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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, September 18, 2017
The AP has reported that FEMA is only using FEMA trailers in the Houston flooding as a last resort. This makes sense on many levels...the cost of FEMA trailers was very high, as was providing the pads, water, sewer and other infrastructure for them. Lots of taxpayer money wasted in Katrina\Rita paying outrageous prices for that infrastructure. It makes far more sense to put people up in hotels or apartments and put that money into fixing homes as quickly as possible. Also, most people didn't like living in the FEMA trailer parks. They didn't feel secure. FROM The AP: In a 2017 hurricane season that has already seen two monster storms, Harvey and Irma, manufactured homes are turning out to be just a small fraction of the federal government's plan to deal with displaced people, with only 1,700 trailers available. Where exactly the Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to send those trailers, Texas or Florida, is not yet clear. But what is clear is they will only be used as a last resort. That's in stark contrast to 2005, when 144,000 FEMA trailers became symbols of the troubled federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita after lawsuits accused some of those units of being riddled with high levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde. FEMA's new model for monster storms honed in the wake of 2012's Superstorm Sandy puts the emphasis on paying for hotels and apartments for temporary housing. That, along with money for super-fast fixes that allow people to move back into their own homes as quickly as possible, even before all the repairs are done. "Our role is to provide sort of the bridge to get through the disaster," FEMA spokesman Kurt Pickering said Saturday. "We are not intended to make people or households back the way they were before, to make them whole. We're designed to get them through the emergency." A joint state and federal housing task force in Austin is working with FEMA on the best way to allocate resources. But those affected are far more likely to get government support by way of a few weeks at a hotel, a couple of months of rent in an apartment or a check for repairs, than a FEMA trailer. "To put a mobile home or travel trailer out there is a significant expense — it really is the option of last resort," said Mark Miscak, an emergency management consultant and former director in FEMA's recovery division. That's the way it's playing out so far after Harvey, which damaged or destroyed more than 210,000 homes across southeast Texas, mostly from the effects of floodwaters from an epic downpour of nearly 52 inches. FEMA is picking up the tab for hotel rooms spread across Texas for about 60,000 people affected by the storm for up to two weeks. The agency is also paying a couple months' rent at the government's fair market rate for 27,000 additional households. To read the rest of the story, go to: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/fema-sees-trailers-resort-harvey-irma-49742355
Friday, January 13, 2017
Message from Nick Shapiro with Public Lab: Public Lab is collaborating with researchers at Morphix Technologies, Ohio State University, University of Buffalo, and Syracuse University in an NSF-funded project to design a new extremely low-cost system for formaldehyde detection. We are hoping to design a system that is broadly accessible and of interest to people everywhere.Please help us design a better system by completing this survey, helping us ensure that what we develop will meet your needs. We’ll close the survey on January 31st. Thank you so much for your time! Our finished product should be available within a year and the coding on our badge analysis app will be openly licensed so that it can be applied to other environmental justice issues.