Harris & Associates has expanded its risk and resilience team and its capabilities to better serve municipalities in California. As part of Harris’ Strategic Advisory Services, the risk and resilience group helps agencies plan, assess, improve, and protect critical infrastructure and communities across the West Coast.
The expansion comes after a year in which Californians endured 12 states of emergency and disasters that resulted in extreme losses of lives, property, and acreage. “This past decade, we’ve seen some of the most destructive wildfires in California’s history. The Camp Fire alone was the deadliest on record, claiming 86 lives and costing $16.5 billion,” said Michael McCormick, AICP president of Harris’ Strategic Advisory Services division. “Floods and mudslides are becoming all too common. We’re helping agencies eliminate blind spots and create viable strategies to minimize the damage, costs, and overall impact of any disasters.”
Harris now provides even greater capacity for clients to assess risk, identify resources, secure public buy-in for plans, foster better communication between stakeholders, and estimate potential losses from disasters.
The most recent additions to the team include two proven experts in hazard mitigation, each with over 30 years of planning experience. William Llewellyn joins the team as senior project manager for hazard mitigation. With a background in public assistance and emergency management, Llewellyn has helped agencies in California proactively fortify their defenses against and responses to drought, flooding, fire, and other catastrophes.
Senior lead planner Wendy Boemecke coordinates with counties, cities, and special districts to develop local hazard mitigation plans ready for approval and adoption. Boemecke has reviewed hundreds of plans throughout her career and has extensive familiarity with California’s executive orders, statutes, plans, and policies. Wendy has an Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) Certification from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute and is a certified Cal OES Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Coordinator.
In addition to his role as division leader, Michael McCormick, AICP guides project teams with his expertise in planning, hazard mitigation, climate change, and sustainability. Resilience expert Eric Vaughan helps put plans into place that are integrated into existing planning mechanisms and supported by realistic financing options.
In more than 28 years of work in civil engineering, Certified Floodplain Manager Carl Walker, PE has provided floodplain management services for the highest-rated agency within the nation’s CRS program. Ken Leep, also a Certified Floodplain Manager, has provided guidance to Hazus users on FEMA’s behalf for flood risk assessment and has taught numerous courses in emergency management.