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What is a FEMA mobile home?

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Quick Answer

FEMA mobile homes include a variety of trailers and manufactured housing used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to house victims of natural disasters and other mass displacement events. Victims of disasters generally move into these semi-permanent shelters after a few weeks in tents or temporary housing.

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Full Answer

When a homeowner is displaced, a FEMA mobile home is usually installed on the property once it is safe to return, and the family stays there while the home is repaired and made habitable. Renters who are displaced usually move to FEMA trailer parks containing multiple mobile homes until more suitable housing can be established. Typically, qualification for a free FEMA mobile home simply requires demonstration of flood damage in the residence, since even a small amount of standing water can lead to mold and other dangerous conditions.

While there are a number of designs used by the agency, a typical FEMA mobile home contains a master bedroom and a living area with bunk beds for additional family members. They feature air conditioning, propane heat, and running hot and cold water. The propane tanks also provide cooking fuel, and the kitchen is complete with a refrigerator and microwave oven. Sewage service is supplied by a connection to a sewage main on the property.

After Hurricane Katrina, some residents of FEMA trailers voiced concerns about strong chemical smells present in the mobile homes. Formaldehyde used in construction was determined to be the culprit, and some residents experienced respiratory issues linked to the high levels of the substance.

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