The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has "thousands" of modular bunkhouses at hand as one possible housing option for Hurricane Florence victims, the agency said in a statement Thursday.
The modular housing units are leftovers from the 2017 hurricane season, which saw Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma impact the US, FEMA's National Preparedness Directorate Deputy Assistant Administrator Alex Amparo said, according to a Reuters report.
While Amparo did not specify the exact number of housing units available, he said it was "more than 2,000."
However, even if the agency cannot provide people with a trailer or modular bunkhouse, they have other options, which include short-term monetary rental assistance, access to federal programs that fix houses while residents remain in them and even programs that repair homes to a habitable level without completely restoring them.
Last year "was a banner year for the agency, where we really had to think about all the different options," said Amparo said.
"There was a variety of menu options of housing that kept people in their housing, in their communities, in their schools, in their houses of worship, that we had not had before," he added.
However, there is a certain degree of doubt as to whether the federal housing programs are effective.
Omar Marrero, Puerto Rico's recovery director, told Reuters Thursday that even one year after Hurricane Maria, there's still work to be completed under at least one FEMA program for short-term housing, the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program (STEP). According to Marrero, STEP has received over 100,000 orders for home repairs, more than half of which are not yet done.
Over 1 million residents of coastal US states, such as North Carolina and South Carolina, were ordered to evacuate on mandatory basis ahead of the Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall Friday.