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.