Responding to the Worst Hurrincanes, Storms & Floods

Rains Left Medical Facility Awash in Damages

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.

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.

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