FEMA unveils trailers for Hurricane Florence victims

Local

FEMA provided an inside look Thursday at the trailers eligible for storm survivors.

The disaster recovery agency hopes the trailers can provide a housing solution to Hurricane Florence victims as they wait for their homes to be repaired.

“The idea is that if you have home repairs that may take six months or less, perhaps a travel trailer may be a good solution for you,” said Keith Acree, public information officer for N.C. Emergency Management. 

The travel trailer has three beds, a small seating area and a table with a refrigerator, sink and stove.

“If you have more extensive repairs required to your home that may take longer than six months, maybe up to 18 months or so, than perhaps the manufactured housing unit may be a better solution for you,” Acree said. 

There is a bedroom on each end, with a living room in between with a sofa, chair and tables.

There is even a kit with supplies like paper towels, plates and other items to help survivors settle in.

The process to get one of these units includes an inspection of your damaged home.

“The inspector will come out and do a real property evaluation on the loss,” said Tracy McCauley, a FEMA representative. “FEMA starts that at $17,000.” 

The trailers will be provided for eligible Florence survivors in ten of the hardest hit North Carolina counties.

In the East, those counties include Carteret, Craven, Jones, Duplin, Onslow, and Pender counties.

Officials said they are trying to buy the trailers in state to support the local economy.

The Global Transpark in Lenoir County is serving as a staging area to bring the FEMA trailers in.

In the days before Florence even hit, the business park has served a critical role in helping with the Florence recovery effort.

“Where we are today is the third phase of our operation at the North Carolina Global Transpark,” said Allen Thomas, the executive director. “We staged prior to the hurricane, all the preparation and personnel that were here. Then, during the storm itself, we had over 2,400 first responders from 35 states operating out of here. Air assets, water rescue assets, assets dropping supplies, all during the storm and post. Now, the important mission is as it gets colder in eastern North Carolina is getting housing to our people across the state.”

Thomas says it was critical to be prepared for Florence since the East is still cleaning up from Hurricane Matthew.

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