Ashburn, Va. — The Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, announced that Cleveland County, Okla., recently signed the first pre-event contract for disaster recovery services after the National Association of Counties (NACo) began offering this new member benefit last month.
NACo and IBTS entered into an agreement in March, allowing NACo members to access pre-event contracts for recovery services ahead of a disaster. Under the agreement, members have access to subrecipient agreements, disaster planning and plan activation, initial disaster response, post-disaster services, recovery administration, grant closeout, resilience planning, and other associated shared services. Establishing a relationship with a firm that has already been vetted can accelerate counties’ time to recovery.
“We are excited to have partnered with IBTS to offer pre-event disaster services to our members. An increasing number of counties are impacted by disasters each year, and one of the best steps toward recovery is to be prepared,” said Linda Langston, Director of Strategic Relations at NACo. “Research continues to show that the return on investment for pre-disaster mitigation is five-to-one. We encourage NACo members to take advantage of this new member benefit to assist in pre-disaster planning.”
Cleveland County engaged IBTS as a subrecipient to its Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program in May of 2016. This was the first subrecipient agreement of its kind signed in the United States and made IBTS responsible for carrying out permitted activities in conformance with applicable CDBG-DR requirements. Through program oversight, the county successfully met all federal regulatory requirements and realized a surplus of $305,000 in CDBG-DR funds that could be of use in remaining projects. Today, Cleveland County leads the way in signing the first pre-event contract with IBTS through its partnership with NACo.
“We have enjoyed working with IBTS over the past two years on CDBG-DR program management and were excited to see this new benefit from NACo, connecting our county to additional disaster recovery services,” said Darry Stacy, Commissioner of Cleveland County. “This agreement provides a resource for us to call immediately the next time a disaster occurs, reducing our time to recovery.”
The recently signed agreement is expected to be the first of many.
“Our agreement with NACo offers counties across the country a disaster recovery and mitigation resource. We are delighted to be able to provide Cleveland County this resource and look forward to developing new relationships through this NACo member benefit,” said Steve Traina, Deputy Director of Economic Development and Disaster Recovery at IBTS.