2014

Bechtel, FEMA House Over 10,000 Katrina Victims; 7,485 Trailers Delivered Across Mississippi

    JACKSON, Miss., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 10,000 Mississippi
 residents who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina are now in emergency housing
 provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its contractor
 in Mississippi, Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI).
      (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051007/SFF028
               http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050923/SFF017-a )
     "While providing homes for 10,000 people after just four weeks on the job
 is a good start for our team, there are still thousands more who need
 housing," said Andy Phelps, BNI's program manager. "To surmount that
 challenge, we continue to hire local workers and subcontractors and put more
 of our employees on the ground to expedite the work."
     He added, "Our people are working 12 hours a day, seven days a week to
 place travel trailers and mobile homes, hook up the utilities, and provide
 safe, quality housing units. Currently about 1,000 people are moving into the
 units each day," he said.
     As of October 6, Mississippi residents had moved into nearly 4,000 units
 provided by FEMA and Bechtel.
     Bechtel's work on FEMA's disaster relief efforts is employing more than
 1,800 people, mostly from Mississippi and other Gulf states. To date,
 60 percent of Bechtel's subcontracts have been awarded to firms in Mississippi
 and 79 percent to firms from the Gulf Coast region. Further, 77 percent of
 Bechtel's subcontracts have been awarded to small businesses, and Bechtel is
 making every effort to bring on women- and minority-owned firms.
     Contractors and suppliers can register at the Bechtel supplier/contractor
 site (http://supplier.bechtel.com). It lists some of the equipment the company
 may need, and offers instructions on how to register on the database.
 
      At a Glance: Bechtel's Emergency Relief Work for FEMA
      Updated October 7, 2005
 
     Background
     Bechtel has been working with FEMA in Mississippi since the beginning of
 September to site and set up temporary housing for families displaced by
 Hurricane Katrina.
 
        August 29  Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast. FEMA contacts Bechtel
                   for assistance.
      September 2  Bechtel mobilizes its first personnel on the ground in the
                   Gulf states (Baton Rouge)
      September 8  First mobile housing units installed
 
      Accomplishments (as of Thursday, October 6, 2005)
      * Bechtel has delivered 7,485 temporary housing units, which now provide
        shelter to nearly 10,600 people.
      * Bechtel set up temporary emergency housing operation centers (TEHOCs)
        in three southern Mississippi counties, where nearly 20,000 people have
        registered with FEMA for housing.
      * Bechtel also established fully equipped and staffed FEMA Disaster
        Recovery Centers, where more than 25,000 disaster victims have gone to
        register for FEMA assistance.
 
     Contracting and employment
     Bechtel's work on FEMA's disaster relief efforts is employing more than
 1,800 people, mostly from Mississippi and other Gulf states. With help from
 local construction industry groups, we are identifying and using as many local
 suppliers and contractors as possible. Bechtel is also making every effort to
 use the services of women- and minority-owned firms.
      * 60 percent of Bechtel's subcontracts have been awarded to firms in
        Mississippi and 79 percent to firms in the Gulf region (by dollar
        volume).
      * 77 percent of Bechtel's subcontracts have been awarded to small
        businesses.
      * We encourage local contractors and suppliers to register at the Bechtel
        supplier/contractor site (http://supplier.bechtel.com). It lists some
        of the equipment we may need, and offers instructions on how to
        complete registration in our data base.
      * Individuals seeking non-manual employment with Bechtel should express
        their interest by visiting http://www.bechtel.com/careers/. Individuals
        interested in manual (craft) employment should call 1-800-644-7244.
 
     Major tasks
     Under a letter agreement with FEMA, Bechtel performs tasks specified by
 the agency, including:
      * Identifying local resources, including available rental units, vacant
        housing complexes, open space for group housing sites, and sites that
        can be leased by FEMA for housing.
      * Securing necessary permits and prepare sites for proper installation
        based on state and local requirements.
      * Using lists of eligible housing recipients provided by FEMA, in order
        received, deliver and install code-compliant housing units and ready
        them for safe occupancy.
      * Establishing procedures to ensure quality of work and to track progress
        and compliance with FEMA requirements.
      * Providing maintenance services for installed housing units and a toll-
        free number for occupants to report maintenance problems.
 
     Meeting federal rules and regulations
     Bechtel's compliance with federal rules and procedures on the FEMA project
 is subject to audit by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) as well as
 FEMA's Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office.
     Bechtel currently hosts 10 full-time DCAA auditors in our home office to
 facilitate oversight of our government work. Every year they audit selected
 projects, overhead charges, and other functions such as procurement, travel,
 or government billing processes. The results of these audits are transmitted
 to all our government customers.
     As a precautionary initiative, Bechtel has already begun an internal audit
 of our startup work for FEMA. Although not required to do so, Bechtel gives
 all of its internal audit reports on government work to DCAA for review to
 facilitate their work and ensure the greatest possible transparency.
     Bechtel provides compliance training on the FEMA project for all employees
 and subcontractor personnel working in support roles. This training covers
 issues such as labor charging, allowable and unallowable costs, truth in
 negotiations, gifts and gratuities regulations, product substitution,
 revolving door restrictions, and drug-free workplace rules.
 
      Humanitarian contributions
      * Bechtel and our employees have made more than $1.3 million in
        contributions to the American Red Cross.
      * Bechtel will also contribute profits from our initial relief work for
        the benefit of victims of this natural disaster.
 
     Bechtel's experience
     Bechtel, the largest construction contractor in the United States, was
 selected to perform this work based on our extensive experience in emergency
 response and restoration work, including:
      * rescue and recovery at the World Trade Center in New York after 9/11
      * building Kosovar refugee camps in Albania
      * civil reconstruction work in Iraq
      * extinguishing oil fires in Kuwait
      * safety assessments after major earthquakes in San Francisco, Taiwan,
        and Turkey.
 
     FEMA was familiar with Bechtel's record based on a detailed outline of
 credentials that we submitted to the agency prior to the Katrina disaster.
 
 

SOURCE Bechtel National, Inc.

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