Responding to the Worst Disasters

Rains Left Medical Facility Awash in Damages

FEMA Disaster Recovery Services

Baylor College

…You and your team have provided invaluable assistance in the College’s recovery efforts in response to Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. Your knowledge of the often complex FEMA process, coupled with your insurance industry experience, have been of enormous benefit to us…

Cyndi M. Baily Deputy General Counsel Baylor College of Medicine

It seems impossible to place a value on health care, medicine and research, but when it became necessary to do so, Adjusters International used visionary thinking to meet the challenge.

When Tropical Storm Allison dropped 33 inches of rain in Houston, the floods that followed were epic, causing an estimated $4 billion in damages.The Texas Medical Center was especially hard hit.

The facility is the largest medical and health center for patient care, research and education in the world. Its campus covers more than 675 acres, with 100 permanent buildings. Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), part of the Center, was left with hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. In addition to its insurance coverage, the institution was eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funding.

Faced with numerous FEMA and National Institutes of Health regulations and requirements, BCM was the first member of the Center to recognize the need to have a professional advocate on their side as they pursued the large undertaking of their recovery. Other members — St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, the Texas Heart Institute and Memorial Hermann Health System, all of which had damages comparable to BCM — joined with BCM in retaining Adjusters International to lead their FEMA recovery.

A challenging aspect of the disaster recovery process involved BCM’s various research facilities and related activities.The flood killed thousands of research mice and destroyed a breast tumor research bank, representing 20 years of cancer research. Since “research” is not a typical FEMA category, numerous months were spent quantifying, valuating and subsequently convincing FEMA that the replacement of all or portions of these valuable research components qualified for federal funding.

Further complicating BCM’s recovery with FEMA were the unique and costly construction techniques that would be required to repair the vivarium that housed the surviving research animals. Being highly sensitive to vibration (which would disturb breeding patterns) and changes in environment, a phased approach to the restoration of this facility was essential.This necessitated the animals being housed and protected in some portions of the vivarium while repairs were made to other portions.

16 | Adjusters International Responding

The unique nature of this claim put it clearly outside of normal FEMA funding. It called for innovative thinking and negotiating involving FEMA, Adjusters International and BCM.The end result? All three projects were declared eligible for FEMA grant funding.

Working with State Emergency Management Teams

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It’s a fact that partnering with Adjusters International can bring significant benefits for state emergency management offices.

Between 2004 and 2010, Adjusters International responded to 16 federally declared disasters in New York State, assisting the state’s emergency management office (NYSEMO) with floods, snow storms and other property damage emergencies.

The partnership supplied the agency with a trained pool of disaster recovery consultants who were available as needed to help administer the FEMA Public Assistance Program. Adjusters International also assisted New York State with the resources needed to conduct a preliminary damage assessment prior to a federal disaster declaration.

A state disaster can result in hundreds of applicants. Adjusters International’s team mobilized throughout the state to supply hands-on expertise to assist applicants and coordinate a centralized management process until the recovery operation was completed.

Adjusters International Corporate Office 126 Business Park Drive | Utica, NewYork 13502 800.382.2468 | Outside U.S.: 315.797.3035 FAX: 315.272.2054

EDITOR: Sheila E. Salvatore

Additional Information and Insurance Claims Resources

New York State Emergency Management Office

…The total goal achieved was nothing less thanmaximizing all eligible costs in the best interest of the applicant.

Like many other declarations there were times during recovery operations as State Coordinating Officer which I requested detailed information to resolve issues. As usual, the information was brought forth to me in [a] quick and expeditious manner…

…One strong asset for making recovery efforts a success is having Adjusters International staff on our team.

John J. Fink Recovery Supervisor New York State Emergency Management Office

to the Worst Disasters Adjusters International’s website provides a variety of resources on property insurance, loss settlement, disaster recovery and related topics.The site includes an interactive index and glossary of insurance terms, information about recent disasters, a risk assessment checklist and information customized for large and small businesses, homeowners and journalists. A complete library of back issues of Adjusters International’s technical publications — Adjusting Today and Disaster Recovery Today — can also be found. In addition, a directory provides direct access to the nearest Adjusters Internationalexpert foranswerstoquestionsand/ormore information.