In October 2012 Hurricane Sandy, the most intense storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, struck the US Northeast coastline affecting millions of people - causing long term power outages, damaging homes and worst of all, claiming lives during the peak of the surge. In the state of New Jersey, the impact was immense, with 346,000 homes destroyed and 37 lives lost. Immediately after Hurricane Sandy passed into neighboring states the New Jersey governor said “…the devastation on the Jersey Shore is probably going to be the worst we’ve ever seen”. Much of the responsibility for recovery and relief efforts fell to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA) which found itself severely challenged in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
NJDCA was confronted with disaster on a massive scale needing a recovery strategy supported by strategic, practical solutions and reporting functions in order to properly administer disaster relief programs created specifically for Hurricane Sandy recovery. The state of New Jersey received a $4.1B Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) from the office of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) which would be distributed throughout communities and to organizations and individuals in need of housing assistance.
In order to effectively and transparently receive, track and distribute these recovery funds, the state needed a strategic plan and supplementary technology solution to manage the end-to-end process including:
The solution | SIROMS
With the help of CGI’s disaster recovery team and application development expertise, the state of New Jersey was able to quickly stand up the Storm Integrated Recovery and Operations Management System (SIROMS) software application that allowed them to automate funds disbursements to residents in need of housing assistance. The application was expanded over time to allow the state to track budgets according to HUD’s budget structure, receive funds returned to the programs, receipt income earned from loan programs, and provide the reporting required by HUD.
As the recovery phase continued, the state uncovered challenges with tracking the grant applications for its largest assistance program. The state worked with CGI to further enhance SIROMS to replace their existing system with one that could meet their tracking and reporting needs. The success of these enhancements led the state to continue to enhance their platform to support additional grant management programs. By continuing to enhance SIROMS to be more configurable and template driven, other grant management programs managed by NJDCA can now be created and implemented significantly faster and more efficiently.
As a result of the successful partnership between CGI and the state of New Jersey, over $3 billion in relief funding has been distributed to NJ residents and over 7,000 homes have been repaired. The SIROMS solution has received consistent high praise from federal, state and third-party auditors for its traceability and clarity of use.
CGI’s proven recovery solution and industry expertise not only helped New Jersey effectively and efficiently deliver funds into individual’s hands faster, it also helped them meet the Federal and HUD reporting requirements – to date, the state has had zero audit findings and has been able to deliver over 9,000 reports over the past 32 quarters to HUD.
CGI’s Natural Disaster Recovery practice helps clients improve insights and efficiency for meeting the needs of stakeholders through transparency and data centralization in the event of a natural disaster. Learn more at www.cgi.com/stateandlocal
- Implementation of a statewide action plan
- Disbursement of vital CDBG-DR funds
- Management of the flow of CDBG-DR to impacted areas
- Monitoring and oversight as required by HUD