Mississippi Reselects Atkins for Public Assistance
Atkins will continue to support of the FEMA Public Assistance Program
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) awarded Atkins a yearlong, multimillion-dollar contract to continue providing statewide program management services in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Program. Since Hurricane Katrina devastated areas of the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, Atkins has provided technical and programmatic support to manage Mississippi’s PA Program. To date, Atkins has been instrumental in helping to obligate more than $3.2 billion of FEMA funds to the state of Mississippi and its applicants.
The FEMA PA Grant Program provides assistance to state, tribal and local governments to help communities respond quickly to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the president. Through the PA Program, FEMA provides funds for debris removal; emergency protective measures; repair, replacement, or restoration of publicly owned facilities; and future hazard mitigation.
Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, MEMA needed assistance with every aspect of managing the FEMA PA Program for the state. After receiving the first of now five recovery services contracts with MEMA, Atkins’ team stepped in to help, including staffing positions for project worksheet development, debris removal oversight, issue resolution, cost tracking and final closeout.
Under previous contracts, Atkins established a project management and tracking system that was used to monitor the status of PA projects and manage the deployment of technical personnel to the field. Nearly 100 Atkins employees have supported this complex recovery project, serving as project officers, public assistance coordinators, debris specialists, appeals specialists and engineers.
Reflecting the effort’s success, a report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in March 2009 cited Mississippi’s program as an example of model strategies for other state, federal and local officials to follow in administering the PA Program after future disasters.