For years, county officials maintained a disaster recovery standby contract with Adjusters International to help ensure an optimum recovery, should the area be hit by a disaster. When hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma came calling, Monroe County turned to Adjusters International to deliver the benefits their contract promised—and that’s just what Adjusters International did.
Wilma, called the greatest storm of the decade, had the greatest impact across the island chain, causing millions of dollars in damages. Thousands were left homeless and an emergency shelter was shut down within a week because of mold infestation. Evacuees were shuttled between hotels and shelters. FEMA initially ruled that the county’s hotel bill for storm refugees was not eligible for reimbursement.
Further complicating matters was the fact that new FEMA guidelines governing temporary housing for essential employees were implemented in the middle of the hurricane season. What’s more, after a year of record-breaking storms, Monroe County faced an increased need for mitigation strategies that would improve the resistance of the county’s infrastructure.
Adjusters International researched FEMA sheltering policies and proved that on multiple occasions, FEMA had used hotels to shelter displaced residents. FEMA officials reversed their decision and all hotel expenses were deemed eligible. Adjusters International consultants secured more than $1 million in funding for the housing of essential county employees.
Finally, Adjusters International worked to identify projects that would benefit from hazard mitigation funds, including hurricane-resistant windows in buildings across the county and a fortified communications system.
The storms damaged 400 buildings and facilities across the county. Adjusters International developed and implemented a cohesive loss management process resulting in a recovery of $40 million for property damages and $20 million for debris removal costs.