To mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, this week Curbed is exploring how the housing, architecture, and neighborhoods of New Orleans have changed since the storm. Here, a look at the St. Bernard Project, an organization that is using what it learned constructing homes in New Orleans to improve post-disaster rebuilding—and disaster preparedness—elsewhere.
Patricia Woskowiak will gladly tell you the worst thing that happened to her home after Hurricane Sandy hit Howard Beach, a waterfront neighborhood in Queens, New York, where she's lived for nearly four decades. It wasn't when the storm surge seeped into the home she shares with her husband, Joseph, damaging hardwood floors and creeping so far up the walls she had to start throwing things up the stairs. It wasn't when salt from the floodwaters that came three years ago seeped into the soil surrounding her 164th Avenue bungalow and bleached her trees, turning them golden-yellow from the salt. No, the moments that really frustrated Woskowiak were the times when people offered her "help." It was when contractors came in "like the guys from the Chainsaw Massacre" and tore up the trim in her living room.