FMHA Director Asks for Information to Connect Resources to Areas of Need, Stories from Hurricane Irma
Manufactured home communities in the path of Hurricane Irma have experienced varying degrees of damage and flooding, and the Florida Manufactured Housing Association has put out a request for information that can bring resources to people in need and tell the stories of storm survivors.
“We’re still trying to assess the extent of the damage. We’re getting varied reports all over. There’s a lot of damage in the Keys and up the west coast and into Tampa,” FMHA Executive Director James Ayotte said. “The east coast has a lot of flooding from storm surge, if not damage from the wind.”
Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida on Sunday morning. Power is out to more than half of the state’s residents, and flooding and property damage is widespread for home owners.
Ayotte said FMHA is organizing a crew to fly over the region and will document conditions.
In the meantime, the association would like to hear from homeowners and residents who need help, or have resources to provide, and also would like to document how the storm affected individual manufactured homes.
“We’re open for business, and working with state and federal entities to get the aid people need,” Ayotte said. “If people need assistance, please contact us and we can accommodate that. We have members who have inventory, with homes and sites that are available right now.”
Many Floridians are stranded or isolated for a variety of reasons, including communication and infrastructure disruptions, as well as because of health or socio-economic challenges. FEMA, the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and national recovery teams have been working round the clock to lend assistance.
“As an industry, it’s of great interest to us how manufactured homes, particularly the ones built since 1994, are holding up,” Ayotte said. “We want the stories, we want people to share with us what they’ve experienced.”
Individual residents and community owners/managers should call FMHA at (850) 907-9111 to report the condition of homes, share experiences from Hurricane Irma, as well as to express any needs or ideas for providing relief.