Case Study: Flood Mitigation Funding for Emergency Facility in Scotland County, NC


In the heart of North Carolina lies Scotland County, home to approximately 17,000 residents who are no strangers to the challenges posed by the frequent overflow of the nearby Bridge Creek. The Scotland County Emergency Services Facility, based in Laurinburg, has become a symbol of resilience in the face of adversity. However, persistent flooding has compelled the County to seek innovative solutions. In a collaborative effort, Scotland County embarked on a mission to reconstruct and elevate its Emergency Services Facility, with the ultimate goal of fortifying it against the recurrent threats of flooding.

Severe flooding around commercial buildings.

The Flood Challenge

Floods, exacerbated by the unpredictable nature of Bridge Creek, have been a longstanding concern for the Emergency Services Facility in Laurinburg. The need for a comprehensive flood mitigation plan became increasingly evident as the frequency and severity of flooding events escalated. It was against this backdrop that Scotland County set its sights on reconstructing and elevating the facility to not only withstand the challenges posed by the annual flooding but also to enhance its capabilities as a critical hub for disaster response.
Flooded Park with a basketball hoop in the center of the water.
Severe flooding around commercial buildings.

Project Overview

The ambitious project, with an estimated cost of $983,449, aimed to transform the Emergency Services Facility into a robust structure capable of withstanding a Category 4 hurricane. Beyond sheer resilience, the new facility was envisioned as a multifunctional space, offering shelter for first responders during disasters, complete with sleeping quarters, patient care facilities, mass feeding and meal preparation areas, and dedicated office space for various disaster response agencies. The project’s overarching goal was to promote enhanced communication and collaboration among the responding entities, fostering a more effective and coordinated approach to emergencies.

Partnerships for Progress

Recognizing the complexity and scope of the project, Scotland County engaged in strategic partnerships with key organizations. Collaborative efforts involved the American Red Cross, Scotland Memorial Hospital, and Scotland County United Way. These partnerships not only demonstrated a united front in the face of adversity but also provided the project with invaluable expertise and resources. As the county forged ahead with its vision, it became evident that securing additional financial support would be imperative for the project’s success.

Enter Berquist Recovery Consulting

Berquist Recovery Consulting, a renowned consulting firm specializing in disaster recovery and mitigation, emerged as a strong advocate and advisor for Scotland County. With a proven track record of navigating the intricacies of grant applications and funding acquisition, Berquist was enlisted to spearhead the County’s efforts in securing the necessary financial support for the Emergency Services Facility project.

Needs Assessment & Grant Identification

Berquist Recovery Consulting initiated the process by conducting a comprehensive needs assessment, identifying the specific requirements of the Scotland County Emergency Services Facility project. The consulting team meticulously analyzed the scope of work, cost estimates, and the potential impact of the project on the community. Through this assessment, Berquist aimed to align the project with grant opportunities that not only matched its objectives but also maximized the likelihood of successful funding acquisition.

Grant Application Development

With a nuanced understanding of the project’s intricacies and armed with insights from the needs assessment, Berquist Recovery Consulting embarked on the detailed process of grant application development. This phase involved crafting a compelling narrative that highlighted the urgency, significance, and innovation of the Emergency Services Facility project.

Berquist leveraged its expertise in aligning project goals with the specific criteria outlined by the grant programs. BRC ensured that the application not only met the technical requirements but also resonated with the broader mission and vision of flood mitigation embraced by potential FEMA grantors. The focus on storytelling played a pivotal role in humanizing the project, making a compelling case for why it deserved financial support.

Navigating the Grant Landscape

Berquist Recovery Consulting demonstrated agility in navigating the complex landscape of grant opportunities. Through close collaboration with Scotland County officials and project stakeholders, Berquist ensured that the grant applications were tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of the Emergency Services Facility project. Berquist understood that flood mitigation was a multifaceted challenge requiring a diverse array of resources. Consequently, the consulting team targeted grants that encompassed not only structural enhancements but also initiatives promoting community engagement, education, and long-term sustainability.

Success in Action

Berquist Recovery Consulting’s strategic approach bore fruit when Scotland County secured a significant grant of nearly $1 million from FEMA dedicated to disaster resilience and mitigation. This substantial funding injection was a testament to Berquist’s experience in grant acquisition and its ability to align project objectives with the priorities of grantors.

Community Impact & Beyond

With the newfound financial support, Scotland County’s Emergency Services Facility project entered the construction phase. The reconstructed and elevated facility will stand as a testament to the resilience and collaborative spirit of the community. The enhanced structure will not only provides a safe haven for first responders during disasters, but also serves as a hub for disaster response agencies, fostering improved communication and coordination.

Beyond the physical transformation, the project’s success will ripple through the community, instilling a sense of confidence and preparedness. The partnerships forged during the project’s development continue to thrive, creating a network of support that extends beyond emergency situations. Scotland County has become a model for proactive flood mitigation and disaster resilience, with Berquist Recovery Consulting playing a pivotal role in this transformative journey.

Flood water in a FEMA flood zone drainage channel


The Scotland County Emergency Services Facility project exemplifies the power of strategic consulting in navigating the complex landscape of grant acquisition for critical infrastructure projects. Berquist Recovery Consulting’s expertise in needs assessment, grant identification, and application development proved instrumental in securing substantial funding for flood mitigation and disaster resilience.

As communities across the nation grapple with the increasing challenges posed by natural disasters, the Scotland County case study stands as a beacon of hope. It highlights the transformative potential for flood mitigation using collaborative efforts, strategic partnerships, and the expertise of consulting firms like Berquist Recovery Consulting in building resilient and prepared communities.