In this podcast, Joe Blasi, Jeb McPherson and Edie Mitchell discuss the importance of having FEMA as part of your risk management strategy.
Interplay Between FEMA, PA and Insurance
The guests discuss the relationship between FEMA, PA (public assistance), and insurance, and how these funding sources can be utilized together. After a declared disaster, public entities can leverage FEMA to cover uninsured losses. Insurance policies often have debris sublimits, and this is where FEMA can assist in the recovery process.
Maximizing Total Recovery
When maximizing the total recovery, the strategy must factor in property insurance claims, insurance company claims, and the use of consultants or internal resources. FEMA has recently undergone a lot of policy changes, and keeping up with them can be a challenge, especially for those who are not familiar with the day-to-day operations. That is why it is important to engage outside parties who specialize in the FEMA process and understand the various rules and guidelines.
Common Pitfalls to Avoid
The guests share some common pitfalls to avoid when submitting projects to FEMA. One is the documentation and final audit requirement, which must be well organized and stored properly. Another pitfall is the cost-benefit analysis, as the FEMA process can take 5-10 years to settle. The procurement process is also a challenge, and it is important to maintain the story of the disaster and the recovery process within the agency.
Navigating the Grant Administrator Process with FEMA
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to navigate the grant administrator process with FEMA. It is a complex and consuming process, and it is important to engage outside parties who do this all day every day to avoid common pitfalls and maximize recovery. It is the role of a broker or insurance advisor to ensure from a financial perspective that there is no economic loss following a disaster.
*The views and opinions expressed in the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) blogs/podcasts are those of each respective author/speaker. The views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRIMA.*
Sr. Executive Vice President, McGriff Insurance Services
Summary of Qualifications
Joe is a senior executive vice president with McGriff Insurance Services. He and his team have served the risk management and insurance needs of educational entities and local governments for over 25 years. During that period, Joe has provided assistance with several large insurance claims associated with varying types of natural disasters.
- Coverage Analysis
- Insurance Claims Management
- Captive Formation
- Risk Data Analytics
- Catastrophe Modeling
- Insurance Placement
- Loss Prevention Systems
- Associate in Risk Management (ARM)
- Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)
- Licensed Risk Manager
University of St. Thomas (BBA)
Jeb McPherson, CPA, CFF, FCPA
Public Entity Practice Leader, Disaster Recovery Services
Summary of Qualifications
Jeb has over 20 years of extensive, hands-on experience specializing in the management of catastrophic, complex claims within the public entity sector. He focuses on a strategic approach to working through the FEMA grant management process as well as commercial insurance and/or other federally funded programs (i.e. FTA). Jeb knows why FEMA experience matters after assisting hundreds of applicants through FEMA's tedious recovery process.
- Disaster Recovery Services LLC, Practice Leader, 2017 - Present
- Marsh, Senior Vice President, 2000 - 2017
- Reznick Group, 1996 - 2000
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF)
- Forensic Certified Public Accountant (FCPA)
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
- Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA)
University of Georgia, Athens (BBA)
Director of Risk Management, University of California, San Diego
Summary of Qualifications
Edie is an experienced risk management professional with two decades of insurance and risk management expertise and leadership in the higher education, international energy as well as real estate and retail sectors. As director of risk management, Edie is responsible for multiple insurance and risk management programs such as core loss prevention efforts, financial recovery via claims and risk mitigation consultation for the campus’ highly variable activities. Edie is past-chair of the University of California’s Risk Management Leadership Council (RMLC), serves as the RMLC liaison to University of California’s Emergency Management and Business Continuity Cohort, and serves on University of California, San Diego’s Risk Steering Committee, Vehicle Accident Review Board and Youth Program Oversight Committee. Edie is a member of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA), Higher Education Protection Network (HEPNet), and has served as an executive board member for the Pacific Safety Center (PSC) and the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), San Diego chapter. Prior to joining University of California, San Diego, she provided corporate risk management services at Sempra Energy, a global energy holding company. Edie holds a degree in business administration, emphasis in finance, from University of California, Riverside. She also holds Associate in Commercial Underwriting, Associate in Risk Management and Enterprise Risk Management professional designations from the Insurance Institute of America and is a recent graduate of the CORO UC Leadership Collaborative.
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