Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. At least 1,245 people died, and damages were estimated over $105 billion.
Witt O’Brien’s solution
The Governor of Louisiana turned to Witt O’Brien’s for immediate assistance. Our team was on site within 48 hours, to share strategic advice on response and recovery efforts.
Over the ensuing decade, we helped the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) to build its organization structure, policies and procedures. We initially provided 250 “surge” specialists to support GOHSEP’s small staff, and then worked to “flip” the numbers by expanding GOHSEP’s team to 300, while reducing contractor staff to less than 40. We helped secure FEMA disaster recovery grants in support of over 35,000 projects state-wide, and reviewed over 800 hazard mitigation applications.
The numbers speak for themselves:
- We helped win and administer over $13 billion in FEMA recovery grants
- We helped win and administer over $2.2 billion in FEMA hazard mitigation funding
- We helped Louisiana appeal 400 funding denials, winning an additional $1.1 billion (with an industry-leading 83% success rate)