13:01 GMT +315 November 2018
Listen Live
    Worker moves a modular container

    FEMA Says it Has Thousands of Modular Houses, Other Options for Florence Victims

    © AP Photo / Petr David Josek, File
    US
    Get short URL
    0 20

    If the agency won’t be able to find you a new home, it will at least fix your old one so you can tough out the hurricane there.

    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."

    These modular units supplement the agency's trademark temporary trailers, usually referred to as "FEMA trailers."

    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.

    After Hurricane Harvey, FEMA provided shelters to more than 54,500 people in Texas under its Temporary Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, with some of the applicants reportedly staying in the program for nearly a year, Reuters report reads.

    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.

    Related:

    Florence Already Bringing Floods to Carolina Coast (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
    Florence is Coming: America Braces for Hurricane Landfall, Expects Huge Floods
    Hurricane Florence May Be Dipping South Affecting US State of Georgia - Trump
    WATCH: Mandatory Evacuation on Southeast Coast Ahead of Hurricane Florence
    Boeing Stops Its Plant in South Carolina as Hurricane Florence Poised to Hit US
    State of Emergency Declared in Washington Ahead of Hurricane Florence
    Tags:
    emergency, housing, Hurricane Florence, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), South Carolina, North Carolina, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik