Thomas S. Hughes

Title:  State Hazard Mitigation Officer

Chief, Hazard Mitigation Division
Organization: PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)

Bio:  Has been with PEMA 21 years in several key agency positions.  As PA SHMO, currently responsible for over 180 Disaster and Non-Disaster Hazard Mitigation projects (Acquisition/Demolition, Elevation, Ice-Boom, Notification & Early Warning, Floodproofing, HM Planning (67Counties, 14DRU, State HMP) in the area of $100 million in HM dollars. Currently working DR-1898 (Snow Disaster), DR-4003 (NE PA Flooding), DR-4025 (Hurricane Irene), DR-4030 (Tropical Storm Lee), DR-4099 (Superstorm Sandy) and DR-4149 (11 County Continuous Flood Events); 30 Non-Disaster HM Grants (FMA, PDM, LPDM, RFC and SRL).   Pennsylvania Silver Jacket Co-Chair (2013 Team of the Year).  Has completed the FEMA Advanced Floodplain Management Concept Courses (3).

PEMA State Hazard Mitigation Officer Position:

  • Serves as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO), Function as principal staff assistant to the Bureau Director and PEMA Director in hazard mitigation matters; Supervises Hazard Mitigation personnel (HM Project Officers) assigned to the Bureau; oversight on all plans and projects, Serves as Chairman of the State All-Hazard Mitigation Planning Team and member of Pennsylvania’s Land-Use Committee and Co-Chair of the chartered Pennsylvania Silver Jackets Program (Replace the State Flood Task Force) which involves federal, state, local and professional association stakeholders.  (Currently have a 14 Full-Time, Limited-Term, Annuitants & Clerical HM Staff assigned)

Description of Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Assists state, county and municipal governments in natural hazard risk identification and the identification and implementation of cost effective measures that will reduce future losses resulting from natural disasters.
  • Recommends, develops and implements procedures for efficient, effective administration of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Assistance (HMA) Programs: Disaster Grants – Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Non-Disaster Grants- Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA).
  • Assists in the administration of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program by:
    • Reviewing, recommending and submitting county and municipal government requests for hazard mitigation grant monies to FEMA; Providing technical advice and assistance to community leaders and other applicants concerning documentation requirements and disaster funding procedures; Acting as the applicant’s advocate in all matters related to project approval and administration;
    • Assisting in the preparation of internal directives associated with the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program;
  • Develops and provides training to PEMA staff and augmenters, Joint Field Office (JFO) staff, Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) staff, and other interested parties on hazard mitigation.

Emergency Assignment:

  • Assists in the establishment of the Joint Field Office located in the designated disaster area.
  • Serves as the hazard mitigation expert on the JFO management team.
  • Serves as team leader of the Hazard Mitigation Field Team in preliminary damage assessment (PDA) activities.
  • Ensures notification of potential hazard mitigation applicants and conduct Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Applicants’ Briefing.

Education:

BA, Lycoming College, Business Administration, 1985, Williamsport, PA

AA Financial Management Specialist, Community College of the Air Force, 1987, Maxwell Air Force Base

Professional Credentials:  3x Certified Emergency Manager, NCCEM & International Assoc. of Emergency Managers 1995-2010 Employed by PEMA since 1993.  Previous positions:  State Emergency Operations Duty Officer, State Radiological Officer, State Training Officer.  State EOC – Operations Section Chief; Infrastructure, Human Services, Recovery Branch Division Chief; US Air Force and USAF Reserves Retired (CMSgt): Emergency Management/Mission Support Group duties 1985-2013; deployed for Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.