William ‘Billy’ A. Wagner, Jr., BS, CEM
Billy Wagner has served for over 40+ years in public administration and management, and has gained extensive experience over his 40-year career in emergency management disaster response and planning, particularly with tropical cyclone and severe weather events. In his current position with Early Alert, he is responsible for public affairs and oversight of the emergency management team, which includes disaster mitigation, planning, response, and recovery.
Billy’s actual disaster response experience includes many severe weather events, tornados, tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, oil spill response, mass immigration and urban search and rescue. Billy had the direct responsibility for the coordination of the response to over 50 Tropical Cyclone/Typhoon events. More significantly, he directed the response and recovery of 1992 Hurricane Andrew, 1996 Hurricane Bertha, 1996 Hurricane Lili, 1998 Hurricane Georges and TS Mitch, 1999 Hurricane Floyd, 2004 Hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Ivan, and 2005 Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Other related experience and practices include direct coordination with the Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center and World Meteorological Origination and Committee Team Leader for the FEMA / Corps of Engineers Hurricane Georges, Bertha, Opal & Fran Response Assessment. Billy is the only Emergency Management representative on the American Society of Civil Engineers Task Committee, which is developing a set of guidelines on wind damage investigation, for publication as an ASCE Manual of Practice.
Billy is one of the original founders of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Liaison Team (HLT). This select group of Emergency Management professionals with hurricane experience is specially trained to serve in the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The primary role of the HLT is to provide support to federal, state and local officials whenever a tropical cyclone threatens the United States and its territories in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico basins. The HLT ensures that the emergency management community has the information needed to take proper actions in responding to the event. Billy spearheaded the development of the position of HLT coordinator, responsible for contacting the state and local emergencies managers assuring that they have received all the NHC products pertaining to the event and briefing them on any changes which may take place regarding the system between advisories. This position also has the responsibility of setting up the conference calls between the NHC and the emergency management community and high-level officials being affected, including Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands. He also handles any calls made to the NHC that are emergency management related.