Disaster Response and Recovery Support Services for the State of Hawai’i

Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA)

HomeDisaster Response and Recovery Support Services for the State of Hawai’i

About the project

The State of Hawai’i required a wide range of disaster recovery support services on an emergency standby basis. Under this contract, the state required assistance with FEMA Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation program services.

Key takeaways

  • Prime Contractor: Tidal Basin
  • Project Dates: January 14 to Present
  • Allocation: $33.3 Million


Hawai‘i has suffered many back-to-back disasters, including the lava flow disaster in 2018 and multiple federally declared fire disasters (FMAGs) and extreme wind events. Once COVID HMGP monies were authorized to the state, they knew assistance was needed. After dealing with staff turnover and retirements of mitigation staff, the state asked Tidal Basin to assist with managing the mitigation program at Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA).


DR-4194 TS Iselle

Tidal Basin trained and guided the Hawai‘i Department of Public Works in setting up a self-debris monitoring operation for their extensive debris removal process recognized by FEMA. Identified and negotiated incorrect work category assignments. By correcting the category assignment (Category A-Debris Removal), the sub-recipient utilized the PA Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for debris removal, authorized by the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013. This allowed them
to receive funding for straight time, labor and expenses and increased federal cost shares – which was afforded by the pilot program’s sliding-scale procedure. On behalf of the state, Tidal Basin conducted training for state and local officials for the PA process and debris removal

Assisted the state with proper PW formulation.

A roof repair PW was initially written for approximately $29,000. Our team, in cooperation with the sub-recipient, established historical costs based on competitively bid contracts. This raised the project costs to $214,000 – an
unparalleled 738% increase over the original amount.

Provided strategic advice to the state on

Tidal Basin demonstrated, through policy, that all costs borne by the state for the Guard (while engaged in eligible work) were eligible for reimbursement. This added approximately $250,000 to the state’s eligible cost reimbursement.

DR-4201 Puʻu ʻŌʻō Volcanic Eruption and Lava Flow

Tidal Basin guided the state and the county of Hawai‘i in implementing the PA program in response to the widespread threat from approaching lava flows. Our efforts allowed the multitude of applicants involved in emergency protective measures to move their operations out of harm’s way and properly document their activities in accordance with the program. This also included a massive operation to improve three local roads to provide necessary emergency access to the affected population in anticipation of the lava flow impeding the only available route.

DR-4365 Sever Storms, Flooding, and Landslides; DR-4366 Kilauea Volcanic Eruptions and Earthquakes

Tidal Basin currently provides expert guidance to state and county agencies of Hawaii affected by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Our staff is working side-by-side with each applicant, assisting them with the required utilization of the FEMA Grants Portal. As projects become obligated, we are continuing the program closeout process to expedite the release of funding to the sub-recipients. On behalf of the state of Hawai‘i, we are currently in negotiations with FEMA for the proper implementation of the 428 Public Assistance. Alternative Procedures (PAAP) Pilot Program for estimating facilities destroyed by lava. Our
team has been successful in justifying and submitting 406 HMP projects and reconciling the allocated costs for each HMP project. Tidal Basin was instrumental in identifying the correct HMP costs for replacing twin 72” CMP culverts with a concrete box culvert. We also succeeded in getting FEMA to accept replacing a CMU park comfort station with two mobile trailers so the facilities can be moved in case of another flooding event.

DR-4282 Maui County Severe Storms, Flooding and Landslides

Tidal Basin provided grant management services to aid all Maui applicants through the PA Public Assistance process. Our team continues to provide closeout services and guidance for reconciling open projects that were significantly underestimated by FEMA, including adding 406 mitigation proposals where applicable.

FM-5294 Hawai‘i Kahana Ridge Fire

Tidal Basin provided support and grant management services in developing, submitting, and closing out FMAG project worksheets. A FEMA Region 9 FMAG coordinator commented that our project worksheets were the most thorough and complete he had ever seen.

DR-4510 Hawai‘i COVID-19 Pandemic

Tidal Basin is currently involved in the state’s response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, including all FEMA PA Program grant management activities and CARES Act support. Our team is instrumental in overseeing the mass feeding programs and providing guidance for compliance with FEMA requirements for reimbursement.

All Hawai‘i Disasters from 2006 DR 1664 to 2021 DR 4604

Tidal Basin continues to provide guidance for open projects and closeout services.

Resilience Delivered

Tidal Basin successfully implemented the requested AAR, THIRA, and Pandemic Planning and Toolkit based on the challenges presented.

The Tidal Basin team was tasked with assisting with application development for DR-4510 (COVID HMGP) funds. We assisted with setting up a residential wind retrofit program and assisted with starting the state’s first shelter envelope hardening projects. Tidal Basin also assisted with identifying many projects and working them toward eligibility. When HI-EMA leadership recognized the outstanding work the team was doing, the mitigation team’s role was expanded to legacy disaster work, training and cross-training, and mentoring state mitigation and public assistance staff on all aspects of the mitigation programs.

Your knowledge of the complex governmental regulations and equally complex insurance and adjusting issues really helped the county maximize the public assistance that was available after all of these disasters. You delivered what you promised, and we are confident in your ability and the ability of your firm to provide these services fully on a technical and professional level yet be able to translate clearly and concisely the intricate and sometimes subjective FEMA regulations which we could not have done without you.

The State of Alaska…[has] a significant investment in the disaster recovery process for both state and federally declared events…. The collaboration with Tidal Basin in these efforts has been so successful and seamless that in most instances applicants and FEMA staff don’t even realize we have contractors on board unless we tell them. Our interaction with Tidal Basin staff and managers works and feels like true teammates and the result is a faster, more comprehensive delivery of disaster recovery resources to survivors.

Months after the storm passed, the County was still faced with tremendous burdens related to the insurance coverage issues and FEMA and MEMA eligibility issues. Jackson County hired your organization to provide professional services for disaster assistance, remediation, restoration and recovery efforts….Their expertise with governmental regulations, the complex FEMA process and insurance adjustments resulted in our successful claim for over $2 million in additional FEMA Public Assistance funding specifically; in our successful negotiations with our insurance carrier; and in numerous other increases in the values FEMA and MEMA initially designated for County projects. Jackson County will always be mindful of the help we received from you when we needed it most.