IEM: Number One in Providing Support for “428” Alternative Procedures
In 2013, the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act amended Section 428 of the Stafford Act, authorizing FEMA to enact new Public Assistance Alternative Procedures (PAAP). Commonly referred to as “alternative procedures” or “428”, the new model is intended to reduce disaster costs, streamline delivery and expedite the delivery of recovery funds, while most importantly providing grantees (states) with greater flexibility on how disaster recovery funds are applied for certain types of work. The alternative procedures model also means federal funding for hazard mitigation can now be made available sooner in the recovery process, providing a unique window of opportunity for grant recipients to build back infrastructure in ways that ensure resiliency.
Applied strategically, 428 can provide states and localities with significant benefits. But navigating this new process can be challenging, and benefits are dependent on the ability to estimate costs in detail and correctly the first time. There are risks involved in this new model, and many states and localities are right to be concerned about potential negative effects this could have on recovery plans since if estimates are incorrect, jurisdictions will likely be forced to dip into their own funds to complete projects. States and localities can mitigate this risk by ensuring they have expert support through the Public Assistance process including the development of project worksheets and cost estimates.
IEM has managed billions in Public Assistance (PA), Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), and Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds and is the industry leader in helping clients estimate, document, and administer 428 funds for large infrastructure projects. After Katrina, IEM led the way in pioneering innovative uses for PA funds, applying streamlined procedures to revitalize New Orleans’ schools as part of the Recovery School District revitalization project. After the rollout of 428 post Hurricane Sandy, IEM experts supported New York State’s recovery under the alternative procedures model, formulating and developing cost estimates to help deliver $9.9 billion in public assistance projects.
Today, IEM employs the very architects and leaders who helped develop this new model at FEMA. IEM’s leadership understands better than anyone else how these programs work, and how to apply their decades of expertise in disaster recovery to help states get the most out of every PA dollar available.
BATON ROUGE, LA, July 6, 2017 – The State of Louisiana Office of Community Development has finalized the process of selecting global security consulting firm IEM as the prime contractor to manage the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program. This program is helping eligible Louisiana residents rebuild their homes damaged by the unprecedented and historic floods in March and August of 2016.
Louisiana received a major disaster declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for 51 parishes impacted by the March and August floods. Thus far, the State has been granted $1.3 billion in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist homeowners. CDBG-DR funds appropriated by Congress help affected areas recover from disasters, especially in low- to moderate-income areas and communities with limited resources.
IEM, the largest woman-owned disaster recovery firm in the world, and the State of Louisiana signed an official contract for $308 million on April 21, 2017, with a final approval date of June 21, 2017. The contract covers program management, construction management, environmental assessments, and homeowner repair and reconstruction.
IEM has opened four homeowner assistance centers. The main center is located in Baton Rouge, with additional locations in Monroe, Lafayette, and Hammond. The centers are staffed with case managers who can help homeowners complete the initial survey, which is necessary to participate in the program, and walk them through the application process and explain the solutions available to help in their recovery. Their information also helps IEM and the State better understand the unmet needs of homeowners as a result of the flood-related damage.
The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program has seen historical accomplishments in the short period since the project work began. In addition to the prompt opening of the assistance centers, more than 28,000 flood-impacted homeowners have completed the Homeowners Flood Damage Survey. The team has completed more than 12,000 environmental reviews, allowing homeowners included in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the program to officially start the application process. Homeowners in the remaining phases will be added accordingly. In addition, several homeowners have received reimbursement checks through the program for repair work they have already completed. Construction has started on homes as well.
IEM team members are a mix of Louisiana-based firms and national powerhouses, including: AIMS Group, Inc.; Baker Donelson; BBR Creative; Bruno & Bruno, LLP; Civil Solutions Consulting Group, Inc.; CORE Construction Services; Crawford & Company; Denmon Engineering; Design Build Consultants, Inc.; Emergent Method; Finback 670, Inc.; Materials Management Group, Inc.; Pan American Engineers; Postlethwaite & Netterville; Providence Engineering; PWR, LLC; Ramboll Environ, Inc.; Ratcliff Construction Company, LLC; Resilient Strategies Group, LLC; Roy Anderson Corp; Sparkhound; Team Title; Tetra Tech; TKTMJ; Waggoner Engineering; WTAA Engineers; and more.
“The IEM team, under the leadership of Jon Mabry, is the best team to restore Louisiana’s housing in the wake of the Great Floods of 2016. Our team has successfully led program management for four of the six largest housing recovery programs in the Nation,” said IEM’s CEO and President, Madhu Beriwal. “We are honored to serve homeowners and the State, and help them in their recovery.”
IEM’s AirOps team has been on the ground and in the air supporting response and recovery operations in the Caribbean since Hurricane Irma. The team also helped with evacuations before Hurricane Maria made landfall.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE, NC, January 9, 2018 – Bryan Koon, Vice President of International Homeland Security and Emergency Management at IEM, a global security consulting firm, was appointed Chairman of the Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC). The MMC is organized by the National Institute of Building Sciences as an independent, non-governmental, non-profit entity that helps inform policy. Experts from a multitude of related fields sit on the board.
“Our nation faced an extraordinarily tragic and expensive hurricane season this past year. But alongside the hardships, we also witnessed success brought about by the implementation of smart mitigation strategies, with many homes withstanding the damages brought by these storms,” Koon commented. “We are not powerless against natural and man-made disasters. Evidence clearly shows that investing in mitigation – building back our communities in ways that are safer and stronger – will pay off when the next disaster strikes, saving taxpayer dollars and saving lives. I am honored to be appointed Chair of the Multihazard Mitigation Council and to lead this group of experts toward building a more resilient nation.”
Koon assumes the position of Chair after having served as Vice Chair of the MMC. The MMC works to identify and implement effective mitigation practices to reduce the costs and losses that natural and manmade disasters place on society and the building community. The goals of the MMC are to promote disaster resilience, become a focal point of credible information, and promote whole building strategies. The MMC focuses on promoting community preparedness, sustainability, and resilience, as well as creating high-performance buildings and improving energy efficiency. The Council seeks to achieve its goals by appointing a board with individuals from both public and private sector entities to collaborate with homeowners, commercial and industrial property owners, researchers, the public sector, and other relevant stakeholders.
At IEM, Koon oversees the International Homeland Security and Emergency Management sector and works to ensure that relevant departments maximize their capabilities in working with organizations both domestically and internationally to build a safer, more secure and resilient world. A Florida native, Koon serves the company from our office in Tallahassee, Florida, where he currently resides with his wife, Jennifer, and three sons.