HOUSING SHORTAGE IN AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE CHARLEY-Andrew Stelzer

08/25/04

It’s been almost two weeks since hurricane Charley tore through Florida, and the number of people in shelters is beginning to drop. But where those people will go is a matter of great concern, and there are no easy answers. Wayne Saladay is the director of emergency management for Charlotte County

ACT “We’ve lost over 10,000 structures, 16000 more with major damage..major disaster.�

According to Megari Van sickle executive director of the charlotte county Red Cross, initial assessments have been done on the entire area hit by hurricane charley, the next step is door-to-door visits.

ACT “The way the red cross works is that we do a preliminary survey first, then FEMA goes house to house

The federal emergency management agency, or FEMA, has begun bringing in trailer homes for people to move into, but that presents problems itself.

ACT ‘What were looking at is FEMA bringing in travel trailers…but we have to have enough land, sewage, water, and electric�..you cant just plop them on the side of the road

There were also plans to provide tarps to people who lived in homes without roofs, but that idea has been scrapped.

ACT “It has been decided we are not going to move forward with tent accommodations because of weather, rain and heat.�

Van Sickle says the housing shortage in Charlotte County is making relief work more difficult

ACT “Housing is a issue not only for residents but for disaster relief workers who are here.�

Wayne Saladay, from charlotte county emergency management, says the trailers brought in by FEMA will be temporary in name alone.

ACT that’s going you be long term up to two years…doesn’t this leave the area at risk..yes absolutely..it does leave us more vulnerable..what can you do..we are a sitting duck should a storm come through the area.�

And Van sickle says the area will be considered in an emergency for a long time to come.

ACT “The Red Cross was here before and will be here after, but this kind of response, well be here at least a year working with the families of Charlotte County�

TO reach the Red Cross in charlottes county, call 941-629-4345 or toll-free at 1-866-get-info

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