The Hagerty Advantage – Our People: Katie Grasty
An interview with Katie to learn more about her professional background and the valuable expertise she brings to the Hagerty Team.
Tell us about yourself – what experience do you bring to Hagerty Consulting?
I am a Hazard Mitigation expert by training and, throughout my time at Hagerty, I have helped our Florida panhandle clients apply for $130M in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding post Hurricane Michael. I also helped Montgomery County, Texas secure a $10M Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant. Currently my role includes helping communities apply for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) new Mitigation Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. During COVID-19, I have helped lead the Hagerty Team’s COVID recovery efforts for the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM).
What brought you to Hagerty Consulting?
Prior to joining Hagerty, I worked for FEMA for six years. During that time, I experienced firsthand the agency’s leadership under Brock Long. He made so many thoughtful improvements to the agency and was admired by everyone I worked with. I was excited for the opportunity to work at the company that Brock called home, both before and after his FEMA service. Additionally, when I worked at FEMA Region IX, I was impressed with the quality of work that Hagerty was providing in support of the State of California’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES).
What led you to emergency management and your public service mindset?
Prior to joining FEMA, I worked for the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) in environmental policy. A few days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall, my team received an email request from the White House looking for volunteers to go to New York and New Jersey to aid in the response, and I was on the road the next day. I led FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs team in Brooklyn, New York under Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) Willie Nunn. I remember how devastated the survivors were after Sandy; so, being able to make a difference and assist on the recovery of the storm was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. It was at this moment in my career that I realized I wanted to be an emergency manager.
What do you find most rewarding about working in the field of emergency management?
I am passionate about mitigation. I specifically remember when the FEMA mitigation staff arrived after Sandy; they were out measuring high water marks and talking to the community about home buyouts. I was very intrigued by this and intentionally chose to pursue a career in the mitigation field as a result. Resilient construction can make such an impact on how a community will fare when the next disaster strikes. With the studies showing that for every $1 spent on mitigation, $6 is saved in avoided damages, the practice of mitigation just makes a lot of sense to me. Helping a community rebuild so it can better withstand the next event is the most rewarding part of this work.
What is your favorite movie?
I love Hamilton because I find it fascinating to learn the stories of our country’s founders.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love dogs and currently volunteer on the weekends at Tallahassee Animal Services. I have two dogs of my own as well as three chickens and a duck.
Katie Grasty is the Deputy Director of Mitigation at Hagerty Consulting and is a dedicated, committed professional with extensive federal grant program expertise and experience in program/grant management and supervision of staff. She has worked for FEMA and the US DOT, in both cases representing those agencies in the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort. At FEMA, she managed Hazard Mitigation grant applications worth more than $2 billion and led a team overseeing more than 1,200 grant applications. Ms. Grasty is outcome-oriented and recognized for her customer service skills, high quality of work, and leadership ability demonstrated through production of superior results.