December 17, 1997 Panel Discussion

Role of the Insurance Industry:
Can closer cooperation between public and private sectors expedite recovery?


Live Chat Summary
Transcript (Unedited text file)
Transcript (Microsoft Word file, edited for readability)

Frederick Krimgold
Rachel McFarland
Gary Kerney
Lacy Suiter
Jim Loomis

Avagene Moore, EIIP Coordinator
Amy Sebring, EIIP A&C Work Group Facilitator

Related Sites:
Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
State Farm Catastrophe Info
Insurance Information Institute
Ark & General Restoration Helpline: Online Damage Limitation Advice
Texas Dept. of Insurance Emergency Management Plan

Related Articles:
Gary Kerney: The Estimating Game
Underwriters' Report - Editorial: Response

Howard Kunreuther: Managing Catastrophic Risks Through Insurance & Mitigation
Jacqueline R. Meszaros: The Cognition of Catastrophe: Preliminary Examination of an Industry in Transition

December 17, 1997 - 12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM (EST)

Topic: Role of the Insurance Industry
Can closer cooperation between public and private sectors expedite recovery?

The EIIP Virtual Forum hosted a 1-hour live online discussion on December 17, 1997, to consider the "Role of the Insurance Industry: Can closer cooperation between public and private sectors expedite recovery?" The panelists for this enlightening moderated discussion were:

Frederick Krimgold, Virginia Tech
Director, Technology Assistance and Development, University Outreach
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Rachel McFarland, State Farm
Catastrophe Claim Consultant, State Farm's National Catastrophe Program.

Gary Kerney, PCS/American Insurance Services Group, Inc.
AIC, RPA, LEA Executive Committee
Member of the Response and Recovery Committee
of the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS)

Lacy Suiter, FEMA Response & Recovery Directorate
Executive Associate Director
Special Advisor to FEMA Director

James Loomis, State of Florida Division of Emergency Management
Disaster Recovery Administrator

The thrust of the December 17 Virtual Forum dialogue was to enhance awareness of the role of the insurance industry in disaster recovery. The discussion covered planning and mobilization of insurance company disaster teams, issues encountered in the field, research done in this area, and the need for more interaction between the insurance companies and local and state levels. As borne out by the discussion, there is a need for more coordination and cooperation among all interested parties to include the insurance industry and its important role in future planning for disaster recovery.

A total of thirty-one people participated in the moderated chat and the "Brown Bag" discussion immediately following. Technically, there were three other people from the State of Oregon that came into the last moments of the second hour; they had problems with their systems and fully intended to join the start of the discussion. Emphasis on additional means of promotion paid off for this Virtual Forum Monthly Feature topic with the largest online participation to date.

Lessons Learned:
Our panelists once again were very willing to rehearse, ensure working equipment and software, and to upgrade browsers, if necessary. Rehearsals, related questions asked, and the provision of appropriate background information will continue to be important to the success of the panel discussions. Repeatedly, our panelists expressed that the EIIP is doing something that is cutting edge for the emergency management community, therefore they are willing and eager to participate. This attitude and the increase in interest and numbers of participants are very encouraging to the EIIP and the continued growth of the EIIP Virtual Forum.

The increase in audience participation may be attributed to two important factors: 1) Publicity was much more extensive for the December panel discussion. For example, the Virtual Forum online event was promoted for the first time on FEMA's web site ( and through the UN/IDNDR mail list. 2) The EIIP Virtual Forum is becoming better known and more credible with each month's online discussion. We are seeing return participants and know that word of mouth is bringing some of our new audience to The Forum. Additionally, the weekly "Brown Bag" sessions continue to attract repeat and new audiences.

Frederick Krimgold

Technology Assistance and Development
University Outreach
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Tech / UVA Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Road
Falls Church, VA 22043
TEL: (703) 538-8366
FAX: (703)538-8383


Architecture and Planning, Building Research, Research Management, Earthquake Hazard Mitigation, International Urban Development


Division of University Outreach
Director, Technology Assistance and Development, 1992 - Present
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Falls Church, Virginia

College of Architecture and Urban Studies
Associate Dean for Research and Public Service, 1983-1992
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Alexandria, Virginia

Engineering Directorate Program Director, 1977-1983
National Science Foundation
Washington, D.C.

Department of Civil Engineering
Research Associate Seismic Design Decision Analysis, 1975-1977
Massachusetts Institute Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Study of Appropriate Building Technology for Rural Development in Ethiopia
Research Team Leader, 1974-1975
Swedish International Development Authority
Stockholm, Sweden


The Royal Institute of Technology, 1970-1974, Doctor of Technology
Stockholm, Sweden

Bartlett School of Architecture, 1970, Special Student
University College, London

University of California, 1969, First Year M. Arch
Berkeley, California

Yale University, 1964-1968, Bachelor of Arts
New Haven, Connecticut


Federal Emergency Management Agency Advisory Board (FAB), Member, 1991-1993

National Urban Search and Rescue Advisory Board (FEMA), Member, 1991-1996

Virginia Strategic Council, Member, 1990 - present Appointed by Lt. Governor Donald S. Beyer, Commonwealth of Virginia

Alexandria-Leninakan Exchange Committee, Co-Chairman, 1989 - present
Appointed by Alexandria Mayor James Moran

Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Subcomittee on Affordable Housing, Member, 1988-1990

Academic Advisory Council Construction Industry Institute, Austin, Texas, Member 1986 - 1989

Working Commission 89, Coordinator, 1986 - 1989
"Education and Building Research," International Council for Building Research, Studies and Documentation (CIB), Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC), President, 1984 - 1986

Building Research Board (BRB), Member, 1985 - 1991

National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., Executive Committee

Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), Member, 1978 - 1985

Editorial Board, Habitat International, Member, 1981 - 1991

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Member, 1977 - present


"ENR Newsmaker", Interview following the Philippine Earthquake, Engineering News Record, September, 1990

USGS Record Document, August, 1990

With Jones, Noji & Smith, EERI, "Earthquake Injury Epidemiology", Conference Document, August, 19

UNDRO News, "Search and Rescue", June, 1990

OutPosts, Outlook Section, Sunday Washington Post, "A Capitol Quake", 1990

APWA Newsletter, "Search and Rescue and Public Works", February, 1990

NCARB Conference Report, "Armenian Earthquake, Relevance for the U.S. Architectural Profession", Sept., 1989

"EERI Special Report on Armenia", Co-author: especially Chapter 10, 1989

"The Armenian Earthquake: Its Impact in America", CAM Magazine, Nov. 1989, vol. II, No. 2 (Reprinted from Certifier, published by National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, August, 1989

"Search and Rescue", chapter in Special Supplement to Earthquake Spectra, "Armenia Earthquake Reconnaissance Report", Loring A. Wyllie, Jr., and John R. Filson, Eds., August, 1989

With K. Shiono, "Model for Earthquake Casualty Estimation", Proceedings of the International Workshop on Earthquake Injury Epidemiology for Mitigation and Response, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, July 10-12, 1989

"Earthquake-Induced Building Collapse", Proceedings of the International Workshop on Earthquake Injury Epidemiology for Mitigation and Response, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, July 10-12, 1989

"The Armenian Earthquake: Its Impact in America", NCARB Annual Report
June 26-28, 1989, Boston, MA

"The Soviet Armenian Earthquake Disaster: Could a Similar Disaster Happen in the United States?", testimony at a hearing before the Subcommittee on Science, Space and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, March 15, 1989, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989

"Search and Rescue in Collapsed Reinforced Concrete Buildings", Proceedings of the Ninth World Conference on Earthquake Engineering Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, August 2 - 9, 1988

"Issues of Emergency Response for Urban Earthquake Disaster", Proceedngs of the 2nd U.S. - Japan Workshop on Urban Earthquake Hazards Reduction Tokai University, Shimizu City, Japan, July 27 - 29, 1988

"Seismic Safety and Urban Construction", Proceedings of Kagoshima International Conference on Volcanoes Kagoshima, Japan, July 17 - 24, 1988

"Search and Rescue Following Earthquake Disaster", Proceedings of International Symposium on Earthquake Countermeasures, Beijing, China, May 10 - 13, 1988

"Lessons Learned in Search and Rescue", Proceedings: Mexico City Two Years after the 1985 Earthquake: Lessons Learned from the Disaster and its Aftermath, National Center for Earthquake Emergency Research, State University of New York at Buffalo (Pending)

"Search and Rescue in Collapsed Buildings", Proceedings: U.S. Mexico Workshop in 1985 Mexico Earthquake Research, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Publication No. 87 - B, April 1987

"Collapsed Buildings: Search and Rescue Challenges", Emergency Medical Services News, Baltimore, Spring, 1986

"Mitigation of Natural Hazards", Maryland Emergency Medical Services News, Baltimore, Spring, 1986

Editor, Proceedings of the International Conference on Disaster Mitigation Program Implementation, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, November 1984, Center for International Development Planning and Building, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, 1986

"Methods for the Assessment of Vulnerability on Urban and Regional Scale", Proceedings of the International Seminar: Vulnerabilita al Terremotie e Metodi per la Riduzione del Rischio Sismico, Noto, Italy, 27-30 September, 1984

The Role of the National Science Foundation in Earthquake Hazard Mitigation Research, Proceedings of Workshop on The Seismic Up-grading of Existing Buildings, Berkeley, California, September 9-10, 1982, University of California, Berkeley, 1983

Architectural and Planning Research for Earthquake Hazard Mitigation in the United States, Proceedings of the P.R.C. - U.S.A. Joint Workshop on Earthquake Disaster Mitigation Through Architecture, Urban Planning and Engineering, November 2 - 7, Beijing, China, 1981, State Capital Construction Commission, Beijing, 1982

"Building Vulnerability: Synopsis", Urban Scale Vulnerability, Proceedings of the U.S. - Italy Colloquium on Urban Design and Earthquake Hazard Mitigation, Rome, Italy, October, 1981, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1982

With Whitman, Robert V., Heger, Frank J., and Luft, Rene W., Evaluation of Seismic Resistance of Existing Buildings American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE Proceedings, 1978

Seismic Design Decisions for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Building Code, Report #32, Department of Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June, 1977

Swedish Aid to Post Disaster Reconstruction, Case Studies from Peru, Turkey and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Swedish Council for Building Research, Stockholm, 1975 (Editor).

Pre-Disaster Planning, the Role of International Aid for Pre-disaster Planning in Developing Countries, Department of Architecture, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 1974.

* * * *

Rachel McFarland

Rachel McFarland's experience with State Farm spans multiple lines and functions, from Life/Health to P&C, from Underwriting to Automation. She gained substantial catastrophe experience as a member of the Texas claim management team. In her present position of Catastrophe Claim Consultant, she plays an integral role in developing the company's catastrophe response and recovery plans as part of State Farm's National Catastrophe Program.

* * * *

Gary Kerney

Gary Kerney has been with Property Claim Services since 1981. During that time, he has been responsible for catastrophe identification, loss estimating, and catastrophe response and mitigation activities. He now manages PCS divisional operations while remaining involved with catastrophe issues affecting both the private and public sectors.

PCS, a division of the American Insurance Services Group, Inc., represents over 270 insurance and reinsurance companies and groups. Property Claim Services specializes in loss adjustment issues and other matters involving the property insurance business. Serving primary insurers, reinsurance companies, Fairs Plans, and wind pools, the PCS staff conducts a wide variety of projects in catastrophe management, professional education, and industry communications.

After graduating from Rutgers University, Gary began his career as an independent adjuster and value appraiser with GAB Business Services, Inc.

Gary holds the professional designation of Associate In Claims (AIC) from the Insurance Institute of America, and he is qualified as a Registered Professional Adjuster (RPA). He is a member of the Loss Executives Association and currently serves as an officer on the LEA Executive Committee. Gary also serves as a member of the Response and Recovery Committee of the Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction.

Gary has written various articles on catastrophe related subjects.

* * * *

Lacy E. Suiter

Executive Associate Director
Response and Recovery Directorate

Mr. Lacy E. Suiter is currently serving as the Executive Associate Director for the Response and Recovery Directorate at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In this capacity, Mr. Suiter is responsible for the planning and execution of the Federal government’s
response to major disasters and emergencies. Further, he is responsible for the multi-billion dollar Individual and Public Assistance Grant Programs authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288, as amended). Mr. Suiter
also serves as a special advisor to FEMA Director James L. Witt. Recently, Mr. Suiter was appointed by the President as the Federal Coordinating Officer for the Federal Response to Hurricane Fran in North Carolina.

Before joining FEMA in 1994, Mr. Suiter spent 30 years as a career employee of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and served as Director of the agency for the last 12 years of his tenure. He has also headed or been on the board of directors of dozens of organizations in the emergency management field. They include the National Academy of
Science’s board on Natural Disasters, the advisory board of the University of Colorado’s Natural Hazards Center, the peer review committee of the Yucca Mountain high level radioactive disposal project, and the Latin American Partnership. Mr. Suiter also chaired the Central United States Earthquake Consortium from 1983 to 1994 and was President of the National Emergency Management Association in 1984-85.

Lacy E. Suiter was born September 1, 1936 in Nashville, TN. He earned a Bachelor of Science in General Business from Middle Tennessee State University. His wife, Norma Jean, is the Executive Director of Human Resources for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Suiter have one grown daughter.

* * * *

Jim Loomis

Jim Loomis works as the Disaster Recovery Administrator for the State of Florida, where he is responsible for Human Services, Infrastructure Support, coordinating for unmet needs, and public/private partnership development. He has been employed in the Division of Emergency Management for nine years.

He has a background of construction and construction cost estimating, primarily for property and casualty insurance adjusters.

Jim Loomis
State of Florida
Department of Community Affairs
Division of Emergency Management
2555 Shumard Oak Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2100
850-413-9857 facsimile
[email protected]
[email protected]

* * * *

Avagene Moore, CEM

Avagene Moore is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) who served as the Director of Emergency Management for 16 years in Lawrence County, Tennessee. Avagene worked four years (1991-1995) as an Emergency Management Project Manager for the Emergency Management Laboratory, Oak Ridge Associated Universities; her responsibilities included the coordination of the Occupational Safety Special Interest Group (OS SIG) for TRADE. She currently runs her own company, Avagene Moore/Professional Management (AM/PM), and serves as Vice President of TEAM Simulations, Inc., of Tallahassee, Florida. As part of her work, Avagene coordinates the Emergency Information Infrastructure Partnership (EIIP) for the National Coordinating Council on Emergency Management (NCCEM).

Avagene is a 22-year member of NCCEM. She is a Past President of both NCCEM and the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners (ASPEP) and established her name and credibility with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), other Federal agencies and national organizations through speaking engagements, published articles and papers, and testimony before various congressional committees on behalf of NCCEM and the emergency management profession.

Summary of Background/Experience:

Avagene Moore / Professional Management (AM/PM), 10/95 - present
Current Responsibilities as Personal Services Contractor:

  • Write Video Scripts, Training Manuals and Guidance Documents
  • Manage Emergency Information Infrastructure Partners (EIIP) - NCCEM/FEMA
  • Manage and Develop Projects for TEAM Simulations, Inc.
  • Work projects with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 6/91-9/95
Emergency Management Project Manager for the Emergency Management Laboratory; Group Coordinator and Project Manager for Training Resources and Date Exchange (TRADE)

ERP&M, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey 1/91-6/91
Personal Services Contractor:

City of Lawrenceburg, Lawrence County, Tennessee 1975-1990
City/County Emergency Management Director; Chaired Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and 911 Emergency District Board

Professional Affiliations:

National Coordinating Council on Emergency Management (NCCEM)
American Society of Professional Emergency Planners (ASPEP)
National Association of Female Executives (NAFE)
American Management Association (AMA)
Toastmasters International (TI)
Emergency Management Association of Tennessee (EMAT)

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