Report: Improperly stored FEMA housing units wrecked due to weather exposure

Note that the report was delivered Oct. 18 but not released publicly until the day after the election.GovExec.com story from Nov. 10…

The Federal Emergency Management Agency left modular homes intended for Hurricane Katrina evacuees exposed to the elements while being stored in Arkansas, rendering up to $4 million worth of units uninhabitable, according to a recent audit report.

The report by the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general called on FEMA to create inventories of units and formally acknowledge how many are beyond repair. Inspectors also recommended that the agency develop cost-effective plans for storing and using remaining modular homes and provide better weather protection.

The report — delivered to FEMA on Oct. 18 but not released publicly until Wednesday — said the agency should establish policies that clarify what situations necessitate the purchase of modular home units and ensure they are properly packaged and stored.

And Guam beware… FEMA logistics officials still hope to somehow use the units to whichthe report stated

FEMA logistics officials said they are considering plans to send the Trimarro units to Guam, while retaining the DuraKit units for use in the continental United States. While we cannot comment on whether the Trimarro units might be suitable for use in Guam, or on what needs the DuraKit units would be suitable to meet, FEMA must take steps prior to any such anticipated uses to identify and account for the units that are no longer usable. In particular, FEMA should not ship unusable Trimarro units to Guam.

Thereport recommends that FEMA “inventory and determine the extent of damage to all modular home units currently in stock” and “formally write-off all modular home units that are beyond economical repair.” While FEMA officials concurred with those recommendations they said they could not determine total loss until they construct and inspect the homes.

But at least there is now some hope of oversight thanks to American voters…

“FEMA’s disregard of the inspector general’s earlier recommendations cost the American taxpayers millions,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., House Homeland Security Committee ranking member. “An atmosphere that permits this type of waste, fraud and abuse will not be tolerated in the new Congress.”

6 thoughts on “Report: Improperly stored FEMA housing units wrecked due to weather exposure

  1. Good catch which reminds me. Hey the election is over! All you reporters who were holding off on damaging stories about the republicans because it might “impact the election”–let’s see em.
    Have you been holding ones that were damaging to the democrats too? Good for you. Let’s see them. Crickets chriping.
    Let’s see some results of the Foley Scandel!
    More research into the Plame affair.

  2. Releasing this report prior to Wednesday would have inserted facts and accountabiity into the election process – thereby politicizing FEMA.
    Just like Rummy.
    How many times do I have to explain this to you?

  3. In all seriousness, if they can’t stand up to 1/2 a year in TexArkana (and how in the world is that “long term storage”), how long could they stand up to adverse weather in NOLA?
    From one of the links:
    The modular homes “weren’t designed for long-term storage” in Texarkana, Ark., said Debbie Wing, a FEMA spokeswoman. “The elements are going to cause them to deteriorate.”

  4. Most likely these “weather-damaged” modular homes were in fact stolen due to the extremely lax security. A friend of mine was working security on these homes for a while, and they were being stolen like mad *when there were guards there*. The guards were eliminated this spring, so it should be open season on them. I smell “cover story.”
    —Aaaargh

  5. Are you talking of trailers or modular homes being stolen?
    This GAO report was on modular homes. I would think more difficult to steal but who knows. I tend to trust GAO, can’t see them emgaging in a cover story.

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