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Trailer Park Nightmares

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FEMA has ordered 300,000 RVs and trailers for the Katrina victims. Really. At a cost of $5 billion. That’s about $17,000 per unit, which baffles me given not only the acquisition costs involved, but also the staging and construction that has to accompany the effort.

Rick from StonesCryOut was actually one of the drafters of this part of FEMA’s catastrophic response plan during the “Hurrican Pam” exercise last year. I asked Rick on air today what the costs of this plan were, and he told me that planners in the exercise had been told to disregard cost. Not a surprise, but what a nightmare this is.

Look: Give every family a check. A good sized check. Tell them that’s their relief payment and to use it wisely. Match them with churches/not-for-profits around the country and ship them out. Creating trailer parks for this many people is just a terrible idea.

Aside: Radioblogger wants to know who got the pink flamingo subcontract. He also wonders if anyone gamed out the obvious tornado magnet effects of this plan.

Discovering the new blog IslandThoughts based out of Hawaii made me think that part of the answer to the housing crisis are timeshares. From what I gather, it isn’t like these are overutilized right now.

UPDATE: Wagonboy (world’s laziest blogger) suggests that even a few moments here will persuade you that FEMA’s projected budget of $5 billion for 300,000 trailers is not only low, it is lower than any low that is reasonable even for a government estimate.


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