The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) continues to filter through and clarify information associated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) effort to provide emergency housing for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
The following is the latest memo from RVDA to its members:

FEMA sources confirm that the disaster relief agency has temporarily suspended new orders for trailers. We understand that this is because the agency needs to process paperwork related to previous trailer purchases.
FEMA stopped buying because it has “a lot of verbal orders that we want to confirm with hard copies,” according to a FEMA procurement officer.
We also understand that FEMA needs to secure more space in the affected areas to set up the units. It is our understanding that FEMA intends to restrict future purchases to trailers or park models ranging from 30 to 35 feet in length. FEMA told RVDA it did order some trailers in the 26- to 27-foot range, but the agency determined those units are “just barely doable” for temporary housing.
FEMA specifications also include the following requirements:
• Only brand new units under warranty
• Quotes must include the VIN#
• Units priced under $20,000 are preferred
• Price must include delivery and PDI
• Must have AC/heat and furniture
• No toy haulers or fifth-wheels
RVDA encourages anyone who has units available that meet FEMA specs to contact an RVDA dealer member in the hurricane affected area. This includes Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and other states that have taken in those displaced by the hurricane. Many dealers tell RVDA that they are eager to work with their fellow members. A list of members by state is available at www.rvda.org.
The House Appropriations Committee issued a news release stating that FEMA plans to buy 100,000 trailers for temporary housing. Other published reports vary. We have not been able to confirm with FEMA how many of these trailers would be classified as RV travel trailers.
We understand some lenders may have special wholesale financing programs available for units dedicated to disaster relief. Contact your floorplan lender to see if they have such a program.
If your dealership wants to participate in the relief efforts, we suggest visiting www.swern.gov, the website set up by the Department of Homeland Security to register businesses and individuals seeking to participate in relief efforts.
We know a number of dealers are setting up clothing, food, and fundraising drives in their local communities. Thanks to all RVDA members who are helping in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.