First Lady Thanks Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina Recovery Efforts

As a new hurricane season looms, the Gulf Coast states are rebuilding "brick by brick, house by house," first lady Laura Bush told the Red Cross Friday.

"The 2005 hurricane season reduced portions of the United States to a Third World country," she said, saying the Red Cross did more than any other non-governmental agency to help the region recover.

The Red Cross provided financial assistance and other services to more than 4 million victims of Hurricane Katrina, according to data provided by the organization, and spent an estimated $2.1 billion.