FEMA and Bechtel Provide Housing for 1,600 Mississippi Famlies Displaced by Hurricane Katrina

September 23, 2005 Nearly 1,600 Mississippi families who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina are now living in temporary housing provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its contractor Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI).  

As of Thursday, September 22, evacuees had moved into 1,575 trailers and other housing units in Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties. Another 1,791 units have been staged and are ready for occupancy, while 3,474 more units are in place and being readied for families to move in.  

Ike Richardson, BNI’s project manager, said, “Our Katrina Recovery Team is working hand-in-hand with FEMA and state and local officials to identify sites and put housing units in place. Bechtel’s staff and our local Mississippi subcontractors are working seven days a week to move families in as fast as we can.”  

The work managed by BNI is currently employing roughly 700 people from Mississippi and other Gulf states, in addition to over 200 Bechtel employees working in the region. BNI plans to continue using as many local suppliers and contractors as possible on this project. The BNI project team is currently working from offices in Jackson and is establishing additional field offices in the affected areas.  

BNI encourages local contractors and suppliers to register at the Bechtel supplier/contractor site at There they will find a list of some of the equipment the company may need, and instructions on how to complete registration in the corporate database. Individuals seeking employment with Bechtel should express their interest through the company’s Web site at  

BNI has been working in Mississippi since early September under an interim agreement with FEMA while the scope of work, contract value, and terms are formalized. Bechtel was selected to perform this work based on the company’s 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, cleanup of Three Mile Island, extinguishing oil fires in Kuwait, and performing safety assessments after major earthquakes in San Francisco, Taiwan, and Turkey.