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From: Adam Knapp [mailto:knapp@brac.org]
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2018 10:54 AM
To: Pat Forbes
Cc: INACTIVE - Mark Cooper (GOHSEP) ; Don Pierson

Subject: Request on the Task Force Watershed item for tomorrow

Pat,
I read the Watershed item more closely for the meeting tomorrow and want to suggest edits be. I was concerned when we granted the previous allocation of $10m for watershed study and didn't use the Water Institute to leverage our economic development advantages there. As we prepare for tomorrow I've been thinking more about how to make use of the scientists at the Water Institute of the Gulf (TWIG) in this work. The state has invested enormous resources to build the strength of this independent science institute as a unique global leader in this space. The economic development advantages of using their skill sets makes Louisiana stronger for other federal and international work, as they continue to gain this unique experience. I was concerned after the last planning grant that we didn't directly engage them for this work, and want to find a way that we are taking advantage of their skill sets through the allocation of these resources, and the ways that make the most sense and at the same time are not competitive inappropriately to private sector players. As the Water Institute builds these resources, they also give the state an advantage of a incomparable set of knowledge, talent and capabilities that can be exported to other states and other countries. If it's own state doesn't use its own scientific experts for this purpose-built area they dominate in, it makes it more difficult to export their knowledge globally.

I've been gathering getting input to frame some thoughts of where to go on this. I think there are four areas that make sense for us to target toward the skill sets of the Water Institute that provide Restore TF and OCD/DOA with the best science. With respect to watershed issues and the Task Force, I think the Water Institute should be tasked by the State to coordinate the development of a common set of modeling standards and Quality Assurance/Quality Control activities; develop a statewide Real-Time Forecasting System; and develop metrics and research-based strategies for assessing community vulnerability and adaptation interventions.

From BRAC's perspective, the state is positioned to be a national and international leader in watershed-based floodplain management. The Water Institute was created as an independent, not-for-profit applied research institution to support the State to provide the best available science to inform decision-making. The science, research and innovations taking place at TWIG (along with our many partners around the state) provide us incredible economic development opportunities for Baton Rouge and the state. Because of LSU, the CPRA, State leadership and TWIG, Baton Rouge is becoming a global hub for the water sector.

As the head of a chamber of commerce and the regional EDO, our view is to that TWIG should avoid direct competition with the private sector. At the same time, we should - and Louisiana should - advance it as our first priority for scientific advancement of water related issues for Louisiana, and by doing so, further anchor our position as one of the best in the world at this type of work.

On the topic of the recommendation for tomorrow's task force meeting, we should advocate that the water Institute can support the statewide, watershed-based floodplain management program (led by OCD, DOTD, CPRA, GOHSEP, and LDWF) by providing independent scientific and technical advice and avoid competition with the private sector by:

  • Coordinating the development of a common set of modeling standards;
  • Provide the State with Quality Assurance / Quality Control services;
  • Develop a statewide flood Real-Time Forecasting (RTF) System;
  • Develop metrics and research-based strategies for assessing community vulnerability and adaptation interventions.

A RTF system would be a tremendous asset to emergency / first responders at the local level and to all state agencies involved in flood protection and response. The RTF system could be used by relevant parish personnel as well as at the state Emergency Operations Center. Such a RTF system would build upon the State's national/international reputation of using the best science in the world to address its water challenges.

As a matter of policy, our task force should direct the Water Institute to assist the state with this effort while at the same time staying in its scientific/technical "lane".

  • While it has the capabilities, TWIG does not want to and should not do the modeling work of the watersheds across the state—that work should be done by private sector engineering firms.
  • The Institute should leverage the work it has done for the coastal program (including the RTF system we developed for CPRA's Diversion Program).

I'd like your advice and guidance on ways to amend the recommendation tomorrow to best to marry the state's investment in creating TWIG with the Watershed proposal for tomorrow and recommendations I've noted above. Alternately, I think the committee could pass a companion resolution to direct staff to use TWIG for the above, stating the policy goals for leveraging the institute's skills and scientific leadership for these areas of the Task Force's watershed work.

Let's talk when you have a moment.

Adam
- - -
knapp@brac.org

From: Pat Forbes
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2018 5:55 PM
To: Adam Knapp
Cc: INACTIVE - Mark Cooper (GOHSEP); Don Pierson
Subject: RE: Request on the Task Force Watershed item for tomorrow

Thanks for your note, Adam. Per our discussion, we recognize the value the Water Institute brings to the state and we fully expect to use them for many aspects of the program. I agree they have some unique, world-class capabilities and can contribute greatly to our effort. The issue is more one of timing. We are not yet at the phase of the program where we can make determinations about what will be needed, much less who will be best equipped to provide those services. We are engaging them on our Model Standards Technical Assistance Committee, which will be responsible for developing standards for hydraulic and hydrologic models across the state for use in the watershed-based floodplain management program. I look forward to discussing further with you. See you tomorrow.

Research Resource:

FAQ No. 88    

Date: 2-25-2019 Updated: 2-25-2019 Subject:

Resources published here are segments of research projects of past, present and future. All items published will soon be in articles that tie the subject matter together for the big picture results.

Resource Research is also the way we find things out of place in our world today.

This section is completely keyword search enabled so you can find just the topic you need to support your own research projects or to assist in our research resources. We have created a simple copy link so you can embed or link to the resource if you use any segment of this section.

Keep your information open and transparent at all times. You'll find this section grows often and is currently supported by one person so if you are looking for a specific document or topic related to Disaster Recovery use the submit question.

To submit a question you are actually submitting a research resource topic. Your topic will remain offline until the research has been completed. If you have the research and it can be validated please use the contact pages first.

FAQ No. 1    

Date: 12-30-2018 Updated: 3-4-2019 Subject: How To Research

FOIA State of Louisiana OCD-DRU 5-23-2018: Request copies of any communications between the Governors Office (J.B. Edwards) and Restore Louisiana Homeowners Assistance Program related to waiving state requirements that contractors working for Restore LA or IEM Inc tasked with rebuilding, repairing homeowners homes damaged by the 2016 floods (DR4277, DR4263) be licensed and insured as per state contractors licensing board rules, regulations and state laws.

(State of Louisiana Reply)

Your public records request, dated May 23, 2018, was received by the Division of Administration on May 23, 2018. We are conducting a search for records. Once the search is finished, the records will be reviewed for privileges and exemptions. We will contact you as soon as the review is completed, and all non-exempt records will be made available to you.

Thank you,
Public Records Requests
Division of Administration
State of Louisiana
Email:doapublicrecords@la.gov


FAQ No. 2    

Date: 1-4-2019 Updated: 1-4-2019 Subject:

Requested date: 5-23-2018

As of May 11, 2018
1. Total number of households pending Homeowner Responsibility (Solution 2) and Homeowner Escrow (Solution 1).

2. Total number of LMI Households awarded CDBG-DR Grants that have closed on the grants.
Reply: State of Louisiana DOA 6-7-2018:

Reports do not currently exist that are responsive to your specific public record request. However, with respect to item 2, HUD does publish a quarterly report, the most recent of which is attached, that shows at page 8 of 49 that as of in the first quarter of 2018, 1978 grant awards to LMI households were executed, for a cumulative total of 3321.

Attachment download: Flood DRGR 1st Quarter Reports

FAQ No. 3    

Date: 1-4-2019 Updated: 1-4-2019 Subject:

Requested: 5-29-2018: Copies of Active Contracts that are listed online in the OCDDRU folder but do not have the actual contract linked.
  1. Franklin Associates, LLC Louisiana Housing Corporation 2/12/2016 6/30/2019 $7,143,250 $3,618,750 To perform environmental reviews and homeowner inspections. CDBG-DR funds represented are related to 2016 Flood Work. Other components of the contract funded through other sources.
  2. Alpha Media and Public Relations pending New Corp. 5/28/2016 7/7/2016 $33,413 $33,413 Restore LA Marketing and Outreach.
  3. GrantAnalyst.com, LLC 192237977 Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry 3/16/2017 3/15/2018 $6,100 $6,100 ?Online grant application management system.
  4. Spears Consulting 837070833 TruFund Financial 5/15/2017 5/15/2018 $40,000 $40,000 Marketing/Public Relations spent as of 11.30.17.
  5. Start Corporation 859805285 Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals 12/1/2015 6/30/2018 $2,802,482 $2,802,482 ?To provide support services required to help individuals rebuild their lives after homelessness, institutional care or other disruptions due to the Flood of 2016. (multiple sources of disaster funding)
  6. Volunteers of America 0750049916 Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals 12/1/2015 6/30/2018 $49,999 $49,999 To provide support services required to help individuals rebuild their lives after homelessness, institutional care or other disruptions due to the Flood of 2016. (multiple sources of disaster funding)
  7. Westaff 788265564 TruFund Financial 5/4/2017 11/30/2017 $25,686 $25,686 Temp Services.
  8. Xerox Corporation 137644035 Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry 10/16/2017 6/30/2018 $988 $988 Copy machine
>>> State of Louisiana DOA OCD-DRU response.
Dated: 6-6-2018

You will be receiving, or have already received, an e-mail invitation to access a dropbox from which you will be able to access the documents referenced below.

Please click on this link to view the contracts: Dropbox Link to document download.

FAQ No. 4    

Date: 1-4-2019 Updated: 1-9-2019 Subject:

Freedom of Information Request Date: 6-1-2018: I would like to know who and what department created the webpage at this address: http://www.doa.la.gov/Pages/ocd-dru/for_training.aspx

I find it not useful at all and when so many public records are missing from the OCD-DRU website pages I feel this is a waste of government resources to allow to be viewed by the public.

State of Louisiana Response dated 6-5-2018:

Your public record request e-mail, dated June 1, 2018, was received by the Division of Administration on June 1, 2018. Upon review, your e-mail does not present a public records request as described in Louisiana R.S. 44:1(A)(2). As such, we are unable to provide a response.


>>>> NOTES <<<<<
Web page was removed and replaced with a redirect to the main page. The state did not acknowledge the report.

FAQ No. 5    

Date: 1-4-2019 Updated: 1-4-2019 Subject:

Freedom of Information Request dated 6-18-2018.

Copy of the OCD-DRU policy regarding NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) ICC (Increased Cost of Compliance) funds with respect to the calculation of duplication of benefits (DOB).

>> State of Louisiana Response 6-22-2018 <<

See attached manual and/or view at this link:Attached Homeowners Manual version 3.1 and download link

pages 51 to 52 of the document pertain to NFIP (building and ICC) and DOB calculation.

FAQ No. 6    

Date: 1-4-2019 Updated: 1-4-2019 Subject:

Freedom of Information Request: 6-26-2018, Copy of the "Declined SBA Award Policy".

This document is referenced in
1. "Draft ReLa Program Management Policies (Attachment VII) Page 31 of 189"
2. "Homeowners Manual version 3.1 page 52 under SBA Verification"

>>> Response State of Louisiana <<<

Date: 6-28-2018

The "Declined SBA Award Policy" is found on page 52 of the manual you refer to in your email below. This is the current policy:

"Applicants who have applied for an SBA loan but have a record of declining the loan or have not executed the SBA loan may be considered for RLHP funding, but awards will be adjusted to account for any SBA DOB. If a low to moderate income (LMI) household has declined an SBA loan, a hardship will be presumed and the SBA loan will not be considered a duplication of benefit. SBA loan declination is defined as an applicant having never executed the SBA loan documents."

When the "verification" paragraph states: RHLP Declined SBA Award Policy – it is referring to the paragraph above it in the manual (see snip image below).

FAQ No. 7    

Date: 1-4-2019 Updated: 1-4-2019 Subject:

We publish stories with the intent to help others that follow in our post disaster footprints.

Disaster victims often do not want to relive the ordeal but many that have just became victims or have been searching for answers may learn from your experiences of disasters long past. It is our goal to share with others so we all may rebuild and recover faster. Sharing experiences, post disaster experiences, from cleanup to rebuilding and all points in between. Let's document the processes each victim had to complete after the Presidential Disaster Declaration or the Emergency Declaration has been signed into action.

  • We require 600-2400 words.
    If you require additional space consider making two or more submissions which we will group together if possible.
  • Must have 2 or more pictures that have not been reduced in size or edited to change meta information.
  • Must have strong argument about issues that you have experienced.
  • You must have researched each issue, point of interest or experience declared and offer resources or sources to provide a solid foundation and weight to your experience.
  • Do not cite or copy journalists, editorials or the opinions of others. This is your experience only.
  • You allow us exclusive use of your experience article to share with all who are willing to republish your experience in it's entirety without edits or omissions.
  • We will take no longer than 10 working days to review and accept your experience article.
  • If we feel editing is needed we will return the article to you with notes.
    Our goal is to publish everyone's disaster experience.
  • Include your experience article in an email, a document attached to an email or our website form.
  • Include your disaster record number (DR), name (First,Last), street address, city, state, zip, phone, and email address.

We will use your personal information to verify your disaster experience. We will exclude your name from your article and only reference the DR number. Otherwise you must tell us you would like to release your name with your article and then clearly state what personal information you would like included in your by line.

E-mail: archive@LouisianaRecoveryAuthority.Org

FAQ No. 8    

Date: 12-30-2018 Updated: 12-30-2018 Subject: Your Story

Season 1 Ep 1

"Gross Negligence, Gross Incompetence and Willful Misconduct, Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program" the series.

Tonight's episode entitled "Gross Incompetence Elevation Costs" episode 1.

NOTE: You might find this a bit humorous, but it's actually based on documented facts of 2 groups separated by 10 years working on flood recovery projects.

Restore Louisiana Homeowners Assistance Solution 2 Reconstruction program is closing in on it's first complete home elevation and reconstruction project.

Despite being handed the full Reconstruction program policy and procedures, Solution 2 Reconstruction team is still in the beginning phases of creating Process and Procedures.

According to research, outsourced workers and management have taken nearly one year to process one homeowner and still have yet to document the steps in processing Solution 2 Reconstruction homeowners.

Historical data shows state workers employed as workers worked more efficiently than outsourced companies hired by state workers.

It was found in the year 2008 that state workers awarded 18,914 homeowners with elevation grant money using the system they called, "Simplified Award Process." Current state outsourced management (2018) refuse to follow the 10 year old proven simplified processes and are determined to make a complicate process more complicate than rocket science.

The states Simplified Award Process distributed 18,914 checks in the amount of $30,000 to homeowners in less than one year. Outsourced Solution 2 Restore Management has yet to establish procedures to determine foundation costs even after being given the procedure by the Solution 1 Reconstruction team.

Stay tuned for the onsite Solution 2 Reconstruction podcast series coming next year, maybe, if policy doesn't change.

FAQ No. 9    

Date: 12-30-2018 Updated: 12-30-2018 Subject: State Contractors

Comment: Insurance will be needed or you will get nothing. But even then you will need to know how to navigate a system that the states create to make it impossible for them to navigate. Insurance required to cover federal assistance received.

Financial disaster recovery planning team within the Administration grant funding.
OCD-DRU trainer for all county, parish, city, town planning and zoning departments for HUD compliance training.

Resource: HUD OIG Report 2013-FW-0001

>> Start snip of report page 19,20 <<

Some States Did Not Take Sufficient Steps To Protect the Invested Federal Funds

Some States did not require adequate homeowners' insurance for the homes built or rehabilitated with Disaster Recovery funds. Texas initially did not require insurance. It modified its program for the Katrina, Rita, and Wilma second allocation and, along with Louisiana and Florida, required insurance for 3 years. Alabama adopted a deed restriction that "strongly encouraged" insurance. For the Gustav, Ike, and Dolly allocation, Texas again modified its program and stated insurance was required, but its policy, like Alabama's deed restriction, stated only that failure to maintain insurance "may" impact future disaster assistance. However, Mississippi took an aggressive stance by requiring a transferable covenant that required insurance at all times. These variations occurred because HUD allowed the States maximum feasible deference in the implementation of their Disaster Recovery programs as allowed by the State CDBG program.

HUD needs to adopt a best practice to address the issue of insurance to ensure that the Federal funds invested in the assisted homes are protected in the event of future hurricanes or disasters. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, an additional 10 hurricanes and other storms have hit the States and caused damage. Further, our audit of Texas13 found that Hurricane Ike had damaged homes repaired or replaced by Katrina, Rita, and Wilma grant funds, which lacked insurance. In one extreme case shown in figures 10 and 11, an uninsured home suffered significant structural damage, and the homeowner inquired about additional disaster assistance for his recently replaced home.

The Texas audit also found that of a sample of 59 Katrina-, Rita-, and Wilma funded homes tested, 38 homes were later damaged by another hurricane or storm. Of the 38 homes, 23 did not have insurance. Based on a projection of the sample results, at least 133 of 453 reconstructed or rehabilitated homes or homes awaiting reconstruction lacked insurance and were damaged or are at risk of being damaged by another storm. The report concluded that if Texas changed and improved its action plan and policies, an estimated $60.2 million in program funds could be saved.

For Hurricane Isaac, which struck in August 2012, initial reports estimated damage to 13,000 homes in Louisiana located in the same areas previously affected by Katrina. Since Louisiana required insurance for only 3 years, there is the potential that damage had occurred to Disaster Recovery-assisted homes completed before 2009 that may lack insurance, as the State's required insurance period had expired and nothing would prevent homeowners from seeking additional Federal assistance.

>> End snip of report page 19,20 <<

FAQ No. 11    

Date: 12-30-2018 Updated: 12-30-2018 Subject: Transparency

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  • Hundreds of homeowners with SBA Duplication of Benefits may have been categorized incorrectly.

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    Hundreds of homeowners with SBA Duplication of Benefits may have been categorized incorrectly.

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