A decade ago, Mike Browning, his pregnant wife and two small children were living in a motor home parked in lane 6 of what was left of the Manheim New Orleans auto auction in Slidell, La.
Hurricane Katrina had ripped off most of the auction's roof and doors. Glass from its blown-out windows was everywhere, and everything was soaking wet. Browning's real home was uninhabitable because a fallen tree was lodged in the middle of it.
Over the next two to three weeks, Browning grew so concerned about some of his employees that he and other employees "went door-to-door to find them," he recalls. "It was a dark time. There were no cell phones. There was no power. There was no water. [For] 11 or 12 employees -- all that was left were the slabs their homes" formerly sat on.
Browning was scheduled to be installed as the new president of the National Auto Auction Association last week and is general manager of Manheim San Antonio.
But 10 years ago, he was the general manager of the suburban New Orleans auction.
Hurricanes and rumors of hurricanes were nothing new to Browning, who grew up in the small town of Denham Springs, La., near Baton Rouge, in an area of the country constantly threatened by storms.