Responding to the Worst Disasters

Clients know they can count on Adjusters International to do the “write” thing.

Just two weeks before Hurricane Katrina struck, officials at the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi, announced that the Port had set a new record for tons of cargo moving across its docks.The figure was more than 2.5 million tons for that fiscal year.

After Katrina struck, the Port’s owner — the Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) — was left with more than $100 million in disaster-related damages to warehouses, offices, piers, wharfs, railways, catwalks, fender systems, high mast lighting systems and a small craft harbor.

MSPA retained Adjusters International to coordinate its financial recovery for FEMA-eligible projects. Urgently needed was a solution to a widespread problem in the Mississippi Gulf region: how do FEMA applicants properly estimate costs for major projects in a post-hurricane environment?

MSPA was one of many organizations that were not fully reimbursed in the early, chaotic days of the disaster. FEMA officials had used a basic cost estimating methodology that did not provide a full and accurate estimate of the scope of work and associated costs necessary to repair damages.

From their familiarity with FEMA’s cost estimating process, Adjusters International’s professionals recognized the need to consider post-disaster cost escalations and project difficulties.They authored a convincing position paper to FEMA supporting their case that FEMA should utilize their own forward pricing Cost Estimating Format (CEF) in Mississippi. As a result, MSPA recovery funding was increased by approximately $45 million to $55 million above the basic cost estimates originally calculated.

Adjusters International’s effort led to one of the most important overall developments in Mississippi’s post-Katrina recovery. Adjusters International assisted the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency in convincing FEMA to implement the Cost Estimating Format for alternate and improved projects throughout the state. As a result, applicants saw their project allocations increase on average by 40 percent to 80 percent.

The Adjusters International Difference: Hospital Recovery Increases from Thousands to Millions

Trained eyes can see what others overlook.

Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is an award-winning, nonprofit hospital serving more than 55,000 patients each year. For more than 50 years, the hospital has served the sick and injured in the Ft. Lauderdale and southern Florida areas, and at the same time conducted unique wellness programs.

Like many organizations, the hospital was disappointed with the FEMA Public Assistance funding it received — which amounted to only $4,000 — after hurricanes Frances and Jeanne struck. In the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma, however, hospital officials turned to Adjusters International for assistance with their disaster recovery.

As advocates for the applicant, Adjusters International’s Disaster Recovery Consultants aim to maximize the FEMA funds recovered by their clients in federally declared disasters.They are trained to identify damages and funding sources that are often overlooked.

Within a few days of their arrival at Holy Cross Hospital, the Adjusters International consulting team identified nearly $1.4 million in eligible projects related to damages from Hurricane Wilma. In addition, Adjusters International developed conservative estimates of hazard mitigation funding that exceeded $3.4 million.The funding made a significant difference not only in the recovery of the hospital itself, but in protecting the critical high-quality healthcare services it was able to continue to provide to the community.

Adjusters International’s knowledge of the FEMA Public Assistance Program and ability to process the post-disaster scenario were the keys to Holy Cross Hospital’s recovery.

City of Fort Myers, Florida

…The City of Fort Myers incurred an enormous amount of wind and flooding damage during the summer of 2004, especially during Hurricane Charley. We retained your services to assist us in the Public Assistance grant application process and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Programwith FEMA and the State of Florida. This turned out to be one of the most sensible decisions we made. Adjusters International made a very onerous situation much more bearable. Without your training, assistance and recommendations, we would have been significantly short of the $6.7 million reimbursement that we received from FEMA, FHWA, NRCS and our insurance carrier. The experience and knowledge that you provided us was invaluable…

Jeff Green Director, Financial Services City of Fort Myers, Florida Judy Hartwell Special Projects Accountant | 15

More Funds for a Major Port