The Disaster Roadmap: Leveraging Funding and Best Practices

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 89 minutes
Recorded Date: January 11, 2018
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1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
  • Available funding options for communities and homeowners
  • Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Assistance eligibilities requirements
  • Common pitfalls and real-world examples
  • Procurement regulations
  • Recommendations to build for disaster resilience
Runtime: 1 hour and 29 minutes
Recorded: December 11, 2017


The 2017 hurricane season was one of the most brutal we've seen, reinforcing the important role that lawyers play in pre- and post-disaster preparation and assistance. This presentation will provide attorneys representing local governments and officials with an in-depth look at FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) and Public Assistance (PA) programs.

This program was recorded on December 11, 2017.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Donna Boyce

Community Resilience Fellow
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Donna Boyce serves as Solix’ Director of Recovery and Resiliency Programs and is a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 2016 Community Resilience Fellow.

Boyce’s background developing and managing programs assisting vulnerable populations, including those affected by natural disasters or economic difficulties, provide unique qualifications, making her a recovery and resilience resource for communities both pre and post disaster. Boyce’s experience includes serving as Director of Sandy Housing Recovery Programs at Community Development Corporation of Long Island. Combined with chairing the Long Island Long Term Recovery Group Housing Subcommittee, this work encompassed the full scope of housing recovery, from policy to implementation, resilient rebuilding, creating guidance materials for disaster case managers and using U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other funding to assist survivors.

A frequent conference speaker, Boyce previously served in local and county government on Long Island administering federally-funded projects and in sustainable community development. She earned a B.A. in History and Political Science from the State University of New York – Albany, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Wendy Huff Ellard

Baker Donelson, P.C.

Ms. Ellard maintains a national regulatory practice focused on disaster recovery, government contracting and public policy. She has extensive experience with the intricacies of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Recovery and Emergency Assistance Act and regularly represents public and not-for-profit entities, contractors and industry associations to support grant eligibility and federal procurement compliance.

Ms. Ellard has devoted more than ten years almost exclusively to assisting clients with the legal and policy issues associated with disaster response and recovery. During this time, she has represented varying stakeholders and gained insight from different perspectives. Her unique knowledge and awareness of prior policy applications and interpretations applicable to the recovery process contributes to the effective, efficient approach she brings to her practice.

Ms. Ellard focuses a large part of her time on the various forms of dispute resolution available under FEMA's Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Programs including appeals pursuant to 44 CFR ? 206.206 and arbitration pursuant to 44 CFR ? 206.209 for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since 2007, Ms. Ellard has served in the state of Mississippi by providing regulatory and policy advice to aid the FEMA recipient/grantee in its administration of more than $3 billion in federal disaster aid, including the preparation and submission of responses to more than 300 administrative appeals. She has also represented public and private non-profit subrecipients/applicants throughout the country in navigation of the complex federal and state regulatory frameworks to help those entities obtain and maintain federal funding. This work has included counsel through all aspects of the state and federal audit process, including those performed by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General.

Ms. Ellard also devotes a significant amount of time to representation of public power entities and rural electric cooperatives, including on issues regarding proper procurement for federally funded projects, legal responsibility requirements and work/costs eligibility. She has prepared procurement templates and systems, as well as FEMA specific guidance documents for individual entities and statewide and national associations.

Lisa Gavin

Midwest Legal Disaster Coordination Project Manager
Iowa Legal Aid

Lisa Gavin has been a staff attorney with Iowa Legal Aid since 1995 working under a variety of different grants. In January 2015, she became the project manager of the Midwest Legal Disaster Coordination Project for Iowa Legal Aid.

Lisa earned her JD at the University of Iowa College of Law.

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