“We don’t really have a time frame.” FEMA trailers still unknown for those in need


Stuck waiting with no place to go. This is the situation of many people who lost almost everything in Hurricane Ian and are waiting for housing assistance.

For two plus months people have been waiting for trailers to live from FEMA or the state, but the steps to get there are endless.

A FEMA spokesperson said Thursday they don’t know when the trailers will arrive here. They don’t have a timeframe for this, but he says they’re working as hard as they can.

There is some hope, however. Island Park neighbors say trailers were brought in by FEMA.

A woman called for help, and FEMA said her situation was serious enough to warrant a trailer.

She said they came out and painted lines on her driveway where the trailer was supposed to go, but it still hasn’t arrived. Until he does, she says she is homeless.

“Please give me my trailer so I have a place to live,” Patsy Howell said.

Howell has been homeless since the hurricane hit.

“I’m in an Airbnb. And the county gave me money for an Airbnb because I thought the trailer was coming. I didn’t apply for the next round of funding to move somewhere else,” Howell said .

Like hundreds of others, she applied for female assistance, and for a moment she felt among the lucky ones.

About four weeks ago, FEMA came to her house and marked out her driveway.

“These little lines here are where they mark saying that’s where the trailer is going to go,” Howell said.

Lines indicating where a FEMA trailer would go. (Credit: NEWS WINK)

FEMA was marking it out for a trailer as part of its temporary housing program.

“I signed a contract with them to deliver a trailer to me so I could live in my house. And they said it should be within a week. It didn’t come within a week,” Howell said.

Since then, she hasn’t heard a word and she hasn’t seen a trailer.

WINK News called FEMA and asked when the trailers would be coming here.

“We don’t really have a deadline. These take a lot longer to set up because we have to inspect the site to determine if it’s even possible to put it there. And then, of course, we have to follow all local codes and ordinances in order to place it there. It’s not something that happens quickly,” said FEMA spokesman Michael Wade.

WINK News has also reached out to the state of Florida, as they announced their own statewide temporary housing program to complement FEMA’s.

State Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie never got back to us, but a spokesperson for their office said they had over 1,200 requests and expected to deploy some of their trailers. in the course of the week.

For now, Howell is just trying to keep her spirits up as she barely survived the storm.

“I was saved by my neighbour. And because I was saved by my neighbor, I figured I’m here for some reason,” Howell said.

“We all need help, and we’re not getting what we need,” said Patti Hansen, one of many people who have asked for help from FEMA. “FEMA dropped the ball here.”

Neither Howell nor Hansen want to fight FEMA for help.

“It’s just doubly frustrating. You have to fight everything. You have to fight against insurance. You have to fight FEMA,” Hansen said.

Some people, like Diane Key, have a trailer.

“They asked for a trailer, and there is no help. They get nothing, they get no response. They don’t get what they need,” Key said.

Key did not receive his trailer from FEMA. She got it herself because she couldn’t afford to wait for FEMA to bring one.

“You have solutions that are being talked about, but you don’t have the implementation of those solutions, and that’s a problem,” Key said. “At the time we bought this, we didn’t know they were doing trailers. But having said that, it is better that we buy one because we would still be waiting for one.

There are also other options. Unite Florida is the state’s first-ever temporary housing program, designed to complement FEMA. For it to work, it has to work with FEMA.

WINK News asked FEMA spokesman Michael Wade how it all works.

“To be very honest with you, I don’t understand how their program works,” Wade said. “How these two programs are related, I just don’t have it. I don’t have that technical knowledge of how we’re going to finish, how the state is going to implement its program, and how we, how we connect ours to theirs at any given time.

WINK News will continue to track state and federal agencies to determine when people in need can get a trailer.

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