Natural disaster-wise governor measures building, human resilience

Sources: CP staff; Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

Gov 200In a resilience-themed keynote address at the PCA Spring Congress, two-term Mississippi Governor and past Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour assured his audience, “In my state, there is a whole lot more concrete being used today than there was before Hurricane Katrina.”

Giving concrete structures their due and citing strengthened building codes in the wake of the August 2005 storm that ravaged coastal Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, he told the mid-March gathering in Chicago, however, “There is no substitute for the resilience of strong people.”

Gov. Barbour credited coastal Mississippi recovery to residents and 900,000-plus volunteers from 46 states, who through relief or faith-based organizations assisted in rebuilding efforts over the five years following Hurricane Katrina. Sound redevelopment strategies and a determined citizenry, he noted, enabled coastal Mississippi to mark the storm’s 10th anniversary with population at 105 percent of the 2005 level—compared to 60 percent for neighboring Louisiana.

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