HAZUS User of the Year

A way for FEMA to recognize four individuals a year, dedicated to furthering the success of HAZUS. Nominate a HAZUS user, developer, trainer or anyone who has added to the value of HAZUS and emergency management.

As a way of recognizing those individuals who are dedicated to furthering the success of HAZUS, FEMA has created the HAZUS User of the Year designation to help show appreciation to those who have contributed to the success of the program. The success of HAZUS is determined by awareness and usage - the more that communities are aware of its capabilities and utilize the program, the more lives can be saved, economic losses are decreased, preparedness increases, and faster response and recovery times are witnessed in impacted communities.

Each quarter, FEMA will spotlight the contributions of a HAZUS user who has provided exceptional services to the expansion of the HAZUS program. This individual may be a user, a developer, a trainer or anyone who has been involved in adding value to HAZUS. For example, you may nominate someone that has recently started using HAZUS for innovative projects, has created or participated in a HAZUS User Group (HUG), or that has prepared or taught a new HAZUS course.

2013 Hazus Excellence Award Winners

Zachary Baccala, Risk MAP Regional Program Management Lead, Region I
Jamie Caplan, Jamie Caplan Consulting, USEHAZUS.com Owner

Richard Butgereit, Head of Information Management and GIS Administrator, Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

2012 Hazus Excellence Award Winners

Terry Jackson,Director of the Office of Mapping and Decision Support Systems for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

2011 HAZUS Users of the Year

1st Quarter: Shanna Michael, Hazus Lead, AECOM

2nd Quarter: Ed Whitford, Tetra Tech

3rd Quarter: Hope Seligson, MMI Engineering

4th Quarter: Bert Struik, Natural Resources Canada

2010 HAZUS Users of the Year

1st Quarter: Shelby Hudson, AMEC Earth and Environmental

2nd Quarter: Jonathan Remo, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

3rd Quarter: Philip McCormick, City of Riverside, CA

4th Quarter: Lisa Graff, GIS Team Manager of the Illinois
State Water Survey (ISWS)

2009 HAZUS Users of the Year

Shane Hubbard, University of Iowa

Cathy Walker, Washington Military Department, IT Division

Michael Scott, Salisbury University

S. Kate Ploeger, University of Ottawa

2008 HAZUS Users of the Year

Melissa Berry, South Carolina Emergency Management Division

Cynthia Quigley, Riverside County, California

Thomas Mueller, California University of Pennsylvania

Stacy Robinson, PBS&J

2007 HAZUS Users of the Year

Jamie Mitchem, California University of Pennsylvania

Jonathan Salomon, Northeast States Emergency Consortium

Linda Sibert, Saline County, Kansas

Rick Burgess, City of Punta Gorda, Florida

Jamie Caplan

Jamie Caplan

“I did it because I knew we needed a web-based community to call home base,” says Jamie Caplan, Founder and Owner of USEHAZUS.com. Jamie Caplan Consulting LLC, a comprehensive emergency management services firm, founded in 1997, helped develop the first, and many of the nation’s, Hazus User Groups (HUGS). The firm has continued to support the HUGs with USEHAZUS.com. The company maintains a focus on mitigation planning and using Hazus.

Caplan believes in engaging the public and a diverse group of stakeholders in the mitigation planning process. “Using Hazus is often an opportunity to engage these stakeholders in public meetings and helps them buy into the planning process,” says Caplan. The most effective use of Hazus according to Caplan, “includes data developers, GIS professionals, data interpreters, and decision makers.“

Caplan subsequently began work in FEMA Region IX in the San Francisco Bay Area and developed the first Hazus User Group, deemed the Bay Area HUG. Since then, FEMA has seen the number of HUGS grow to over 35 groups across the nation with additional worldwide groups including in Canada , in part due to Caplan’s initial efforts.

Caplan has been certified in an array of coursework pertaining not only to mitigation and preparedness but to response and recovery as well. She has worked on state and local level mitigation plans, with special attention to tribes. Caplan has written FEMA pre-approved hazard mitigation plans for American Samoa, American Indian Tribes and casinos, and local governments, allowing for these entities to receive FEMA funding.

She hopes that Hazus will see the further development of models such as a Tsunami Model, and move in the direction of Open Source Software. Her belief in outreach as an effective means to developing mitigation planning remains strong.

“[Effective emergency management] doesn’t just happen if you sit in a box and run Hazus,” says Caplan, “you need to engage, share, and collaborate.” Jamie Caplan is being recognized as July’s Hazus Excellence Award Winner for her continued effort and support for Hazus outreach and the longevity of HUGS. For more information about Jamie Caplan’s work please visit her company website at http://www.jamiecaplan.com/.


jamie caplan consulting