As the adage goes, “hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” While hurricanes and other natural disasters continue to affect Florida, our government team works with local governments, governmental entities and eligible not-for-profit entities to ensure that their disaster response contracts are FEMA-compliant prior to any severe weather event or other natural disasters. We have found that pre-disaster preparation is pivotal to maximizing access to federal funding and emergency recovery assistance. Preparing ahead of time ensures that municipalities and eligible not-for-profit entities are prepared to respond as soon as safely practicable after severe weather events or other natural disasters.
When disaster strikes, we also provide legal guidance on how to ensure that all pre- and post-disaster event documentation and reporting requirements are submitted and conducted in a form that will best mitigate FEMA’s ability to deny reimbursement and maximize the federal funds provided for disaster recovery assistance.
For example, after Hurricane Irma, the Village of Pinecrest sought our help for public assistance funding requests for debris clearance and removal activities that occurred in the months after the hurricane. After being repeatedly denied reimbursement for damages, our team pursued a fairly new arbitration process and won the case. We obtained an order from the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals awarding more than $1.5 Million from FEMA on behalf of the Village of Pinecrest.
Our firm is acutely aware of and familiar with relevant FEMA guidelines for pre- and post-disaster recovery as well as navigating the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) arbitration process. This unique experience allows our firm to appropriately counsel applicants at all stages of the disaster recovery process, from pre-disaster contract preparation to challenging FEMA’s reimbursement denials at the final arbitration stage. Furthermore, as practitioners in the State of Florida, we hold first-hand knowledge and experience of the challenges local governments and eligible not-for-profit entities face when preparing for and recovering from severe weather events.