After reviewing in-depth analysis and evaluations, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes Special Flood Hazard Areas may be the only feasible option to place Temporary Housing Units in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties. FEMA never places manufactured housing units or travel trailers in a Special Flood Hazard Area as a first option; instead, this is only done after all other practicable options have been exhausted within a community approved for direct housing and with the approval of state and local officials.
Special Flood Hazard Areas are identified as having special flood, mudflow or flood-related erosion hazards. FEMA will not place Temporary Housing Units in a Coastal High Hazard Area or in a floodway. A floodway is an area subject to high water velocity flow in riverine areas. Based on analyses of environmental, historic and geographic factors, FEMA will determine the feasibility of each location before placing Temporary Housing Units in Special Flood Hazard Areas. FEMA must follow local codes and standards when placing Temporary Housing Units.
FEMA also implements measures to minimize the effect of floods on human health, safety, and welfare when placing a Temporary Housing Unit in a Special Flood Hazard Area. These measures include, but are not limited to:
- Sufficiently installing and anchoring all Temporary Housing Units in place.
- Educating and informing occupants of flood risks.
- Evaluating each occupant’s unique needs that may influence the ability to evacuate. For example, the number of older adults assigned to the temporary housing community, small children and people with disabilities or other access and functional needs are all factors considered when determining candidates for temporary housing in a Special Flood Hazard Area.
The use of travel trailers and manufactured housing units are among several temporary housing solutions FEMA may provide Hurricane Ian survivors who cannot safely return to their storm—damaged home. Other options include direct lease and multifamily lease and repair. For Direct Lease, FEMA leases existing ready-for-occupancy housing. Multifamily lease and repair is a program in which FEMA enters into lease agreements with owners of multifamily rental properties and makes repairs to existing vacant apartments to provide temporary housing for survivors.
FEMA temporary housing solutions also include rental assistance, home repair and home replacement assistance.
For many survivors, insurance may cover damage and loss. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance benefits. FEMA funding is intended to cover basic needs for those who don’t have insurance or lack adequate insurance to cover basic necessities after suffering damage and loss from a disaster like Hurricane Ian.
FEMA continues to coordinate with state and local emergency management, local floodplain administrators and building officials to best serve the housing needs of Hurricane Ian survivors.