FEMA has problems with doing it right
[Mar. 13th, 2008|10:42 am]
DID FEMA attack WQRZ because WQRZ and Jesse Fineran have spoken out
about FEMA obscuring the fact thatFEMA knew the Occupants of FEMA
trailers were suffers for the TOXIC Agent that was hidden in the
housing that FEMA leased to Hurricane Survivors. After being removed
from the position of FEMA mobile home operations in Hancock County in
December 2006 for speaking out about formaldehyde, health/safety and
core value issues, Fineran filed Equal Employee Opportunity against
The FEMA and Biloxi TRO for attempting silience me crys to protect
occupant and worker from the dangers of formaldehyde. The Hancock
County EOC had requestred that FEMA protect these victims of FEMA
gassing in 2005, just weeks after the first trailer arrived. FEMA knew
the survivors were suffering. FEMA continues to retaliate against
Fineran, his family and now WQRZ. Fineran is disablied from back
injury in the 1987, WQRZ is operated by individuals who are
disabled, appears that the bullies from FEMA have a history of picking
on the disablied. FEMA designed and had trailers constructed to
house the injuried and disablied, it is interesting that these unit
contained more poisons that models that were available to the general
public. Children are more affected by what FEMA training manuals
identify as a toxic chemical agent, Katrina took our homes and FEMA is
taking our babies lives.
CDC acts like this is an opportinuty to do a study on the health
issues, and offers nothing to the families they thier malfeasance may
have facilitated injury.

Lawyer: Documents raise new questions about FEMA trailers

NEW ORLEANS — Federal officials issued trailers to Hurricane Katrina
victims even though some workplace safety tests detected high levels
of formaldehyde at government staging areas for the structures just
weeks after the storm, a lawyer for hundreds of occupants said

Documents from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration raise
new questions about how much federal officials knew about the units,
which were sent to tens of thousands of displaced residents, said
attorney Anthony Buzbee. But they don't say whether the tests in the
weeks after the August 2005 storm were conducted inside or outside the

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which issued the trailers,
has been moving residents out for several months because of health

Recent tests on hundreds of FEMA trailers and mobile homes in
Louisiana and Mississippi found formaldehyde levels about five times
what people are exposed to in most modern homes, the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention announced last month.

At its peak, more than 143,000 trailers were in use by Katrina victims
across the Gulf Coast. About 34,000 are still occupied.

Buzbee said he reviewed a 10-page summary of test results from air
sampling at FEMA staging facilities in Mississippi that found
formaldehyde levels exceeding maximums set for federal workplace
safety. Buzbee said the documents show some tests were performed as
early as Oct. 11, 2005, and as late as Jan. 17, 2006.

"This is astonishing," Buzbee said Wednesday in an interview. "How
could they feign ignorance that this was an issue even before they
sent these trailers to residents?"

It was unclear whether the tests were performed by OSHA or FEMA. Clyde
Payne, OSHA area director, said he couldn't comment on the test
results obtained by Buzbee.

FEMA spokesman James McIntyre wouldn't immediately comment on Buzbee's
allegations, but he said formaldehyde tests at work sites are required
under federal law.

"These are just safety tests for personnel," he said. "They were never
designed for the occupants."

Formaldehyde, a preservative commonly used in construction materials,
can cause respiratory problems and is believed to cause cancer.

FEMA lawyers had discouraged officials from investigating residents'
health complaints because of liability concerns, according to
documents released by a congressional panel in July 2007.

Buzbee wrote about the test results in a letter Wednesday to Louisiana
Gov. Bobby Jindal and several members of Congress.

Adam Sharp, a spokesman for Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said the
information provided by Buzbee will be fodder for a congressional
panel's review of FEMA's response to formaldehyde concerns.

"One of the essential questions this investigation will answer is,
'What was the timeline?"' Sharp said. "How much of a lag existed
between when FEMA became aware of the (formaldehyde) dangers ... and
when did they first start notifying trailer occupants about the

In testimony before a congressional panel last week, a CDC official
said problems with formaldehyde in trailers date back to the 1980s.

Howard Frumkin, director of the CDC's National Center For
Environmental Health, said the problem seemed to "recede" until FEMA
used tens of thousands of travel trailers to shelter victims of the
2005 storm.

"FEMA has never denied that trailers have formaldehyde," McIntyre
said. "We haven't tried to hide anything."

Times Picayune

EDITORIAL: Blowing the deadline
Monday, March 10, 2008
After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of New Orleanians waited for months
for FEMA and the federal bureaucracy to deliver post-disaster housing
-- and the agency blamed most of the delays on the catastrophe's

That the federal government was unprepared to house tens of thousands
of people after Katrina was one thing. But the Federal Emergency
Management Agency really has no excuse now, more than two and half
years later, for not having come up with a comprehensive strategy to
house survivors of the next big catastrophe.

Congress ordered FEMA to come up with such a plan post-Katrina and set
a July 2007 deadline. Eight months after the deadline the agency has
not delivered. On the contrary, at a congressional hearing on
emergency preparedness last week, the agency said the plan won't be
ready until April 1.

Sen. Mary Landrieu appropriately chastised a top FEMA official for the
delays, which put survivors of future disasters at risk of getting the
same misstreatment Gulf Coast residents suffered after Katrina. A
California earthquake could strike at any time, and the next hurricane
season is less than three months away.

Harvey Johnson, FEMA's acting deputy administrator, told the committee
that the plan has been delayed while the government figures out how to
deal with possible formaldehyde contamination in more than 34,000
travel trailers still occupied along the Gulf Coast.

But FEMA officials were alerted of the formaldehyde issues shortly
after the storm -- they simply chose to ignore complaints until last
year. Even then, they have had months to come up with an emergency
housing plan that takes into account the formaldehyde problem.

"These are very difficult issues," Mr. Johnson said. "There are very
few simple answers."

Whining that the task is hard won't house disaster victims.

FEMA's lack of preparedness has already affected its response in a
much smaller disaster. After tornadoes ripped through several states
Feb. 5, the agency said it would use some of the thousands of unused
trailers stored in Hope, Ark. But a few days later it said there would
be a two-week delay while the trailers were tested for formaldehyde
and aired out.

That's the result of not being prepared -- and that's why Congress
needs to keep pressure on FEMA to complete the emergency housing plan.