Meet Carlos Castillo, Tidal Basin’s New Chief Development Officer

Episode #7

Building codes must be updated to minimize the impacts from major disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. The U.S. has made progress since historic storms like Hurricane Andrew in 1992. But there remain some areas in the U.S. that still need to improve building codes to current standards.

There are opportunities for communities to increase resilience, one opportunity is with FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (#BRIC) Program providing funding opportunities available to communities. BRIC supports states, local communities, tribes and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards. BRIC is a new FEMA pre-disaster hazard mitigation program that replaces the existing Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program.  #FEMA #mitigation

Key Takeaways

  • [00:00:37] Podcast Introduction and Welcome
  • [01:40] Tell me a little bit about how excited you are about your transition from FEMA over to Tidal Basin
  • [02:34] You announced in late July your decision to come over to Tidal Basin in your new role as Chief Development Officer, can you share with our listeners what you will be doing in this position?
  • [03:20] New role

    I understand you have worked closely during first tenure at FEMA with Tidal Basin CEO Daniel Craig, and you also have worked with Tidal Basin’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Misczack who lead the Individual Assistance Division at FEMA – how do you feel about reuniting with Mark and Dan in this new role?

  • [04:37] With an above normal hurricane season is store for us, is Andrew still the benchmark for South Florida on how devastating a hurricane can be?
  • [07:10] Do you remember that night when Andrew came onshore?
  • [08:20] Did you guys have damage at your house from the storm?
  • [08:45] After Andrew the devastation was so bad that all the landmarks were gone – it was almost impossible to know where you were.
  • [09:34] So much has changed since Andrew, regarding building codes, there are still some areas that need to update their building codes including in the Caribbean.
  • [11:21] You have also worked with Red Cross and USAID in supporting response and recovery from disasters. Can you share with our listeners your experience in that area?
  • [16:25] How is your work with Resilience going to support our work in the Caribbean?
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Carlos Castillo Masked
Carlos J. Castillo, CEM
Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer

Carlos Castillo serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer (CDO) for Tidal Basin Group. As CDO, Carlos oversees the growth functions of the company and Tidal Basin’s operations in the Caribbean.

An internationally recognized leader in emergency and disaster management with more than 40 years’ experience, Carlos joined Tidal Basin directly from FEMA, where he most recently held the position of Acting Deputy Administrator for Resilience. In this role, he led an organization of more than 1,300 employees and managed the following sectors:

  • The Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration
  • The National Preparedness Directorate
  • The Grant Programs Directorate
  • National Continuity Programs
  • The Office of Counterterrorism and Security Preparedness
  • The Office of Resilience Integration and Coordination

He also served as FEMA’s Assistant Administrator for Disaster Assistance where he led the Individual and Public Assistance Programs after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike among other major disasters.

Prior to his work with FEMA, Carlos held several leadership roles at the local, national, and international levels. His 26-year career with Florida’s Miami-Dade County in fire and emergency services included managing some of the nation’s largest disasters and three years as Director of Emergency Management where he managed the county’s response and recovery for the 2004 and 2005 historic hurricane seasons. He also served as the Regional Disaster Officer of the South Florida Region American Red Cross. Carlos was instrumental in developing the Urban Search and Rescue Response System for the United States, and internationally for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. In addition to his decades of government experience, he also led the disaster risk reduction consulting services for a large consulting firm.

Carlos has taught as an Adjunct Instructor in the Masters of Disaster Management program at Florida International University and a guest lecturer on disaster resilience and risk reduction at the University of Miami and Georgetown University. Carlos holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Florida International University, is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM), and has represented the U.S. internationally through his disaster management work with the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Consortium.

Carlos J. Castillo, CEM, was interviewed by Jacksonville's CBS@47 and FOX30 Action News' Letisha Bereola discussing FEMA's approach to preparing for hurricane season 2020 in the wake of a pandemic and what to do to be ready to handle the possible effects of Tropical Storm Isaias:


Click here to learn more about Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and the upcoming funding opportunities to support resilience projects in local communities.