Gulf of Mexico
Kim Brent / The Enterprise

TX - George P. Bush to FEMA: Don’t Discontinue Partial Home Repairs and Put Lives at Risk this Hurricane Season

Following Hurricane Harvey, about 30,000 Texas residents fled their homes to seek safety in emergency shelters with potentially hundreds of thousands evacuating to stay with family and friends.

Approximately 10,000 sheltered in the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. Today, this situation would create another problem - the threat of “super spreading” COVID-19.

Experts are predicting an above-normal hurricane season with 13 to 19 named storms and three to six major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater with wind speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. These storms not only bring wind and flood damage, they can displace hundreds of thousands of coastal and inland residents.

When a large-scale natural disaster strikes, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) first provides Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA), which moves displaced residents from emergency shelters into temporary, non-congregate locations such as hotels. Following TSA, FEMA’s standard post-disaster short-term housing program is the temporary placement of travel trailers and manufactured housing units, or MHUs.

The problem with trailers and MHUs is that they are expensive and difficult to place with burdensome regulation. MHUs can cost taxpayers up to $250,000 to haul, install and deactivate, and are considerably less resilient to disaster than many alternative housing options created since the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act was passed in 1988.

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