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Private sector needs to invest in New Orleans

Ten years ago this week, I, like many Americans, was stunned by the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina's devastation. The toll on the citizens of New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities across more than 90,000 square miles affected by the storm was sobering.

In contrast, when I look at New Orleans today, I see a city in recovery, illustrated by milestones in economic development, community engagement and government reforms aimed at rebuilding stronger and better than before.

The 10-year anniversary of Katrina is our opportunity to celebrate those who have chosen to rebuild to a greater, resilient standard, knowing that the next storm is not a matter of if, but when.

As the world has seen an increase in size and frequency of catastrophic events in the past several years, we should not overlook the potential financial effects of disaster aid on our nation. The price tag for Katrina is estimated at $127 billion. Both social and private safety nets were stressed, bringing to light a very real and urgent need for public-private collaboration to assure our communities have the means to prepare for, and recover quickly from disasters.

Under a directive within his administration's climate-action plan, President Barack Obama has...