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In the future, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may supply residents whose homes get destroyed by hurricanes with concrete houses instead of travel trailers and manufactured housing.
According to the Charlotte Sun-News, the concrete dwellings can be constructed quickly using a process in which concrete is poured into a prefabricated form.
The dwellings would allow residents to continue residing on their properties throughout the recovery process, and the structures could be incorporated into permanent houses, said U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach.
The state of Louisiana has already begun subsidizing the construction of the structures, said Scott Morris, director of the FEMA’s Florida Long-Term Recovery Office.
Until Hurricane Charley hit Charlotte County in Southeast Florida on Aug. 13, 2004, FEMA had never supplied trailers to displaced residents, Morris said. But the plan was on the shelf when the storm hit, so it was quickly implemented, he said.
Within the first few months after the hurricane, FEMA moved 18,000 mobile homes and trailers into Florida.
As a Sept. 26 deadline looms, only 1,597 of the trailers remain occupied statewide, including about 200 in Charlotte County.
One problem with mobile-home mobilization is that it required FEMA to find sites, negotiate land leases and invest millions of dollars in site preparation. That money instead could be spent building permanent structures on residents’ property, Foley said.
That would prevent people from getting displaced from their home neighborhoods, said state Rep. Mike Grant, R-Port Charlotte.
FEMA, in the future, would still provide the smaller RV trailers for people whose housing can’t be replaced by a concrete dwelling, Morris said.