no one was living there at the time.

Yall take care and give a hoop-n-holler if we can help ya in some way.

Take care,

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Old 11-22-2005, 05:14 AM   #26
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To be honest with you, I am not sure what caused the most damage. South Buras took the eye of the storm. We are only a few minutes from there, so there was a lot of wind damage. As you must be aware, a lot of the homes there are trailers. Ours was a wood frame house and was standing, but had huge holes in the roof and most windows blown out. Nothing around us was left standing fully. Our house was filled with black gook. And the stench was horrific. It smelled like sewerage.

There also was a levee break in empire where an oil pipeline burst and ruptured the levee and spewed oil all over the entire area.

If you would like to see pictures of what the area now looks like, let me know and I can email you a link to where I have mine posted.

Thank you so much, but we don't need anything. God has provided abundantly and beyond for all of our needs in this time. There is nothing that we need or even want. (Especially now that we finally got the camper we have been saving for.)

Oh, and back to the originl topic... My mom got her FEMA trailer. She only got it now because my stepdad works for the levee board and they get theirs first. It is also on levee board property. She says it is nice and is extremely grateful to be sleeping in a bed again. She had been in a rental on an air mattress for over a month.
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Old 11-24-2005, 11:31 AM   #27
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It seems most of the news is about NO and the rest of the area is totally forgotten about. We have been there for some time in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi cleaning out houses so they can rebuild and their yards so they can get the trailers. There is so much to do and with so many that are retired that are on this site, it would be so great if you could come for even a week and give a hand in clean up. I am staying in my truck camper at n/c and showers and meals are furnished. Here is a good group to work with. http://www.disastercorps.org/default.html
Please give them an e-mail and come and receive the reward of your life.
TC
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Old 12-27-2005, 02:49 PM   #28
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Hey, don't knock the trailers. I am a landlord in North Carolina on the coast. We have hurricanes EVERY year. My rental trailers come out better than the houses. Hurricane Isabel (Sept 2003) did almost as much damage to Northeast North Carolina as Katrina to MS. When a tree falls through your roof or a tornado hits. I destroys what ever it lands on. Trailers, houses, bank buildings. We evacuated to save the camper which was insured but lot the tractor which was not. dud
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