PHOENIX — According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration it was the combination of a slow moving storm and incredibly moist air that caused severe flooding in Louisiana during August 2016. Water reached a 500-year event level... a storm with only a .2 percent chance of occurring in any given year.
In all, 12 of 64 parishes in Louisiana were declared major federal disaster areas. That's when the National Response Framework, under the Federal Emergency Management Agency, swung into action.
"I performed site inspection reports for FEMA," said David Vogt, a construction control representative with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District's Tucson Resident Office. "Once a disaster victim called the FEMA assistance request line, I would go to their damaged property and assess the feasibility of placing a manufactured home at the address during the repair of their home."
"Our Temporary Housing and Critical Public Facilities Team members provide FEMA with wide ranging support," said Anne Hutton, chief of the District's Emergency Management Office. "And, the team has to be ready to respond to any area in the United States."
Once onsite, all types of concerns are taken into account before making a recommendation.
"Parrish [county] codes and utility locations were factors on placement and size of the MHU that would "fit" the needs of the family," said Vogt. "I also had to secure signature authority on ingress, egress and the conditions of use and time frame of the FEMA assistance."
As of December 28, FEMA reports nearly 2,600 households have been moved into MHUs with more than 1,300 households in hotels through the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program.
"I enjoy giving back to local communities affected when disaster strikes," added Vogt. "I believe putting families back together and under the same roof in livable secure housing is the foundation to a new beginning and the rebuilding process."
This was the third deployment Vogt has made with the District.
"If someone would like to be a member of the team they should contact us," said Hutton. "I or a member of my staff will help them select a position, they'll complete an online medical screening, take FEMA training and sign a two-year Statement of Understanding. They are then ready for deployment."