Inside look at FEMA’s temporary housing base in Alexandria

Updated: Nov. 19, 2020 at 10:39 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It has been nearly three months since Hurricane Laura and residents of Southwest Louisiana are still in the middle of receiving FEMA assistance.

One example of assistance is temporary housing.

Trailers after being purchased by FEMA end up at the Alexandria temporary housing staging area. Trailers with up to two bedrooms and manufacturing housing units (MHUs) up to three-bedrooms get brought to the staging site in order to be prepared and deployed to the parishes affected by the hurricanes.

Site manager, Charles Grice explained it’s organized in lanes so they know which one to send where.

“They’ll cut work orders for us, to our contractors,” Grice said. “Our contractor will bring in a work order to us, and we’ll match that work order to the unit we have identified to ship out to that.”

Making sure a unit is ready to send out isn’t an easy task.

“FEMA needs to get the permits and work with the contractors,” said spokesperson Gerard Hammink. “Definitely a mobile home, you need to set that up with water, sewer, electricity, but yes, even these travel trailers need to be set up with water, sewer, electricity.”

Finding contractors to set up units has been a challenge, he explained.

“You got to get the contractors, and they’re in high demand right now, contractors in Lake Charles, because everyone is working on recovery,” Hammink said.

Everything at the site is with safety in mind.

“When the unit gets here, they inspect it to see how it handled the trip here, and then when they move it to the site, they have to inspect it again to make sure it wasn’t damaged in that move,” Hammink said.

Over 400 units have been shipped out already, with many new ones coming in ready to be prepped to eventually be deployed.

The deadline to register for FEMA is only one week away.

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