October 2017, Vol.11 , No.10 Past issues | Subscribe | Printer Friendly | Advertise | eMagazine Archives

Hurricane Irma created extensive property damage throughout Georgia as it began to roll through in early September 2017. Property losses from the storm were caused by flooding, storm surge and wind. It has been a slow process for some counties to assess the damage due to efforts around evacuations, closings, power outages and depletion of supplies like gas, water and other resources. Counties should report claims for damage to their insured property to their insurance carrier as soon as possible, documenting the damage and maintaining frequent and clear communication with the claims adjuster. It is important to understand the county’s property insurance provisions due to the complexities around flooding, storm surge and named storms such as Irma.

Counties not only have an opportunity to recover from their insurance carriers, but they may receive assistance from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for uninsurable expenses. In preparation for Irma and anticipating evacuation efforts, FEMA made an Emergency declaration (EM-3387) on Sept. 8, 2017. The federal government then responded to the devastation following President Trump’s major FEMA disaster declaration (DR-4338) on Sept. 15, 2017. As a result, the clock has started ticking for public entities to file their Request for Public Assistance, FEMA Form 90-49. The form, labeled with the official disaster number (EM-3387 or DR-4338), needs to be submitted within 30 days of the declaration date. ACCG encourages counties to submit their requests as soon as practicable due to the numerous demands on funds available through FEMA.

The property losses following Irma may be extremely complex for public entities from a data and management standpoint, particularly for those entities not familiar with FEMA regulations and related claim procedures. MARSH, the Administrator for the ACCG Property & Liability Program (ACCG-IRMA), has a Forensic Accounting and Claims Services (FACS) Practice that can work with counties through those complex issues that may follow Hurricane Irma, helping them maximize their recovery and/or minimize their loss. Their staff has prepared hundreds of complex FEMA claims for clients totaling billions of dollars after federally-declared disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina and Matthew. They can provide assistance with:

  • The FEMA application process
  • Evaluation of FEMA’s prior disaster assistance and insurance purchase requirements
  • Tracking and allocating expenditures according to FEMA requirements
  • Eligibility advice with loss expenditures
  • Preparation of project worksheets including debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent repair and replacement work
  • Protect counties’ interest in scope repair disputes with FEMA
  • Integration of the insurance settlement into the FEMA recovery formula
  • Management of compliance with FEMA recovery guidelines
  • The final inspection and audit close-out process.

    FACS utilizes powerful, proprietary technology tools that assist in expediting claims recoveries. They provide quick and secure online access to project information, including control over access privileges based on the level of involvement of each user. Their claims engineers can work with counties to address code upgrade issues, protect the counties’ interest in scope repair disputes with FEMA, and provide actual vs. hypothetical baseline schedule analyses. Their comprehensive services are aimed at helping counties improve the efficiency of the claims process and achieve their recovery goals.

    The MARSH FEMA claim preparation fees are covered at the FEMA cost-share percentage that applies to the applicable disaster – referred to as Direct Administrative Costs (DAC).

    For more information on this service or the county’s property insurance provisions, contact Ashley Abercrombie at 404-589-7828 or aabercrombie@accg.org or Matt Autry of MARSH at 404-995-2616 or matt.autry@marsh.com.


    The Georgia County Internship Program (GCIP) will be kicking off its 2018 summer grant program application period this month. GCIP helps connect college students with internship opportunities in county government. Each year, the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation provides funding to cover the costs of up to 40 county internships in counties across the state through GCIP. To date, 365 internship opportunities in 68 counties have been provided through GCIP. In order to apply for a grant, counties must complete and submit the grant application packet, which is being distributed via email to county clerks. All applications should include a substantive county project that provides a benefit to the county and to the intern. Prior participation does not bar applicants from participating in the upcoming program and special consideration is given to counties that have not previously participated. If you have any questions about the application process or general questions about the GCIP, please contact Michele NeSmith at mnesmith@accg.org or at 404-522-5022.


    Denard Anderson, Design & Media Production Technology Major at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Interns with Clayton County

    Denard Anderson, a Design & Media Production Technology major at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, brought his production expertise to Clayton County as part of the 2016 Summer Georgia County Internship Program. While Anderson had no prior experience in media operations, he was eager to learn and transfer his education into real world experience. As a media intern, Anderson’s main responsibilities involved editing video projects to help promote Clayton County.

    During his internship, Anderson experienced just how hard county governments work to inform and engage citizens on county matters. Aside from editing video projects, which was his main duty, he also assisted in setting up lighting and equipment for the studio. Anderson noted that his most significant success was editing the "Sip & Sounds" Concert Series. This project required many various editing procedures and helped him to rapidly develop applied editing skill.

    When asked about the most impactful part of his internship, Anderson replied that he enjoyed the effort required in editing video footage and watching the finished production, as well as the applied knowledge he gained in video editing and media production. He felt that the experience as a whole was very positive and enabled him to gain real world knowledge in a field he wishes to work in professionally. As far as future career plans, Anderson said he would absolutely consider a career in county government.

    For more information on the GCIP, please visit the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation website at http://www.civicaffairs.org.


    The ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation was one of 40 organizations recognized by the Atlanta Braves Foundation for "Outstanding Contributions to the Community & Youth of Metro Atlanta." With more than 135 applications submitted for funding, the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation was honored to be one of the award recipients. In addition to the award, the Foundation received a check in the amount of $1,000.

    "We are glad to have our 'foot in this door' and know that the recognition received will amplify the great work of our Foundation." said ACCG Executive Director Ross King.

    King is pictured below accepting the award on behalf of the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation. 


    The Center for State and Local Finance (CSLF) has lowered the fees for its remaining 2017-18 public finance courses:

    • 2-day classes are now $350 -- previously $665
    • 3-day classes are now $500 -- previously $985
    • 4-day classes are now $700 -- previously $1,315

    CSLF took this action to ensure more government leaders -- and aspiring leaders -- have access to in-depth instruction and vital networking opportunities, as part of its executive education program. The Georgia State University program draws on the expertise of faculty from one of the highest-ranked public finance schools in the country.

    The next course is Government Financial Statements and Accounting (download course flyer), which takes place Nov. 28-Dec. 1. Register by Nov. 13. For details and registration information, visit cslf.gsu.edu/training.

    Mauldin & Jenkins
    ADESA Atlanta
    ACCG, Georgia's County Association
    191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 700
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    phone: 404-522-5022 | fax: 404-525-2477 | ACCG.org

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