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St. Charles Parish President Matt Jewell, an Adams and Reese client, was interviewed on WWL Radio in New Orleans about the parish taking on FEMA over Risk Rating 2.0, a methodology implemented by the agency in 2023 to calculate flood insurance costs through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

On behalf of the residents of St. Charles Parish, President Jewell asked Adams and Reese to assist in obtaining public documents from FEMA to better understand how citizens and the Parish can make educated decisions to protect their property and to lower their flood insurance premiums. After FEMA initially informed President Jewell that it had zero responsive documents to a public records request, Adams and Reese helped President Jewell receive 13,000 documents from FEMA. 

According to President Jewell, the documents point to inconsistencies. “I think it’s very telling when you look at how the premiums are distributed,” President Jewell said. “One of the examples we use, is like either Mississippi or South Carolina, if all things being equal, your house is a slab on grade and you’re ten miles from the coast and all other factors are the same, in Louisiana you get a three times base premium then you do in another state.”

FEMA’s production establishes that it has yet to produce relevant data and information to the public. President Jewell and St. Charles Parish continue to pursue FEMA to make a full and transparent production of data and information in the Eastern District of Louisiana. “I’ve asked FEMA to do one of two things, either put the rest of the nation in this model where they can pay three times more and we can all be on the same page or put us with everybody else,” Jewell said. “That’s the only fair way to do it.”

The Adams and Reese Crisis Preparedness and Response Team, led by New Orleans Partner Chris Kane, represents clients proactively and reactively regarding crisis situations, significant threats, and natural disasters. Adams and Reese attorneys and advisors, located in 20 offices through a footprint that includes 10 states and DC, address issues including insurance claims, business interruption, liability, data security and recovery, employment issues, and related litigation that may arise following a crisis and its impact on clients.