Responding to the Worst Disasters

FEMA Disaster Recovery Services

Florida’s West Coast Takes a Beating Monroe County, Florida —Hurricane Damage x 4!

In the aftermath of four hurricanes, Adjusters International provided the path to financial recovery.

The primary landmass of Monroe County, Florida, is the Florida Keys.The 220-mile-long chain of islands extends into the Gulf of Mexico from the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, providing magnificent, well-known vistas.

For years, county officials maintained a disaster recovery standby contract with Adjusters International to help ensure an optimum recovery, should the area be hit by a disaster. When hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma came calling, Monroe County turned to Adjusters International to deliver the benefits their contract promised — and that’s just what Adjusters International did.

Wilma, called the greatest storm of the decade, had the greatest impact across the island chain, causing millions of dollars in damages. Thousands were left homeless and an emergency shelter was shut down within a week because of mold infestation. Evacuees were shuttled between hotels and shelters. FEMA initially ruled that the county’s hotel bill for storm refugees was not eligible for reimbursement.

Further complicating matters was the fact that new FEMA guidelines governing temporary housing for essential employees were implemented in the middle of the hurricane season. What’s more, after a year of record-breaking storms, Monroe County faced an increased need for mitigation strategies that would improve the resistance of the county’s infrastructure.

Adjusters International researched FEMA sheltering policies and proved that on multiple occasions, FEMA had used hotels to shelter displaced residents. FEMA officials reversed their decision and all hotel expenses were deemed eligible. Adjusters International consultants secured more than $1 million in funding for the housing of essential county employees.

Finally, Adjusters International worked to identify projects that would benefit from hazard mitigation funds, including hurricane-resistant windows in buildings across the county and a fortified communications system.

The storms damaged 400 buildings and facilities across the county. Adjusters International developed and implemented a cohesive loss- management process resulting in a recovery of $40 million for property damages and $20 million for debris removal costs.

Monroe County, Florida

…Your knowledge of the complex governmental regulations and equally complex insurance and adjusting issues really helped the County maximize the public assistance that was available after all of these disasters. You delivered what you promised and we are confident… in the ability of your firm to provide these services fully on a technical and professional level, yet be able to translate in a clear and concise manner the intricate and sometimes subjective FEMA regulations which we could not have done without you.

Without hesitation we would recommend…your firm to anyone that is faced with the processing of large and complex disaster loss claims…

Salvatore R. Zappulla Division Director Monroe County Budget and Finance | 13

Port Authority of New Orleans Weathers the Storm

In looking out for its clients, Adjusters International also looks ahead to prevent the issues and expenditures associated with repeat disasters through the formulation of mitigation strategies.

The complex recovery operation at the Port of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina involved a number of funding sources, including three layers of private insurance, FEMA and the resources of the Louisiana State Recovery Authority. Adjusters International was at the helm of the Port Authority’s $190-million-damage recovery.

With 22 miles of wharfs and terminals, the Port of New Orleans was the biggest in the country and fifth largest in the world, bringing in 40 percent of the nation’s commodities. When it does not operate properly, the economic impact is felt throughout the country.

Adjusters International implemented a recovery plan that included mitigation strategies and alternate or improved projects to prevent repetitive disaster expenditures. With Adjusters International’s expert evaluation and assistance developing the Port’s hazard mitigation plan and related project opportunities, project funding potential for post-Katrina damage recovery tripled — and funding from this disaster is expected to exceed $70 million after insurance reductions.The Port is now approved for funding under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which will ensure that port facilities there and elsewhere are better protected against future storms, hurricanes and other potential disasters.