This past February, Tidal Basin’s COO, Mark Misczak, represented the Disaster Recovery Coalition of America (DRCA) during a panel discussion called “Private-Public Coordination Success Stories” during the Southeast (SE) Private-Public Partners Summit, hosted by FEMA Region 4, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in Pearl, MS. Mark and the other panelists highlighted success stories of how partnerships between Federal, State Business Emergency Operations Centers (BEOC’s) and private sector partners are critical during disaster response and recovery events. 

Even more recently, during DRCA’s recent March meeting, Mark Misczak provided an in-depth update on adjustments to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance (IA) program reforms. Speaking from Hawaii, where he is directly involved in the recovery initiatives following the Maui wildfires, Mark delivered insightful updates on the program’s changes. With the goal of arming emergency managers with enhanced strategies for disaster response, Mark detailed FEMA’s initiatives to streamline IA processes and broaden eligibility criteria, a move intended to expedite recovery efforts for affected communities. “These updates will provide survivors faster and easier access to resources they need after disasters,” Misczak noted, underscoring the aim to reduce “red tape” bureaucratic hurdles and enhance the program’s reach and effectiveness.

The adjustments to the IA program are designed to improve its accessibility, efficiency, and equity, reflecting FEMA’s response to the evolving landscape of natural disasters. Among the significant changes, Mark highlighted the streamlined application process and expanded eligibility criteria, which will facilitate quicker and broader access to assistance for affected individuals and communities.

He used examples from his work in Maui to illustrate the practical implications of these changes, focusing on how emergency managers can leverage the revised IA program to enhance community recovery and resilience.

The PowerPoint and additional resources from Mark’s presentation are below. These materials offer in-depth guidance on navigating the revised IA program and implementing its provisions effectively within disaster recovery and preparedness plans.

Contact Mark to learn more about the FEMA IA program reforms or to have him speak at your next event about federally funded emergency management programs and initiatives.