From the comments section of our “FEMA Trailer Driver Speaks” post.
First, a resident of Louisana who lost everything, moved back and is ashamed with the response of the government:
I live in Slidell Louisiana and I am very angry about all of this. My house flooded and I lost everything as well as my daughter and my son in their respective homes. I ended up in Indiana (where people were extremely helpful to alot of Katrina victims) and I had to travel back and forth from Indiana to Slidell to get my house repaired. As I traveled I saw many sites where FEMA trailors were just parked in mass quantities while there are people living in cars and sheds just waiting and hoping for assistance from someone. The problem is that the left hand does not know what the right is doing with this whole process. Many Louisiana residents are coming back in Slidell but New Orleans residents that want to come back still have to look ahead at another hurricane season approaching and at a levee system that is not fixed. People have gone to other locations trying to get their lives back on track somehow and eight months later we are still doing that. I have moved back to Louisiana but question that decision every day since. Our government is sending troops and supplies overseas in mass quantity at great expense to our economy but cannot assist our own people that need so much help. They should be ashamed of the way they have handled this whole situation.
And then, another person who drove trailers:
On a daily basis I see about 100 – 150 flatbed train cars heading south through Hamilton, Ohio. Each car has 2 very cheaply made travel trailers straped to it. This line comes out of Chicago, IL so I can safely say these trains are from the Elkhart, IN area and heading for the New Orleans area.
A few days after Katrina hit I volunteered to help take trailers to Baton Rouge. On September 9th I loaded up to deliver the first of two travel trailers to the Baton Rouge FEMA lot from a well known RV dealer self proclaiming to be ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe MidwestÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s LargestÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? in Richmond IN. This dealer got a $14 million dollar contract with FEMA at the start. I found out the day I left with the first trailer that I would be getting paid $1200 per round trip. The drive from Hamilton, Ohio is a little over 900 miles to the drop lot in Baton Rouge. I spent $487 for fuel on the first trip and $423 for fuel on the second trip. Slept in the truck at the rest areas.
It pains me to see that these folks that have lost everything still have nothing due to government red tape.
Would I do it again? Yes, But it would be for the money.
Did I make a profit delivering these two trailers? NO. After learning that I would be getting paid I contacted my local Berean store and bought 400 BibleÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s and on the second trip I used a key that will fit most storage compartments on a travel trailer and placed a Bible in every trailer I saw until all 400 were gone.