Listen to the full interview below:
Moran and Karney have years of experience working in disaster-related media. Chris called it a “breath of fresh air” to talk with people who “get it.”
TIM:What is “disaster recovery compensation” and why is it so complicated?
CHRIS: When people say “disaster recovery compensation” or “grant programs” or in the case of the BP Oil Spill, its actually a class action lawsuit…whenever something large scale happens to a particular population, whether it be Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, the tornados in North Alabama, the flooding in Austin, any of these, there is going to be a large-scale compensation effort that is non-insurance based.
It always involves a large populace that has some identifying characteristics, that will receive some form of compensation. If you think about Hurricane Katrina that would mean somebody who lived in Orleans Parish, during Katrina, who was exposed to damages above and beyond what their insurance could handle. That ends up being a lot of people.
What makes them complicated is, its very important that all of those circumstances have some type of mechanism to handle the previous [insurance related] compensation that the person is received. So you’re basically facing large-scale, uninsured losses. However, you don’t want to duplicate the compensation they do get from their insurance.
In the case of the BP Oil Spill, there were at least a dozen programs that BP ran in the immediate aftermath of the disaster to help with Spill response. When the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center pays out, we have to take into account the money that these individuals have already received.
TOM: What lessons have been learned about disaster recovery since Hurricane Katrina? Have you seen any improvements in the process in later events such as Superstorm Sandy?
CHRIS: Well I can tell you that at the very minimum the response process is extremely improved. The response to Sandy really proved it. Response is vastly improved. But in the recovery process, where I’ve seen the most improvement, there is a new understanding that its a “fact of life” and people think more about it.
What I think people have realized is the importance of proper IT response. After Katrina, one of the leads at the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program actually suggested that we should throw out all the systems and just use Excel to manage claims. You don’t hear that kind of silliness anymore. People realize that if you’re going to serve – the Deepwater Horizon claim population is around 350,000, in Katrina you’re talking about really similar numbers – when you’re talking about that scale, you know that IT is so critical.
Thanks All Hazards Network for the wonderful opportunity. Chris is looking forward to Round Two.