Perkins unveils city’s Hurricane Katrina plan

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 1, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

At a press conference on Thursday, Mayor James Perkins Jr. outlined the city’s plan to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina who have come to Selma seeking refuge.

Perkins said the plan, which was developed by his staff over the past two days, is contingent on whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency can supply the city with 200 of its travel trailers stored at a local industrial park to provide temporary shelter for natural disaster victims.

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Unfortunately, Perkins said, FEMA has sent all of its trailers to areas along the Gulf Coast where the hurricane caused major destruction.

If the city can receive the travel trailers from FEMA, Perkins said he wants to locate property that can support a &8220;colony&8221; of evacuees temporarily living in the travel trailers.

In the meantime, Perkins is asking local churches or residents to take in Hurricane evacuees for an undetermined amount of time.

In addition to this, the city’s Katrina plan includes identifying businesses willing to help defray the cost of healthcare needs for some of the evacuees.

Perkins said Selma City Schools received permission from the State Board of Education to allow evacuee children to be accepted into local schools without the required immunization records.

Perkins said his staff is also working to identify food sources for the evacuees.

Since there is no determined amount of time when, or if, the Gulf Coast evacuees will be able to return home, Perkins said his staff has also considered helping them get enrolled in Wallace Community College’s Selma Works program.

Tammy Maul, a representative for Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, said the congressman’s office is also working with local churches to help feed the city’s evacuees.

Maul said Selma could expect to see even more evacuees from Mississippi and Louisiana in the coming weeks.

Perkins said his staff is also working on alternative plans in case the city cannot receive help from FEMA.