FEMA for all

In YIKES! Studio


mixed media on canvas, 36" x 12" These 3 square panels each depict a FEMA trailer in a homeowner’s yard. Homeowners such as these had a lawn they could put their trailer on. People from public housing did not and lived side by side in huge trailer lots that quickly became havens for drugs and crime. Fenced off and guarded, the trailers in the “parks” (asphalt parking lots) look more like shipping containers than homes These Federally issued trailers are still being lived in 3 years after Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Nagin said he’d like people out of remaining trailers by August, citing concerns raised about formaldehyde fumes in trailers and mobile homes supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in February said formaldehyde fumes averaged five times the amount in most modern homes. Sometimes reaching 40 times more. Formaldehyde can lead to breathing problems and is also believed to cause cancer. Meanwhile, FEMA and local officials in coastal AL, MS and LA press on with evictions and other efforts to effectively shift the liability for any future health problems stemming from formaldehyde to trailer occupants themselves. Moving out may not be possible for everybody. Many people are still fighting for insurance money and for government help. Unscrupulous contractors have targeted others, promising to fix houses but never following through. Many residents are overwhelmed by bureaucracy. Still others just don’t have enough money.

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