HUD Region II Hosts First Of Its Kind Exercise

Pre-Planning For Post-Disaster Housing Draws Feds, States, and Nycoem
HUD NY Regional Employee Henry Comas Honored for Outstanding Achievement

[Photo:: Federal, State and City employees participating in the classroom exercise]
Federal, State and City employees participating in the classroom exercise

The HUD Region II New York Office, in conjunction with FEMA, and the NYC-Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (RCPT), hosted a Mass Housing exercise, bringing together federal and state agencies in New York and New Jersey. The question: After a disaster, how do you get people from temporary shelters into permanent housing, and who coordinates this movement? As the lead federal agency in a post-disaster recovery, HUD in partnership with FEMA organized the exercise, which posited an earthquake in northern New Jersey that also affected New York City, and the suburbs of Westchester County. Participants were presented with a disaster scenario that left 175,000 people homeless.

"Nationally, this event was the first of its kind," said Henry Comas, Senior Analyst. "It brought together disaster stakeholders before an event to identify the most pressing issues we'll face. Significantly, we identified more questions than answers, but we also enhanced the federal-state lines of communications that are essential for our success." Among the issues identified as needing clarification was the status of the State Led Disaster Housing Task Forces in NJ and NY - specific roles and responsibilities.

In October, 2011, in recognition for his service to the community, Henry Comas was given honorable mention by FEMA in the 2011 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards for this "Outstanding" exercise.


Content Archived: May 20, 2014