NGS staff are award-winning nationally recognized experts in hazard mitigation. Dr. Oliver led FEMA’s building science, forensic engineering, and floodplain management programs for over a decade. From a programmatic perspective, he also was involved in developing many of FEMA hazard mitigation grant programs. When applied to client’s hazard mitigation projects, this deep subject matter expertise ensures projects are well thought-out, technically sound, economically viable, and in compliance mitigation grant program requirements.
Mitigation project development and implementation – NGS staff have decades of experience at both the federal and local levels, in the conceptualizing, planning, designing, and construction/implementation of hazard mitigation projects. Dr. Oliver has played a significant role in the designing of engineering and cost effectiveness technical requirements for many of FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant programs and participated in numerous competitive grant selection boards. NGS’s technical and programmatic subject matter expertise helps clients successfully navigate FEMA’s complex Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant programs that include:
> Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
> HMGP Post Fire Grant
> Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program
> Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Program
> FEMA’s newest program Building Resilient Infrastructure & Communities (BRIC).
Mitigation Project Example: Tornado Shelters – Dr. Oliver was awarded the FEMA Administrator’s Award for his work on FEMA tornado shelter project. As a result of this initiative, there is now a national tornado shelter consensus standard and building codes provisions that ensure tornado shelters are designed and constructed properly. The success of this unique initiative resulted from a FEMA-led collaboration between federal, state and local government grant-making and regulatory agencies, members of academia from both engineering and meteorological disciples, and the private sector. This initiative has led to tens of thousands of in-home and community salerooms being properly built in tornado and hurricane prone area of the U.S.
Risk Assessment – Under Dr. Oliver’s leadership, FEMA greatly enhanced its support to the nation’s natural hazards risk assessment efforts, known as HAZUS (Hazards – U.S.). As the internet became more widely available, Dr. Oliver oversaw the expansion of and online access to HAZUS. The HAZUS program maintains models for estimating the risk of damage from earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Each HAZUS model uses inventory information (buildings, infrastructure, and population), hazard extent and intensity data, and damage functions to estimate the impacts of disasters. HAZUS is used as a loss estimation, mitigation, and emergency management planning tool. Estimated impacts include building damages, economic losses, displaced households, casualties, debris, and the loss of function for essential facilities. Today, HAZUS is the premiere public domain GIS-based risk assessment tool in use in the U.S
Disaster Resistant Building Codes and Standards– When the International Building Code, the predominant build code in use in the U.S., was being developed, Dr. Oliver oversaw FEMA’s efforts to ensure the code included state-of-the-art and best practices with respect to natural hazards mitigation.
Floodplain management – Under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Dr. Oliver oversaw FEMA’s floodplain management program. This program guides the floodplain management activities in more than 22,000 communities throughout the U.S. Dr. Oliver has extensive federal and local experience in community-based flood mitigation plan development and played a central roll in the development of the NFIP Community Rating System (CRS).
Hazard Mitigation Publications – In his time with FEMA, Dr. Oliver authored and/or oversaw the development of dozens of natural and man-made hazard mitigation publications. These publications presented effective mitigation techniques to address coastal and riverine flooding, tornado and hurricane winds, earthquakes, and terrorist vulnerabilities to buildings and infrastructure. He oversaw the development of FEMA’s Risk Management Series (RMS) publications directed at providing design guidance for mitigating multihazard events. The objective of the series is to reduce physical damage to structural and nonstructural components of buildings and related infrastructure, and to reduce resultant casualties during natural and man-made disasters.
A small sampling of these publications: