FEMA uses Lockheed Martin facility for Katrina relief

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has taken over a portion of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s facilities at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to use as a command center, the company announced on its Web site today.

FEMA will use Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin's facilities as its headquarters for coordinating relief and recovery operations in the region following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

"According to FEMA, Building 5100 is the best facility within a 50-mile radius that can accommodate their needs for a command center," according to the company's Web site. FEMA will be bringing in 80 to 100 employees to the building, which is listed as Lockheed Martin's address at the federal space facility.

Lockheed Martin will operate the building as an emergency shelter for employees and their families, bringing in generators, a portable kitchen and a shower unit. The company also is attempting to bring in portable showers.

The facility won't open for business until at least Sept. 26, the company added.

Four days after being struck by high winds from the Category 4 hurricane, followed by major flooding throughout the Gulf Coast region, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corp. of Los Angeles have set up employee assistance programs. Northrop Grumman has announced a $2 million donation to a hurricane relief fund, while Lockheed Martin created a $1 million Hurricane Katrina employee assistance fund.

Lockheed Martin said two floors of its SPAWARITC facility in New Orleans are reported to be under water, and that the Minerals Management Office may not reopen until October. Also, its Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans will remain closed until at least Sept. 26.

Lockheed Martin officials announced power has been restored to its facility in Meridian, Miss., and that its facility and offices in Huntsville, Ala. are open and operating.

Northrop Grumman said in a news release that its Ship Systems sector facilities in Mississippi and Louisiana will remain closed while it conducts clean-up and restoration efforts. Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula, Miss., and Gulfport, Miss., sites experienced significant wind damage, the company added.

The Navy has established a temporary operations center to assist in the restoration of the Pascagoula shipyard operations.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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