WaPo: “FEMA Flip Flops Again on Trailers”

So now FEMAwill buy back the trailers they sold…

FEMA was forced to put trailers on the market, selling them to anyone for 40 cents on the dollar.

Yesterday, however, the emergency agency offered to buy them back, for
their original purchase price, because of concerns that the trailers
are tainted with formaldehyde. The agency said it is making the offer
because of concerns about “possible adverse health effects” associated
with the trailers.

More than 10,800 trailers were sold to the public by theGeneral Services Administration
from July 2006 until the program was suspended in July 2007, FEMA
officials said. All of the trailers bought directly from the GSA will
be eligible for the full buybacks, although purchasers will be
responsible for getting the trailers back to FEMA drop-off points.


McIntyre said he does not know the possible cost to the government of
the trailer buyback. Last year, however, the agency said an average
trailer cost $18,600 and that the government was getting about 40 cents
on the dollar for the vehicles it was selling. The spokesman also said
it is unclear what will happen to the returned trailers.

Thousands of unused trailers remain in storage at airfields, industrial parks and warehouses.

According to yesterday’s FEMA release, anyone who bought a trailer
through the GSA or FEMA will have 60 days to request a refund. In
addition to the 10,839 sold through online auctions, McIntyre said that
an additional 864 trailers were purchased by evacuees directly from

One thought on “WaPo: “FEMA Flip Flops Again on Trailers”

  1. This is striking me as odd. Last I heard, the govt was going to sample for formaldehyde (of course, in the dead of winter on the coldest day of the year and after the windows had been open so they can air out – OK I made up the last line, or did I?).
    I haven’t heard anything about the results of the testing (which can be done fairly quickly). But it seems that any buy-back offers would only be done after the testing – because if the levels are OK, then there is no reason to buy them back.

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