Venice family still waiting for FEMA trailer six months after hurricane
A Venice family’s home was destroyed in hurricane Ian. They were approved for a FEMA trailer, the FEMA trailer is sitting on their property, but they cannot move in yet.
“You couldn’t even get in here without having to kayak,” said Venice resident Emily Davis.
Davis and her three kids returned after the hurricane to find their home under four feet of water and without a roof.
“I immediately started thinking what are we supposed to do, what’s the next step, what’s the next step,” said Davis.
A glimmer of hope, Davis was approved for a FEMA mobile home on November 8th right before the holidays.
"After we were approved they came out a week later and measured off the property," said Davis.
The mobile home was finally delivered in February. One problem - they couldn’t move in yet.
“We spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, my daughters 16th birthday, my son's first birthday, all in hotel rooms and Air BnB’s,” said Davis.
Power lines were installed, water was hooked up, but still no keys. FEMA told Davis she is waiting on an electric meter and an inspection.
“It’s sat for over a month now and we still can’t access it,” said Davis.
Davis works full time at Sarasota Memorial Hospital but the bills don’t stop stacking up.
Despite receiving $4,000 for rental assistance, $7,000 for personal property, and $700 for miscellaneous items, six months worth of hotels and Air BnB’s has swallowed every penny.
“I’ve helped move her about 5 times now and the money that she received for the contents of her home is gone,” said Sheila Davis, Emily's mother.
“The money I’ve spent trying to keep us afloat is just astronomical. It makes my stomach turn. It’s been my life savings,” said Davis.
As a last resort, Emily’s best friend, Kelly Merryman, reached out to SNN with her story.
“They keep making these promises that it will be here soon, it will be here soon, and me being 800 miles away in Tennessee it’s hard for me to talk to her on the phone and hear the desperation in her voice,” said Merryman.
The same morning SNN began efforting some answers from FEMA, the electric company showed up to install the meter.
FEMA tells SNN that a final inspection needs to be done before Davis can move in. A time line on when that inspection will be done is unclear.