Hurricane KatrinaKatrina first made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane just North of Miami, Florida exactly five years ago today on August 25, 2005. Then it hit again on August 29 along the Central Gulf Coast near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana as a Category 4 storm.

What happened on August 29 and the days following will be a forever memory for anyone who lived through the period, even those who only watched it on TV. I worked with The Salvation Army’s recovery team a safe distance away from the flooding and the resuting devastation in Houston, Texas where tens of thousands of survivors were evacuated.

Many organizations involved in the effort are looking back five years to assess the recovery, talk about what went right and what we can do to be better prepared for future natural disasters or weather emergencies. Our friends at FedEx are joining the Army to sponsor an event tomorrow August 26 called the The Resiliency Summit where local leaders and national experts will meet to review the city’s progress on creating a “New” New Orleans with strong, sustainable communities.

My colleagues in The Salvation Army’s Southern Territory prepared a video about the Army’s Katrina story called When the Winds Died Down. Our staff in the Gulf states have lived this story almost every day for the last five years so they know it well.Click here to watch it.

There’s another great post-Katrina story about The Salvation Army’s housing initiative called EnviRenew. The Army will award $10 million in grant money through the program to build eco-friendly housing in five heavily damaged New Orleans’ neighborhoods.Click here to read more on our national headquarters blog and see photos of the energy-efficient EnviRenew homes.

This week I hope you’ll take a moment to remember those who survived the catastrophic Katrina events and pray for their continuted efforts to start fresh.

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