In New Orleans, Adjusters International’s well-executed strategy and ability to accelerate FEMA funding helped break down the barriers to recovery.
The world’s attention was focused on the city in the days and weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit, as its citizens endured significant and extended hardship and despair. Serious questions were raised regarding disaster preparedness, triggering concerns about similar events in the future, not only in the Gulf Coast region, but in cities, states and nations around the world.
Nearly one year after the catastrophic storm, Adjusters International was retained to assist the City of New Orleans in its recovery from Katrina’s staggering and lingering impact, which ultimately encompassed hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Adjusters International was asked to provide a comprehensive financial recovery strategy and to address the city’s gridlocked federal grant process and insurance claim.
As is the case with most localities devastated by a major disaster, emergency protective measures quickly exhausted cash reserves. Without funding in place prior to signing contracts, the city’s greatest dilemma was that its procurement process was on hold. Expediting funding was the main objective and top priority.
Adjusters International was quickly able to jumpstart the insurance recovery by working with the insurance adjuster to provide the city with advances on their claim. Adjusters International also determined that initial project worksheets written by FEMA officers did not accurately reflect the scope of damage or provide the proper cost estimates for reconstruction.
Furthermore, Adjusters International’s professionals were successful in helping to reformulate project worksheets and accelerate the flow of FEMA funding.
In the end, Adjusters International played a pivotal role in the rebirth of a city that long was and is once again a unique part of American culture.
14 | Adjusters International Responding
Lee County, Florida, includes a number of Florida’s jewels, including Sanibel Island and the bustling mainland City of Fort Myers.
County officials needed a financial recovery plan that accounted for the complexities of four major hurricanes in a single season and, one year later, the added devastation of Hurricane Wilma.The county, along with the cities of Sanibel and Fort Myers, turned to Adjusters International for expert disaster recovery consulting.
The hurricane caused $40 million in damages to 400 buildings across Lee County. Additionally, the costs of debris removal and cleanup topped $30 million. Adjusters International’s recovery strategy tapped multiple federal disaster relief sources and integrated the recovery with the various insurance claims.
The hurricane recovery was multifaceted and complex, with Adjusters International’s experts handling a wide range and variety of projects. Major rebuilding efforts included the Sanibel Causeway, the highway that connects Sanibel to Fort Myers, which was eligible for funding from several sources. Other work included such out-of-the-ordinary tasks as the removal from Sanibel of all non-native Australian pine trees, which could not withstand hurricane-force winds.
…The hardships encountered while processing requests for assistance under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program were simply unimaginable. Without the persistent and unwavering commitment to detail and quality exhibited by your firm, we could not have completed the nearly $25 million in FEMA requests and the $2.1 million in FHWA reimbursements processed to date. The knowledge base needed to deal with FEMA regulations [is] mind-boggling. It was obvious you and your team are very much up to speed with these regulations, procedures and processes.
…Your firm’s ability to bring together the right team of professionals at the right time resulted in the creation of a superior product. Your thoroughness, knowledge, attention to detail, and logical approach provided us with the assurance that we would obtain the maximum reimbursement from all eligible sources…
Tony Majul, Budget Director Wayne Fiyalko, Risk Manager Sue Lange, Budget Services Manager Roger Good, Grants Manager Lee County Florida