FEMA may have its flaws, but it seems cock-eyed optimism isn't one of them. The Federal Emergency Management Agency apparently expects heavy demand for those FEMA trailers during the 2006 hurricane season. As part of its hurricane preparations, the agency has been scouting out large tracts of land to lease for the storage of trailers and mobile homes.
For landowners, it could be a profitable deal. Last September, the state of Maryland renewed a lease with FEMA to maintain a staging site and distribution center at a former PPG Industries plant in Mexico Farms, Md. FEMA agreed to pay $1,035,000 in annual rent for the 70 acres of land and 500,000 square feet of warehouse space.
Landowners whose property is located somewhere other than Maryland need not despair. Niki Edwards, public affairs officer for FEMA's Mid-Atlantic region, says the search for land isn't confined to that state. "We are looking at sites across the country," she says.