Bechtel, FEMA House Over 7,700 Katrina victims
5,400 trailers delivered across Mississippi
JACKSON, Miss., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Bechtel and FEMA surpassed a major goal by delivering over 5,400 trailers since September 8 for Mississippi residents who lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina. As of Thursday, Sept. 29, 5,457 trailers had been delivered for occupancy, and over 7,700 residents had moved in. Bechtel's work on FEMA's disaster relief efforts is employing about 1,600 people. Most of the work is being performed by local suppliers and contractors who are being identified with help from local construction industry groups. At a Glance: Bechtel's Emergency Relief Work for FEMA Updated September 29, 2005 Background As soon as Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, FEMA requested Bechtel's help in assessing damage and supporting relief efforts in the hardest-hit areas. Bechtel is one of four companies FEMA selected to site and set up temporary housing for displaced families. Bechtel has been working in Mississippi since the beginning of September under an interim agreement with FEMA while the scope of work, contract value, and terms are formalized. 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, September 29, 2005) -- Bechtel has delivered 5457 temporary housing units and over 7700 people have moved in. -- Bechtel has set up temporary emergency housing operation centers (TEHOCs) in three southern Mississippi counties -- Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson -- where more than 14,500 people have registered with FEMA for housing. -- Bechtel has also established seven fully equipped and staffed FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in Biloxi, Gulfport, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Poplarville, and Waveland. More than 25,000 disaster victims have used those centers to register for FEMA assistance. Contracting and employment Bechtel's work on FEMA's disaster relief efforts is employing about 1,600 people. With help from local construction industry groups, we are identifying and using as many local suppliers and contractors as possible. -- 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 Housing Strategy and Support -- Identify local resources, including available rental units, vacant housing complexes, and open space for group housing sites. -- Meet with local officials regarding housing options and research local codes associated with building and land use. Site Identification & Assessment -- Identify sites that can be leased by FEMA for housing units and other temporary housing. -- Supply and contract for appropriate services, renovations, and site preparation required to use the facilities or sites. -- Report results of findings to FEMA and continue to assess additional sites. Installation -- Secure necessary permits and prepare sites for proper installation based on state and local requirements. -- Using licensed installers, place code-compliant housing units and ready them for safe occupancy. -- Establish procedures to ensure quality of work and to track progress and compliance with FEMA requirements. Maintenance -- Provide maintenance services for installed housing units. -- Establish a toll-free number for occupants to report maintenance problems. -- Establish and maintain a maintenance log for every housing structure. -- Subcontract for maintenance personnel as needed. 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 has 10 full-time DCAA auditors housed in our home office. 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. Bechtel has begun an internal audit of our startup work for FEMA as a precautionary measure. 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 nearly $1.3 million in contributions to the American Red Cross. -- Bechtel will also contribute profits from its 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.
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