Bechtel Shelters 50,000 Katrina Victims in 10 Weeks

Jackson, Mississippi - November 18, 2005 More than 50,000 Mississippi residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina are now living in emergency housing installed and readied for occupancy by Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI) under contract to FEMA.   

"While we're very pleased to place 50,000 residents in emergency FEMA housing, we continue to work seven days a week to house the remaining victims of Hurricane Katrina," said Andy Phelps BNI's project manager.  "We will keep working with the same dedication and commitment to ensure that all Mississippians who need emergency housing receive it as soon as possible."  

"This is's a historic accomplishment," said a senior federal housing coordinator.  "Providing temporary housing in 10 weeks for this many people (more than the population of Hattiesburg, the state's fourth largest city) is something no one has done before in  U.S. history."
"But, as Andy points out, there are still many out there who need housing," the official added, "so it's critical that we keep our focus and keep up our pace until we have shelter for everyone."  

As of today, Bechtel has prepared more than 19,000 temporary housing units, with nearly 400 units becoming available for Mississippians each day.   

"This is a team effort in the truest sense of the word, with thousands of people and many organizations working together to house people at record rates," said Phelps.  "Bechtel has awarded 53 percent of its subcontracts to Mississippi firms, and a total of 75 percent to firms from the Gulf Region. Seventy percent of our subcontracts have been awarded to small businesses.  These companies and individuals are the backbone of our effort."   

Based in Frederick, MD, Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI) is a leading provider of services to the U.S. government, specializing in large, complex projects in such areas as defense, space, energy, security, and the environment. BNI is part of San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp., one of the world's premier engineering, construction, and project management companies, with experience on more than 22,000 projects in 140 countries.