About ToxicTrailers.com

ToxicTrailers.com was launched after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when the government spent more than $2 billion on FEMA trailers with high levels of formaldehyde that sickened thousands of people. The FEMA trailer tragedy exposed what is a widespread problem in RVs, mobile homes, modular buildings and even conventional buildings that use pressed wood products. Unfortunately, as we approach the tenth anniversary of Katrina, formaldehyde regulations are not being enforced in the U.S., and people's health is at risk. If you are having burning eyes, congestion, sore throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, frequent sinus infections or rashes, and difficulties concentrating, you may have a formaldehyde problem. For questions or to share your story, write 4becky@cox.net.

Monday, February 11, 2008

FEMA trailer worse than losing home?

My name is Kimberly Whitaker. I am currently living in a FEMA trailer. I live in New Augusta, MS, and I received my trailer in June of 2006. I was so excited when I received my trailer because we were quickly loosing ground financially. We had begun remodeling a home in February of 2005, but things went completely wrong after the hurricane. The progress that we had made was ruined and on top of that, the home that we were renting had damage as well.
Our landlords doubled our rent and we quickly started sinking in debt because on top of rent, we were paying house notes. We felt we were fortunate, and never thought about how bad our situation was. When we felt we had nowhere to go, we decided to apply for a trailer. We were thrilled to find out that we qualified.
During the time that we received our trailer, I was at summer break from my job as a teacher. Things seemed great. Well, as time went on and the school year began, I started having some health problems. I blamed these problems on stress and sought the opinion of the local medical clinic. During the next year, I fought sinus problems, headaches, and severe exhaustion.
We looked at every possible answer, but my living situation never came into question. I simply never thought to look in that direction.
I have also had the severe problem of mold growing in the trailer. Honestly, I thought this was my fault. I knew that condensation was a problem, but simply continued to clean up what I could of the mold that started to grow. It was hard to keep it away from the windows and parts of the walls. As time has gone on and now with winter this had gotten much worse. My clothes that must stay in the compartment under the bed always feel wet and some are growing mold.
Over the past year and a half, we have battled many of these problems, and I have missed a great deal of work. We would love to get out of the trailer, but unfortunately with our ruined credit and the rise in building materials, we are unable to fund the completion of our house. We are now in a situation that seems just as bad as when we began.

Kimberly Whitaker, kwhitaker@perry.k12.ms.us