IBTS Subject Matter Experts Available to Media Regarding Hurricane Florence

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Natural disaster response professionals share years of experience

IBTS has been involved in recovery after almost every major natural disaster in the United States for the past several decades.

The Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is making a number of its natural disaster response and recovery experts available to the media in light of the impending landfall of Hurricane Florence.

With almost 100 years of combined experience, in roles ranging from local elected official to administrator of federal programs, the IBTS team offers a wealth of knowledge stemming from projects that include the rebuild of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, the New York Build-it-Back program following Hurricane Sandy, floods in Oklahoma, wind events in Kansas and Texas, Florida and Colorado. Members of the team also performed pro bono work in Puerto Rico. IBTS has been involved in recovery after almost every major natural disaster in the United States for the past several decades.

These experts have also prepared a quick tip-sheet for local governments, available online.

The Experts
Claire Collins– Program Director, Federal and State Programs - FEMA
Cell: 571.528.0885 | Email: ccollins(at)ibts.org
Ms. Collins has more than 12 years of experience providing management and oversight to declared disaster and emergency service programs at the local, state and federal government level. She has led a city and several counties in Virginia as local government manager for more than 22 years and member of elected county Board of Supervisors for six years. During her tenure in local government, she oversaw local disasters, administered Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) improvement projects, and leveraged external funding and private partnerships to complete planned community infrastructure and capital projects. Her first-hand experience in working declared disasters for 1996 flooding, Derecho, and Hurricane Sandy includes disaster planning, response and recovery, performing public information, shelter management, local and preliminary damage assessments, public assistance project assistance and write-ups, justification, and closeout. She currently oversees the IBTS FEMA Temporary Transportable Housing Unit program operations in providing assistance and advisory services, including response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as ancillary projects to improve the health, safety and welfare of temporary disaster survivor housing.

Nicholas E. Foster – Management Consultant
Cell: 832-612-0874 | Email: nfoster(at)ibts.org
Mr. Foster has over 12 years of experience with the implementation and administration of Federal Grants and Construction Contracts with emphasis on CDBG and federally declared disasters. He is familiar with all aspects of CDBG including: labor compliance issues such as Davis Bacon, project eligibility, grant applications, real property acquisition, environmental review and construction management. Mr. Foster assisted in the training, coordination, and implementation of several federally funded programs for Louisiana, Texas and Illinois. He has reviewed and edited contract documents for specific federal language related to federal labor standards for various projects.

Scott Myers – CDBG-DR Senior Area Specialist
Cell: 405.630.8013 | Email: smysers(at)ibts.org
Mr. Myers served as the Director of Programs for the Oklahoma State CDBG program with an annual appropriation of $12.5 million and the state’s CDBG-DR program of over $93 million. He also oversaw the Neighborhood Stabilization (NSP 1 and 3) programs ($21.8 Million allocation); the Community Development Block Grant-Stimulus program ($4 Million allocation), and the state appropriated Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) grant program ($9.8 Million allocation). Mr. Myers acted as lead for the application submission under the competitive National Disaster Resiliency Competition (NDRC) program by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He has also served as a CDBG-DR Program Manager in Cleveland County, Oklahoma and for the State of South Carolina.

Michael Spletto – Corporate Disaster Recovery Executive
Cell: 225-573-4354 | Email: mspletto(at)ibts.org
Mr. Spletto brings 30 years of experience in the field of community development and administration of federal grants. He has extensive knowledge of CDBG, CDBG-DR, FEMA and HOME programs. Mr. Spletto has played a key role in many of the largest disaster recovery programs in the country and delivered numerous training sessions related to CDBG, CDBG-DR, HOME, lead-based paint, NEPA and HUD 24 CFR Part 58 requirements, Section 504, labor standards, HUD compliance monitoring, HQS, strategic planning, and other housing related topics. He has worked for local and State governments for nearly 20 years and provided disaster recovery consulting services for over 10 years. Mr. Spletto assisted in the oversight or management of over $20 Billion in HUD disaster funding.

Educational Opportunities Online
To help jurisdictions learn more about disaster mitigation and recovery, IBTS has created an online resource called OnHAND (http://www.ibtsonhand.org). The site features resources ranging from how to create a disaster-preparedness plan, to communications best practices during an event, to navigating CDBG-DR processes.

Users can fast-track to the most relevant content for their needs by selecting their location, type of peril, phase (before, during, or after a disaster) and role. The content has been developed by IBTS subject matter experts, with contributions from organizations such as the National Association of Counties (NACo). Learn more at http://www.ibtsonhand.org.

About IBTS
IBTS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping communities through quality services that reduce risk, enhance public safety, and improve quality of life. IBTS is headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia with branch offices across the country. IBTS’s work is guided by a Board of Directors made up of government officials appointed by five of the most highly respected, grassroots, state and local governmental associations, including the Council of State Governments (CSG), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), and National League of Cities (NLC).

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Steph Inglis
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