Following a slew of complaints over the still-lagging response to hurricanes Matthew and Florence, Richard J. Trumper has been named to join the North Carolina Department of Public Safety as senior adviser for disaster recovery.
Currently executive director of disaster recovery with the Office of State Budget and Management, Trumper begins his new role Wednesday, state officials announced.
As senior adviser, Trumper is to support initiatives to build long-term and stable recovery for North Carolinians following natural disasters.
As part of an expanded, comprehensive approach to recovery, Trumper is to work with department leaders, the state Office of Recovery and Resiliency, North Carolina Emergency Management and other partners to get disaster survivors back in their homes faster.
“Our state has made substantial progress recovering from hurricanes Matthew and Florence, but we still have a long way to go,” Department of Public Safety Secretary Eddie M. Buffaloe Jr. said in a statement. “Richard Trumper brings a wide range of experience and expertise that will support a core mission of rebuilding homes and communities as fast as possible after a disaster, while also making them more resilient in the future.”
Buffaloe and Rebuild NC chief Laura Hogshead told a legislative committee in December that they took responsibility for the slow pace of recovery in getting hurricane survivors back into homes.
Trumper is a North Carolina licensed general contractor who joins the department with more than 22 years of experience, including program management, construction management, disaster recovery, reconstruction and restoration, mitigation and disaster damage assessment.
“I look forward to joining the Department of Public Safety and establishing new partnerships that will speed up the recovery process and help families return home more quickly,” Trumper said. “My goal will be to build on the good things we’re already doing.”
While with the Office of State Budget and Management, he developed and managed state-funded recovery, reconstruction and mitigation programs in 21 eastern North Carolina counties, according to the state. Recently, he has led state recovery efforts in western counties impacted by the 2020 earthquake and Tropical Storm Fred.
Homeowners impacted by hurricanes Matthew and/or Florence may still apply for assistance through the Homeowner Recovery or Strategic Buyout programs.