GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR’S RECOVERY EXPO
Preserving Our Past – Building Our Future
Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi
August 11, 12, 13
By all accounts, the Governor’s Recovery Expo was a monumental success. Over 15,000 Mississippi residents attended the three-day event, which was designed as a one-stop shop for their recovery needs. The expo featured booths from over 140 vendors, 25 model house displays, information and training sessions, and a big giveaway in its final hour.
The coliseum floor was packed with booth displays set up by companies and organizations providing services encompassing all areas of recovery. Representatives from homebuilders, home product manufacturers, recovery organizations, financial institutions, non-profits, and state and federal agencies provided information on their products and services. At its massive display Lowe’s offered presentations on Katrina cottages and storm-proofing a house. At another exhibit, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) computers displayed the elevations of homeowners’ property to help them determine how high their homes should be rebuilt to conform to the Advisory Base Flood Elevations. Several vendors provided free packets containing recovery materials.
On the north side of the coliseum, three rooms hosted information and training sessions. Vendors gave presentations on their products and construction techniques, and state and federal agencies discussed their programs, which covered topics such as income taxes, housing, historic preservation, and employment. Office of Recovery and Renewal Director Gavin Smith explained recovery policies the office is advocating, such as a program to replace travel trailers with cottages and federal funds to rebuild houses in high hazard areas.
Shuttles outside the coliseum gave rides to “Recoveryville”, a parking lot transformed into an avenue lined with 25 modular housing displays. These homes ranged from small cottages designed for temporary housing to larger homes with three bedrooms.
Freddie Mac sponsored a giveaway of the Lexington Homes cottage on display at the expo. At the closing of the expo, Suzanne and George Outten were announced the winners of the raffle. The Bay St. Louis residents, whose home was destroyed by Katrina, were on hand to accept the keys to their new home.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting covered the expo, interviewing several state officials including Governor Haley Barbour and Office of Recovery and Renewal Director Gavin Smith. The coverage will be used for an upcoming episode of the MPB series “Beyond Katrina.” Saturday, Michael King with Home Talk USA broadcast his nationwide radio talk show from inside the expo.
Click Below for Photos from the Governor’s Recovery Expo
Expo – Coliseum
Expo – Recoveryville
Recovery Expo Map
Recovery Expo Informational Training Sessions
Recovery Expo Vendor Training Sessions
Recovery Expo Flyer
Recovery Expo Vendor List
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