Thousands Still Homeless in Bay Co. and FEMA Trailers Nowhere to be Found

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Nearly every day since Hurricane Michael hit our area, people have been asking “when is FEMA going to help?”

A lot of those people had homes destroyed and want the federal agency to provide trailers. Bay County officials are now asking the same questions.

It’s difficult for anyone to recover without a roof over their head. FEMA has the ability to deliver trailers to serve as shelters for thousands of Bay County people left homeless. A FEMA spokesperson told News 13 when the trailers arrive is up to the county. Bay County officials said they’ve already made the request for trailers.  

“We’ve been having daily if not hourly conversations about how can we get these trailers on the ground now,” said Assistant Bay County Manager Joel Schubert.

Schubert said they’ve submitted the need to FEMA on October 23rd, about a week ago, and they’re looking for help outside of FEMA as well. FEMA then sent request for proposals (RFP’s) out Monday. The federal government requires RFP’s to find manufacturers for the trailers.

“It’s a period of several days to a week, two weeks max, we don’t know where it’s advertised to give contractors an opportunity to respond. From there, the contractors can produce these and they start rolling in,” said Schubert. He said that’s good news, meaning that the ball is finally rolling.

The county already established land for the trailers and also changed the county code to allow trailers on people’s private land.

“While it’s FEMA’s process, we want to certainly be as great of a partner as possible and do everything we can to expedite this process,” said Schubert.

Schubert said the county understands the need for trailers. 

“We’re doing everything we possibly can to make it days and weeks and not months because we know what the need is,” Schubert said. 

FEMA representatives declined our request for an interview, saying only that they don’t have any information to give us.

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