Editor’s Note: Following is an exclusive interview by Industry in Focus Reporter Matthew Silver with Sherry Norris in Alabama as that state recovers from the tornadoes of April 28.
In a conversation with MHMSM, Sherry Norris, Executive Director of the Alabama Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA), says the Federal Emergency Management Agency had the foresight last year to build manufactured housing units in preparation for future disasters, and stage them at Selma, Alabama.
Norris heard there are over 2,000 homes that are now in the process of being moved to the northern Alabama area where they are needed.
She says, “Some people are living in tents. I heard of one family who was trying to build a shelter out of the debris of their home. Those people need one of our houses ASAP.”
Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), who represents District 4, where all the state’s manufactured housing plants are located, and Governor Robert Bentley, are insisting the replacement homes used for the victims of the tornadoes are from Alabama manufacturers.
FEMA has asked Norris to obtain figures from manufactured housing retailers in the state for an inventory of available homes once the units from Selma have been distributed.
Norris says the replacement homes are not the ones you might see on a retailer’s lot, but are three bedroom, one bath single sections, fully furnished and ready to be hooked to utilities.
Norris further stated FEMA is also preparing for the hurricane season, so the houses now being used will need to be replaced. The flooding of the Mississippi may even require additional homes to be built. # #