President Biden has announced $3.46 billion in mitigation funding for the 59 major disaster declarations issued due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) aims to provide funding for states, tribes, and territories to help battle the growing climate change crisis and aid communities in being prepared and recovering quickly from the effects of this crisis. As severe weather continues to sweep across the nation, this new funding will allow these communities to strength mitigation efforts and take steps that will promote greater resilience and reduce suffering from these disasters.

View the official FEMA advisory here.

Mitigation Programs

Reductions in hazard risks to people and property are the cornerstone of many federal assistance programs. Tidal Basin has expertise in the development, implementation and management of complex hazard mitigation measures designed to bring about the minimization of loss of life and damages to public and private property. In most cases, hazard mitigation grants are awarded using a cost-share formula, with the majority share being federal and the remaining portion the responsibility of non-federal contributors.

Integrating federal resources is not always an easy task. Program rules vary among federal agencies and there can be tension and uncertainty among federal, state and local partners. Additionally, the administrative burdens mandated by differing federal grants can create roadblocks due to conflicting interpretations of rules, redundancies in documentation, and actual incompatibilities.

Tidal Basin understands the significance of hazard mitigation funding and the extensive process it carries. Our experienced team can guide applicants through the extensive grant process to help these organizations or communities reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from future disasters.

Tidal Basin Mitigation Experts

With over 100+ years of combined experience, Tidal Basin is confident in representing your communities while holding the highest standards to ensure proper grant management. Our team of experts lead the field in disaster and emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. This experience easily translates to our ability to work with FEMA. With disasters seemingly increasing in intensity, severity and duration, communities in the U.S. are facing more hardship than ever. Equally clear is the need for state and local governments to take targeted, effective, and sustained action to recover from those challenges and mitigate similar events and injuries in the future.

[image src=”/assets/Employee/a1e1447320/Mark-Misczak.png” id=”32481″ width=”170″ height=”211″ class=”left ss-htmleditorfield-file image”]Mark Misczak, CEM
Chief Operating Officer

Mark Misczak has worked in emergency management for more than 30 years, most of which was spent serving at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). His work at FEMA included command roles in the largest disasters in our Nation’s history.

At FEMA, and through his subsequent leadership at emergency management consulting firms, Misczak has led complex programs and projects resulting in the delivery of billions of dollars in federal recovery and resiliency funding.

[image src=”/assets/Employee/2afc834b23/Carlos-Castillo_Masked.jpg” id=”34093″ width=”170″ height=”226″ class=”left ss-htmleditorfield-file image”]Carlos Castillo, CEM
Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer

Carlos Castillo is 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.

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.

[image src=”/assets/Employee/Luis-Avila-headshot.png” id=”35273″ width=”170″ height=”211″ class=”left ss-htmleditorfield-file image”]Luis Avila
Vice President, Mitigation

As Vice President of Mitigation, Luis oversees all mitigation operational functions of the company including Hazard Mitigation Grants management across the United States and territories. His extensive experience includes his work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he most recently held the position of Hurricane Sandy Hazard Mitigation Branch Chief under FEMA Region 2.

He has also served as DHS/FEMA’s Housing Sector Deputy Director and Hazard Mitigation Director under the DR 4339-Puerto Rico program where he directed and managed more than 150 staff members and supported the Federal Coordinating Officer, Recovery Office Director, Regional Administrator, and Deputy Regional Administrator as a principal advisor on housing development, mitigation, and recovery.

[image src=”/assets/Employee/91cfd500d5/Jacob-Gray-v2.png” id=”32322″ width=”170″ height=”211″ class=”left ss-htmleditorfield-file image”]Jacob S. Gray
Director of Mitigation

Jacob Gray, former State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO), has over 17 plus years of experience in the areas of mitigation planning project management, mitigation grants management, risk identification, and vulnerability assessments in Homeland Security and Emergency Management fields. Jacob currently serves as the Deputy Director of Mitigation for Tidal Basin Government Consulting.

Prior to his Tidal Basin tenure Mr. Gray served as the SHMO for the State of Kansas, where he developed a comprehensive mitigation grant program and a mitigation planning program ensuring most of the population in Kansas was covered under planning requirements, at no expense to the local jurisdictions. He spearheaded three state multi-jurisdictional mitigation plan updates, the most recent being approved in November 2018. His leadership, forward thinking, and experience in mitigation planning ensured the state and all locals jurisdictions met deadlines accomplish future mitigation plans and meet all grant deadlines.

[image src=”/assets/Employee/Jose-Valenzuela_Masked_FocusFillWzMzMCw0MTAsIngiLDQwXQ.jpg” id=”37341″ width=”170″ height=”211″ class=”left ss-htmleditorfield-file image”]Jose L. Valenzuela
Senior Director of Mitigation

Jose Valenzuela has over 20 years of experience in the areas of government, public policy, planning, regulations, floodplain management, grants management, environmental risk management, among others.

Mr. Valenzuela currently serves as the Senior Director of Mitigation for Tidal Basin. Prior to his Tidal Basin tenure, Jose was appointed as the State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO) for Puerto Rico on November 2017, after the hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Island. As the SHMO, he oversaw the biggest HMGP award by FEMA, $2.9 billion, and was responsible for the biggest Code Enforcement mitigation grant awarded by FEMA, $144 million. He led the mitigation team that developed a comprehensive mitigation grant program and initiated an extensive standardization and update process for 78 local mitigation plans. Jose coordinated all efforts related to risk reduction, such as the FEMA MAT report for hurricanes Irma and Maria, the adoption of the ABFE’s and the adoption of the 2018 ICC Building Codes, among others. This effort has been recognized with the Community Service Award 2019 by the International Code Council.