Barbara Stokes Relishes The Challenge Of Housing Relief In Wake Of Disaster

Hurricane Harvey slammed into the southern United States in late August of 2017 and ravaged five states. It left behind enough damage to tie Hurricane Katrina as the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history. Learn more about Barbara Stokes at Crunchbase.

If here was anything positive from the outcome of Katrina in 2005, it was that U.S. emergency response agencies learned many lessons in how to respond to a crisis of such magnitude.

For example, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was able to authorize within hours the aid of the U.S. Military to help with Harvey rescue operations. Compare that to the four agonizing days it took the Pentagon to sign off on help for Katrina.

Another critical factor in hurricane-size disasters is housing. Within hours, thousands of people can be rendered homeless. The need for fast, temporary shelter is critical. That means building from scratch potentially thousands of dwelling units and placing them where needed within days. Follow Barbara Stokes on

To deal with urgent housing needs, FEMA and other government agencies look to private contractors to get the job done. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, for example, the federal government awarded $28.5 million to Green Structure Homes (GSH) of Alabama to manufacture housing units and deliver them by March of 2018.

Barbara Stokes is co-founder and CEO for Green Structure Homes. She said meeting the enormous challenge created by the destruction of Harvey supercharged her team. FEMA was depending on Barbara Stokes and GSH to shelter displaced families fast. Suddenly they not only had a big job to do, but thousands of people were depending on Stokes and her company for the very roofs over their heads.

Barbara Stokes relished the challenge. Helping people is what it’s all about, she said.

Barbara Stokes earned her degrees in biomedical engineering and physics from Mercer University in 2001. She later honed her skills handling government contracts as an employee for Boeing and Pisces Corporation. She founded GHS, based out of Huntsville, with her husband Scott in 2008.

Today GHS is among an elite group of Alabama-based Disaster Relief Contractors that the federal government relies upon in worst-case scenarios disaster situations. Barbara Stokes said that when Americans need housing fast — GSH stands ready to deliver.

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