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Disaster Resiliency and Recovery

Disasters have changed; their timing, frequency, and destructive forces are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The recovery processes of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal agencies have changed and will continue evolving as evidenced via various recovery policies and disaster related grants. It’s important for states and jurisdictions to embrace a mindset of “continuous planning prior to the disaster.” This requires a fresh approach from a team that is on the forefront of the various changes within recovery. APTIM’s disaster resiliency and recovery team has helped to shape the latest policy; offers strategic advice across financial, programmatic, and operational sectors; and offers innovative solutions.

Preparedness

We stand ready to help your organization prepare for the next emergency or disaster. APTIM offers comprehensive emergency preparedness services that include:

  • Emergency Planning, Training, and Exercise Consultation
    • Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans
    • Emergency Operations Plans
    • Incident and Function-Specific Plans
    • Emergency Action Plans
    • Continuity of Operations and Business Continuity Plans
    • Recovery Plans
    • Hazard Mitigation Plans
    • Resiliency Plans
  • Exercise Design and Delivery
  • Training
  • Risk and Vulnerability Assessments
  • Program Review and Gap Analysis

Resiliency and Mitigation

We understand the importance of helping our clients execute mitigation actions to reduce or prevent the negative impacts of disasters. Mitigation actions have the same purpose but span a broad spectrum of services. From an emergency management perspective, we offer the following mitigation services:

  • Hazard Mitigation Plan development
  • Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant programs assistance
  • Strategic Mitigation and Resiliency advice
  • Construction, engineering, and environmental mitigation solution

Learn more about APTIM’s work in Resiliency.

Recovery

48-Hour Rapid Response Capability and Capacity
We offer unparalleled 48-hour rapid response capability and capacity, built with a full-time national workforce of professionally trained and certified experts, led and advised by leaders with proven response and recovery experience in disaster field operations, program delivery, policies, and laws.

  • Our recovery team is led and advised by proven emergency management professionals and experts in key sectors such as economics, housing, and infrastructure systems and will assist states and jurisdictions before, during and after disasters. The APTIM team understand the risks associated with potential deobligation; help shape recovery policies that are in synch with FEMA’s lessons learned from the recent disasters; and strategically advise states and jurisdictions on its financial health if struck by a disaster, considering potential impacts before, during, and after the disaster.
  • The APTIM team’s surge capacity is over 150 and rising. Our team is built upon individuals around the U.S.. We work every day in local communities, providing services to governments and residents.
  • The APTIM team offers a full spectrum of professional capabilities and certifications, and hands-on knowledge of federal policies and programs that support state and local emergency response, recovery, mitigation, and preparedness. Our team includes professional engineers, architects, community planners, economic development specialists, environmental technicians, building science, and building code specialists.
  • The benefits of our integrated approach present significant value and efficiency for our state and local clients. We increase not only their ability to rapidly respond to disasters, but also to build resiliency over the long term – and for the next event. APTIM’s combined capabilities in response, recovery, mitigation, insurance, and preparedness offer an integrated holistic approach that can spur performance-improving innovations and stop actions under stressful environments that can later prove ineffective and costly, both financially and politically.

Integrated Response and Recovery Approach
We offer an integrated response and recovery approach that we have utilized to address emerging disaster paradigms and navigate changing federal disaster assistance landscapes, founded upon decades of supporting and shaping federal innovations and concerns for disaster assistance delivery.  Our recovery approach allows for us to take into account these new paradigms by making certain that response operations are considering recovery principles.  This allows for operational activities to be performed with an eye on how such activities can be reimbursed.

  • Along with the new disaster paradigm, the federal government is changing its perspective and approach to address growing disaster risks and increasing operational costs. As the frequency and severity of natural and man-made disasters mount, and the resultant costs in program assistance and program delivery rise exponentially. FEMA has increased emphasis on incentivizing local mitigation (e.g., Section 428) and enhancing state capacity to manage disaster grants and programs in an effort to curtail costs from disaster impact and disaster operations. The passage of  the DRRA supports this approach with increased federal investments for state and local pre-disaster mitigation projects. In addition, FEMA is moving toward an outcome-focused, sector approach for organizing federal, state, local, and non-governmental organizations to promote whole-community collaboration, innovative recovery solutions, and maximization of limited resources.
  • APTIM is positioned to help states and jurisdictions navigate the new federal landscape and secure disaster support amid growing need to reduce assistance and delivery costs. Our team has been supporting the very development and implementation of these new concepts for the past ten years, beginning with the National Disaster Recovery Framework in 2008 and continuing with the interim guidance for sector approach and stakeholder engagement strategy for federal and state/local partners. Our team also supported FEMA in designing and piloting the current business model for FEMA Public Assistance Program delivery, which seeks to promote an applicant-centric and user-friendly process based on a single FEMA point of contact. Thinking strategically and collaboratively across governmental and non-governmental partners leverages dollars, expertise ,and resources to develop solutions specific to the culture, community, and environment impacted by disaster.

Minimize Deobligation Risk
We bring an intimate understanding of the key deobligation issues and how to determine eligibility of subrecipient PA documentation. Our team provides proven playbooks for minimizing costly deobligation risks and maximizing disaster assistance funding opportunities, established and tested in numerous states and jurisdictions.

  • Deobligation risks have increased dramatically since 2010 and are likely to expand in coming years. States and localities that failed disaster recovery audits by the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) found themselves liable to pay back federal funds for incidents that happened years if not decades earlier. In a 2016 report, Summary and Key Findings of Fiscal Year 2016 FEMA Disaster Grant and Program Audits, the OIG found “FEMA did not manage disaster relief grants and funds adequately and did not hold grant recipients accountable for properly managing disaster relief funds,” with “persistent problems such as improper contract costs, and ineligible and unsupported expenditures as examples of this continued failure.” The OIG recommended that FEMA disallow $1.64 billion, or 15 percent of the $10.9 billion in questioned cost between fiscal year (FY) 2009 to 2015, and $155.6 million, or 23 percent of the $686 million for FY 2016 audited. In conclusion, the OIG emphasized that since “the average amount budgeted for the disaster relief fund exceeded more than $10 billion per year” from FY 2009 to 2016, “with FEMA grants comprising a large portion of that amount…(and) persistent problems throughout FEMA’s grant process…. billions of tax payer dollars remain at risk.”
  • APTIM has developed and delivered playbooks for many states and localities to minimize deobligation risks and maximize available disaster assistance. In the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season, APTIM supported multiple states, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands in advising local counties and municipalities on how to properly acquire and contract vendor services, delineate and document costs, and determine and prove eligibility of work needed and performed. Feedback and lessons learned from this work helped APTIM to further refine this playbook that all state and local governments can use to prevent deobligation risky actions and decisions.

Strategic Advice for Whole-community Recovery
With an intense response operation providing relief in many areas, recovery support must be similarly impactful – a recovery process that provides an opportunity to not only repair what was damaged but also address some of the systemic challenges confronting a community. Therefore, APTIM has crafted sector-specific teams that are prepared to support assisting states and jurisdictions with rebuild infrastructure and economies in a way that allows them to become more resilient and sustainable in the future.

Why APTIM

Foremost to APTIM’s approach and methodology is our focus on a rapid mobilization and collaboration with states and jurisdictions. Our experience shows us time and again that agencies are still seeking the appropriate reimbursement of federal grants and insurance claims, while continuing to operate with costly, temporary strategies and unfinished work as a result. Rapid mobilization and pre-planning reduce the perpetuation of this state of “suspended animation,” which  is a significant drain on resources and takes a toll on the impacted community. Often there are competing priorities that must be addressed at the same time. APTIM provides clients with a single source for the full range of services required for a successful recovery while responding to various disaster relief emergencies. What sets APTIM apart is our ability to blend core areas of expertise – program management, schedule controls, FEMA/HUD policy application, FEMA field program activities, grant management, finance/budget management, cost estimating and project management information management (IT/PMIS) – with the ability to draw additional technical subject matter experts (SMEs) into a project rapidly. These additional resources include planners, insurance SMEs, floodplain managers, engineers, architects, scientists, industrial hygienists, accountants, biologists, coastal engineers, cultural resources, and other technical experts.

APTIM is committed to helping our clients overcome the impacts of disasters by facilitating the restoration of services, building back buildings and infrastructure stronger than before, and maximizing the grant funding available to support recovery priorities. We offer the following recovery services:

  • Strategic recovery advice
  • FEMA logistics (temporary housing)
  • Grant management services
    • FEMA public assistance
    • FEMA individual assistance
    • Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program
    • Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture Disaster assistance
    • Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief
  • Insurance claims support

APTIM. Expect the Extraordinary.

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