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Hazard Mitigation

Witt O’Brien’s has the most experienced and tested hazard mitigation assistance team in the United States. We have developed hundreds of hazard mitigation plans (HMP) and have helped secure, manage, and implement over $3.5 billion in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds since 2001, including the single largest HMGP allocation in United States history. From our inception, Witt O’Brien’s has provided top-notch hazard mitigation assistance services to our local government clients. This assistance has taken a wide variety of forms: program management, provision of direct technical assistance, providing support for the preparation of local mitigation plans and local mitigation strategies, assisting with the establishment of program priorities and the identification of projects, providing benefit-cost analysis (BCA) support, supporting environmental and historic preservation reviews, advocacy, and supporting project monitoring, documentation management, inspection, closeout, and audit. Our excellence in hazard mitigation services comes to us through our founder, James Lee Witt, who while Director of FEMA, established many of the programs and guiding principles FEMA still uses to this day.

Witt O’Brien’s approach to the delivery of the Hazard Mitigation Assistance program involves engaging at both the State (recipient) and applicant (sub-recipient) levels as early as possible, in order to identify both opportunities and potential problems, and encourage participation at the local level according to State priorities. The foundation of the Witt O’Brien’s method is for our staff to work hand-in-hand with local personnel to provide trainings and on-site technical assistance to HMA applicants, assist with the design and implementation of community education and outreach efforts, review, and help develop HMA project applications, and establish grants management programs and processes to ensure reimbursement of funds. This level of support helps to overcome the tendency in many communities to ignore mitigation opportunities for fear that they could slow recovery efforts, or avoid applying for the HMA program funds due to the inherent complexities, uncertainties, and timelines necessary for implementation.

Witt O’Brien’s brings unrivaled experience working with the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program – particularly FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) program. In addition to the substantial work that our experts have done to build the HMGP program and implement its provisions at the federal level, we have been directly involved in helping our clients secure and implement well over $3.5 billion since 2005. This assistance has taken a wide variety of forms: provision of direct technical assistance, providing support for the preparation and/or review of state mitigation plans and local mitigation strategies, assisting with the establishment of program priorities and the identification of projects, assisting our state clients with the review of submitted project applications, providing benefit-cost analysis (BCA) support, supporting environmental and historic preservation reviews, advocacy, and supporting project monitoring , documentation management, inspection, closeout, and audit.

Witt O’Brien’s has demonstrated programmatic and operational capabilities and extraordinary capacity to manage disasters of all sizes and types, in all circumstances. Since our founding in 2001, Witt O’Brien’s has experience managing disaster programs and financial reconciliation efforts in the wake of some of the largest and most complex disasters in US history. Witt O’Brien’s has helped design, staff, and implement long-term recovery planning and coordination efforts for multiple states as well as local jurisdictions who have been significantly impacted by disasters. Witt O’Brien’s has been involved in nearly every significant disaster recovery since 2001, including:

  • 2001 Tropical Storm Allison (Houston, Texas)
  • 2008 Hurricane Ike (Galveston, Texas)
  • 2008 Hurricane Ike (Houston, Texas)
  • 2011 Midwest Tornadoes (Joplin, MO)
  • 2011 North Dakota Floods (Minot, North Dakota)

For all of the US recovery efforts listed above, Witt O’Brien’s has been responsible for providing services associated with the delivery of the programmatic services of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Since 2001, Witt O’Brien’s hazard mitigation experts have helped manage and implement more than $3.5 billion in HMGP funds in order to fund several thousand mitigation projects.