Disaster Recovery Workshop for States
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Disaster Recovery Workshop for States. From Plan to Implementation: Lessons Learned. Personnel. Where/how to find skilled staff?. Reach out (Find CDBG expertise) HUD COSCDA Other State CDBG Offices OCD first hired key managers Key managers then hired their own staff

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Disaster Recovery Workshop for States

From Plan to Implementation: Lessons Learned


Where how to find skilled staff
Where/how to find skilled staff?

  • Reach out (Find CDBG expertise)

    • HUD

    • COSCDA

    • Other State CDBG Offices

  • OCD first hired key managers

    • Key managers then hired their own staff

  • Advertise (Get the word out)

    • Standard LA State procedures

Ocd hiring procedures
OCD Hiring Procedures

  • Used existing personnel procedures to hire “Unclassified” positions

    • Expedited process

    • Provided salary flexibility to encourage experienced personnel to relocate

  • Hired Managers from Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New York, North Dakota, and Kentucky

Ocd existing staff
OCD Existing Staff




LRA and OCD combining offices

Total Combined Staff: 79

Total Positions Vacant: 24

  • DRU Assistant Director

  • Housing Specialists

  • Hazard Mitigation

  • Economic Development

  • Planning

Future challenges
Future Challenges

  • Maintaining knowledgeable and experienced personnel in an uncertain environment (restructuring, longevity of program)

  • Assuming contractor responsibilities as program winds down

  • Developing longer term program monitoring capabilities

  • Streamlining process for future disasters

What would you do differently
What would you do differently?

  • Establish emergency hiring and contractor procurement procedures BEFORE a disaster

    • Identification of experienced personnel and resources across state agencies

    • Create a ‘Reserve’ list of State employees or retirees to ‘borrow’ until you have the time to hire permanent staff

  • Policy and Implementation under one roof

  • Staff up faster

    • Hire as many positions as possible early on

    • Use contractors if necessary (private sector can staff up faster)

How to seek qualify consultants
How to seek/qualify consultants?

  • Follow Procurement Best Practices

  • Look at consultants’ capacity (how many sub-contractors are necessary to provide the service?)

  • Talk to prior clients and subcontractors regarding past performance

  • Less emphasis on knowledge of funding sources (CDBG/HMGP) and more emphasis on management experience and customer service

Building surge capacity
Building Surge Capacity

  • OCD enlisted the assistance of other state agencies DHH, DSS, for some programs

  • OCD required consultants to have subcontractors in place as part of the SFO process

  • In general FEMA, ICF, and others were able to build surge capacity through:

    • Extensive use of consultants and subcontractors

    • Salaries commensurate with experience and disaster recovery efforts

Building surge capacity1
Building Surge Capacity

  • Road Home Contractor, ICF, was required to hire over 2,000 employees in less than 1 month

    -38 subcontractors including 2 non-profit agencies and 3 educational institutions

    -Job Fairs

  • For meeting closing and other benchmarks, the contractor had employee competitions and rewards


  • Streamline state civil service requirements to expedite the hiring process and salary flexibility in a disaster

  • Establish a “Reserve” list for disaster recovery efforts (employees and other agencies).

  • Development of a COSCDA Disaster Rapid Response Team