The Federal Emergency Management Agency was praised by President Obama for its handling of Superstorm Sandy, but not all East Coast residents ravaged by Mother Nature last month would agree.
Those unhappy with the handling of the Sandy aftermath may have just found another reason to be upset with FEMA. In the months and weeks leading up to the colossal frankenstorm that caused tens of billions of dollars in damage along the Atlantic Coast, the federally-managed FEMA agency practically threw away emergency shelters as millions were in grave danger of a storm eventually caused over 100 confirmed deaths. As recently October 22 — the very day that the National Weather Service upgraded the tropical depression to a near-hurricane named Sandy — FEMA was selling disaster trailers to be used in the event of a major emergency.
According to a report by the Washington Examiner this week, FEMA sold 886 of those prefabricated trailers since 2009, with around a quarter of those sales happening just this year. The Examiner investigation found that 46 of those bunkers were bought by residents of New York State, where Sandy stripped down power lines and made a disaster area out of the Big Apple.
FEMA may have been offering assistance in the days before Sandy, but at a price. Those trailers, the General Services Administration notes, were purchased by the government for around $25,000 a piece, only to be auctioned off at as low as one-fifth of that.
“I don’t know what was the driving force behind auctioning off or selling these units at a significantly reduced rate.But I can tell you temporary housing is going to be a critical issue in New Jersey and New York as they try to recover,” Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Robert Latham tells the Examiner.