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CONSULTING SERVICES

Benefit-Cost Analysis of Hazard Mitigation Projects

FEMA PDM and HMGP Grant Application Support

Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans (FEMA DMA 2000)

Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Assessments for Natural and Human-Caused Hazards, including Terrorism

Probable Maximum Loss Calculations (PML)

Emergency Planning

Prioritization of Capital Improvement Programs for Utilities

Terrorism/Security

National Hazards Public Policy Studies

Other Technical Services


Collapsed Parapet, Olympia, WA Federal Building,
Nisqually Earthquake


Vernonia OR, 1996 Flood

CONSULTING SERVICES

Benefit-Cost Analysis of Hazard Mitigation Projects

Dr. Goettel is the nationally-recognized expert on benefit-cost analysis of mitigation projects for seismic and other natural hazards. His unique experience includes:

1. Principal author of the FEMA benefit-cost software for natural hazards: earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, wildland/urban interface fires, and a generalized method for other hazards including landslides, erosion, ice storms, etc.

2. Principal author of the FEMA technical user's manuals for benefit-cost analysis for the above hazards and principal technical author of all of the FEMA training courses for benefit-cost analysis.

3. Principal author of majority (circa 90%) of FEMA's published guidance on how to do benefit-cost analysis, including "What is a Benefit? Draft Guidance for Benefit-Cost Analysis", FEMA's most comprehensive benefit-cost publication.

4. Principal developer of the standardized methods used by FEMA nationwide for all hazards to evaluate the secondary or indirect benefits of mitigation projects (i.e., the economic impacts of loss of function of buildings, utilities, and transportation systems. For buildings, the evaluation methods developed include separate methods for: ordinary residential, commercial, and public buildings, EOCs, emergency shelters , police, fire, and medical facilities.

5. Conducted over 60 benefit-cost training courses (1 to 3 days each) for FEMA, state, and local staff in all 10 FEMA regions.

6. Conducted benefit-cost analyses for thousands of mitigation projects for all natural hazards, with total mitigation project costs above $10 billion. These projects include structural and non-structural mitigation projects for buildings, as well as mitigation projects for infrastructure including drainage systems, roads, bridges, dams, and utility systems (electric power, water, wastewater, telecommunications, etc.). Clients have included states, counties, cities, special districts, schools, universities, major corporations, hospitals, and utilities.


FEMA PDM and HMGP Grant Application Support

Goettel & Associates Inc. provides technical support for grant applications to FEMA under the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). Our consulting services include: benefit-cost analyses and any engineering evaluations necessary to evaluate hazards, vulnerability and risk to FEMA's standards as well as to help determine the scope and cost of proposed mitigation projects. In addition, we help clients evaluate and refine prospective mitigation projects to fine-tune them with the objective of maximizing the probability of grant funding success.

For the PDM program, benefit-cost ratio is the single most important determinant of fundability. Fully meeting all of FEMA's detailed technical specifications and requirements, with full and robust documentation to FEMA standards, is absolutely essential for funding success. Similarly, ensuring that FEMA's standards for engineering feasibility and credibility are fully met is also essential.

FEMA's conducts very rigorous, quantitative reviews of submitted hazard mitigation grant applications, especially for the nationally-competitive PDM program. Thus, grant applications which do not conform fully to FEMA's standards for benefit-cost analysis and engineering documentation have essentially a nil probability of funding.


Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans (FEMA DMA 2000)

Goettel & Associates Inc. has completed numerous multi-hazard mitigation plans for counties and cities, including recent plans that meet FEMA's strict guidelines under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requirements (DMA 2000). Several of our recent DMA 2000 plans have been formally approved by FEMA and several more are nearing completion for submission to FEMA for approval.

Our multi-hazard plans emphasize quantitative review of each significant hazard and of the vulnerability of the community to each hazard. Such quantitative risk assessment is essential to help communities deal with risk realistically and to identify the highest risk situations. The highest risk situations (greatest threats to people and property) become the highest priority targets for mitigation. Without such quantitative hazard, vulnerability and risk evaluations it is difficult for communities to address risk in a cost-effective manner.

Furthermore, by addressing hazards, vulnerability and risk in FEMA-compliant terms, communities have, in effect, primed the grant funding pump by pre-identifying hazard mitigation projects that are likely to eligible for future FEMA funding under the PDM or HMGP programs.


Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Assessments for Natural and Human-Caused Hazards, including Terrorism

Goettel & Associates Inc. conducts very rigorous quantitative hazard, vulnerability and risk assessments for the full range of natural and human-caused (including terrorism) hazards. We conduct such evaluations for any type of building (public, commercial, residential) as well as for specialized buildings such as hospitals, data centers, and police and fire stations.

Goettel & Associates Inc. has conducted numerous very quantitative seismic vulnerability studies for utility systems (water, wastewater, electric power) and transportation systems (e.g., BART), in partnership with engineering firms. These studies consider not only the seismic vulnerability of each component in the system but also the networked operating characteristics of the whole system. This detailed analysis allows determination of not only specific damage levels to particular elements, but also the extent, duration and economic impacts of loss of service to customers.

Such quantitative evaluations are extremely helpful in evaluating various levels of seismic improvement programs to determine the optimum level of upgrade that meets defined system performance objectives in the most cost-effective manner.


Probable Maximum Loss Calculations (PML)

Probable maximum loss (PML) calculations for earthquakes and other hazards are commonly used by public- or private-sector entities as part of their overall risk management strategy, including insurance decisions.

Goettel & Associates Inc. can provide "standard" PML calculations, as well as more detailed calculations, drawing on our full experience with quantitative evaluation of hazards, vulnerability and risk. To help clients fully understand the level of risk posed by specific hazards, results can be presented with a combination of probabilistic and deterministic (scenario) approaches. Furthermore, our analyses can include not only damage estimates but also estimates of likely casualties and economic impacts from loss of function of damaged buildings or other facilities.


Emergency Planning

Goettel & Associates Inc. offers a full spectrum of emergency planning for public and private sector entities, including business continuity planning. For planning purposes, our expertise with quantitative hazard, vulnerability and risk assessments allows us to focus more accurately on the level of risk posed by each natural or human-caused hazard and thus to develop emergency plans that accurately and realistically address the most prominent risks for a given facility.


Prioritization of Capital Improvement Programs for Utilities

Goettel & Associates Inc. has conducted numerous very quantitative seismic vulnerability studies for utility systems (water, wastewater, electric power) and transportation systems (e.g., BART), in partnership with engineering firms. These studies consider not only the seismic vulnerability of each component in the system but also the networked operating characteristics of the whole system. This detailed analysis allows determination of not only specific damage levels to particular elements, but also the extent, duration and economic impact of loss of service to customers.

Such quantitative evaluations are extremely helpful in evaluating various levels of seismic improvement programs to determine the optimum level of upgrade that meets defined system performance objectives in the most cost-effective manner.


Terrorism/Security

Goettel & Associates Inc. has completed terrorism vulnerability assessments for water utilities and is in-process of creating or updating Emergency Response Plans to meet EPA's requirements.


Natural Hazards Policy Studies

Goettel & Associates Inc. has completed numerous public policy studies related to natural hazards and economics, including analysis in support of seismic retrofit ordinances, evaluation of the costs of seismic zone changes, evaluation of insurance and other economic and policy issues related to natural hazards.


Other Technical Services

Kenneth A Goettel has an exceptionally broad technical background and experience, including not only scientific expertise but public policy and economics experience as well. Drawing on this breadth of experience, Goettel & Associates Inc. has conducted numerous complex multi-disciplinary projects. We welcome challenging, complex, multi-disciplinary consulting opportunities in very broad areas where scientific and engineering expertise overlap with public policy, social and economic issues. By drawing on the full breath of experience of our partnership relationships with scientists, engineers, planners, economists, and other technical experts, we can address an extremely wide range of multi-disciplinary consulting projects.

benefit-cost analysis
benefit cost analysis
cost-benefit analysis
cost benefit analysis
FEMA PDM
FEMA HMGPs
FEMA grants
PDM
HMGP
Pre-Disaster Mitigation
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
natural hazards
risk management
risk evaluation
natural hazards risk
natural hazards vulnerability
seismic risk
probable maximum loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOETTEL & ASSOCIATES, INC
1732 ARENA DRIVE
DAVIS, CA 95618
(530) 750-0440 FAX: (530) 750-0441