At Least Three Named Storms Will Affect Parts of the U.S. This Week

Updated 10/1/18: FEMA issued a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in the Territory of Guam affected by Typhoon Mangkhut from September 10-11, 2018.

Link to All Client Alert

Updated 9/29/18: FEMA issued a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands affected by Typhoon Mangkhut from September 10-11, 2018.

Link to All Client Alert

Updated 9/27/18: FEMA issued a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Hawaii affected by Hurricane Lane from August 22-29, 2018.

Link to All Client Alert

Updated 9/12/18: FEMA issued an Emergency Declaration for areas in Hawaii due to the emergency conditions in the area affected by Tropical Storm Olivia beginning on September 9, 2018 and continuing.

Link to declaration

Link to associated ZIP Code List

NOTE: This has not yet been declared a Presidential Major Disaster.

Updated 9/11/18: FOX News issued a report titled Tropical Storm Olivia approaches Hawaii with wind, rain.

Link to report

Updated 9/10/18: FEMA issued an Emergency Declaration for the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands due to the emergency conditions in the area affected by Typhoon Mangkhut beginning on September 10 and continuing.

Link to declaration

Link to associated ZIP Code List

NOTE: This has not yet been declared a Presidential Major Disaster.

Updated 9/10/18: The Independent published an article titled Hurricane Olivia: Powerful storm barrels toward Hawaii threatening to bring heavy rain.

Link to article

Updated 9/9/18: The office of Hawaii Governor David Ige issued a press release titled Gov. Ige Signs Emergency Proclamation in Anticipation of Hurricane Olivia.

Link to press release

Link to associated ZIP Code List

Updated 9/9/18: The Weather Channel issued a report titled Typhoon Mangkhut Lashes Mariana Islands, Including Guam.

Link to article

All Client Alert
September 9, 2018

Source: The Weather Channel

Additional Resources:

Guam Governor Emergency Declaration ZIP Code List (reported by FEMA 9/9/18)

Northern Mariana Islands Governor Declaration ZIP Code List (reported by FEMA 9/9/18)

Guam Homeland Security (JIC Release No. 9 – Tropical Storm Update: Governor Declares Guam in COR3; Residents Urged to Continue to Prepare)

NOAA Tropical Storm Activity Coastal County ZIP Code List

Safeguard Properties Disaster Update Center

A rare configuration in the tropics may lead to three or four tropical cyclones affecting parts of the United States and its territories this week. The scope of these potential threats extends from the western Pacific to the Caribbean to the U.S. East Coast.

The systems are:

  • Tropical Storm Florence, located in the middle of the North Atlantic on Sunday morning. Florence is expected to restrengthen into a major hurricane, and there is an increasing chance it will reach the U.S. East Coast later this week.
  • Hurricane Olivia, hundreds of miles east of Honolulu, Hawaii. Still a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday morning, Olivia has been weakening, and that trend is expected to continue. However, Olivia will continue moving to the west or west-southwest and is predicted to be near the island chain around Wednesday as a tropical storm.
  • A typhoon in the western Pacific called Mangkhut. Computer models agree Mangkhut will be approaching Guam, perhaps as a Category 3 equivalent or stronger, on Monday local time.
  • Isaac in the tropical Atlantic is expected to approach the eastern Caribbean as a hurricane late week. It is possible this system could affect the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Eric Blake of the National Hurricane Center points out on Twitter how unusual it is to have so many far-flung threats to U.S. territory from tropical cyclones in a short period.

Each of these 1992 storms was a major landfall.

  • Hurricane Andrew plowed into Florida just south of Miami as a Category 5 storm on Aug. 24. Damage was catastrophic, totaling some $27 billion (1992 USD), and 65 direct and indirect deaths were reported. Andrew’s strength at landfall was upgraded from Category 4 to 5 after an expert review in 2004.
  • Typhoon Omar struck the U.S. territory of Guam as a Category 3 storm on Aug. 28.  Omar destroyed some 2,000 homes on Guam, injured more than 200 people, inflicted $457 million in damage (1992 USD), and dropped 20.44 inches of rain on the National Weather Service office.
  • Hurricane Iniki struck the Hawaiian island of Kauai as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 11. Iniki was the strongest hurricane by far known to make landfall on Hawaii. Iniki was also Hawaii’s most damaging hurricane on record, with some 1,400 homes destroyed and damages totaling $3.1 billion (1992 USD). Six deaths were reported.

This Week’s Threats: A Variety of Confidence Levels

Among the possible threats this week, there is very high confidence that Olivia will be approaching Hawaii around Wednesday, but the hurricane will be weakening and will likely be a tropical storm by that point. Only two hurricanes and two tropical storms have made landfall on Hawaii in at least the last 60 years, according to NOAA.

There is increasing confidence that Florence will affect the U.S. East Coast as a powerful hurricane by the latter part of this week.

Typhoon Mangkhut will pass near Guam starting Monday where a typhoon warning is in effect.

Isaac is forecast to move into the Lesser Antilles late this week as a hurricane. It’s uncertain what, if any, impacts Isaac may have on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

How Can There Be So Many Strong Storms in So Many Places?

The usual pattern during the Northern Hemisphere hurricane season is for one part of the tropics to be more active while another part is more quiet. For example, El Niño years tend to produce greater tropical activity in the northeast Pacific and less in the Atlantic, with the opposite holding true for La Niña years.

Another factor is the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which features a large zone of rising motion that straddles the equator and circles the globe about every 40 to 60 days. When the MJO is positioned to favor rising motion and hurricane development in the Pacific, it is typically suppressing activity in the Atlantic, and vice versa.

Because of these factors, it’s unusual to have active periods simultaneously over the Atlantic as well as the Northeast, Central, and Northwest Pacific. However, it is still possible for a strong hurricane to develop even where El Niño/La Niña or the MJO are in an unfavorable state.

Currently, the tropical Pacific is neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña are in place), and the MJO is relatively weak. This may be helping to pave the way to see major storms across the Pacific and Atlantic at the same time.

Another element that supports widespread tropical activity is warm ocean temperatures, especially those above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Sea surface temperatures are currently above average across large parts of the Northern Hemisphere tropics and subtropics.

Part of this week’s remarkable coincidence is also simply bad geographic luck. Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are all small islands, dwarfed by the size of surrounding oceans, so the odds of a hurricane or typhoon affecting each of them within days are exceptionally low.



Alan Jaffa

Alan Jaffa is the chief executive officer for Safeguard, steering the company as the mortgage field services industry leader. He also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Alan joined Safeguard in 1995, learning the business from the ground up. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2002, and was named CEO in May 2010. His hands-on experience has given him unique insights as a leader to innovate, improve and strengthen Safeguard’s processes to assure that the company adheres to the highest standards of quality and customer service.

Under Alan’s leadership, Safeguard has grown significantly with strategies that have included new and expanded services, technology investments that deliver higher quality and greater efficiency to clients, and strategic acquisitions. He takes a team approach to process improvement, involving staff at all levels of the organization to address issues, brainstorm solutions, and identify new and better ways to serve clients.

In 2008, Alan was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business in its annual “40-Under-40” profile of young leaders. He also was named a NEO Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® finalist in 2013.


Chief Operating Officer

Michael Greenbaum

Michael Greenbaum is the chief operating officer for Safeguard. Mike has been instrumental in aligning operations to become more efficient, effective, and compliant with our ever-changing industry requirements. Mike has a proven track record of excellence, partnership and collaboration at Safeguard. Under Mike’s leadership, all operational departments of Safeguard have reviewed, updated and enhanced their business processes to maximize efficiency and improve quality control.

Mike joined Safeguard in July 2010 as vice president of REO and has continued to take on additional duties and responsibilities within the organization, including the role of vice president of operations in 2013 and then COO in 2015.

Mike built his business career in supply-chain management, operations, finance and marketing. He has held senior management and executive positions with Erico, a manufacturing company in Solon, Ohio; Accel, Inc., a packaging company in Lewis Center, Ohio; and McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company in Aurora, Ohio.

Before entering the business world, Mike served in the U.S. Army, Ordinance Branch, and specialized in supply chain management. He is a distinguished graduate of West Point (U.S. Military Academy), where he majored in quantitative economics.



Sean Reddington

Sean Reddington is the new Chief Information Officer for Safeguard Properties LLC. Sean has over 15+ years of experience in Information Services Management with a strong focus on Product and Application Management. Sean is responsible for Safeguard’s technological direction, including planning, implementation and maintaining all operational systems

Sean has a proven record of accomplishment for increasing operational efficiencies, improving customer service levels, and implementing and maintaining IT initiatives to support successful business processes.  He has provided the vision and dedicated leadership for key technologies for Fortune 100 companies, and nationally recognized consulting firms including enterprise system architecture, security, desktop and database management systems. Sean possesses strong functional and system knowledge of information security, systems and software, contracts management, budgeting, human resources and legal and related regulatory compliance.

Sean joined Safeguard Properties LLC from RenPSG Inc. which is a nationally leading Philintropic Software Platform in the Fintech space. He oversaw the organization’s technological direction including planning, implementing and maintaining the best practices that align with all corporate functions. He also provided day-to-day technology operations, enterprise security, information risk and vulnerability management, audit and compliance, security awareness and training.

Prior to RenPSG, Sean worked for DMI Consulting as a Client Success Director where he guided the delivery in a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 enterprise client account. He was responsible for all project deliveries in terms of quality, budget and timeliness and led the team to coordinate development and definition of project scope and limitations. Sean also worked for KPMG Consulting in their Microsoft Practice and Technicolor’s Ebusiness Division where he had responsibility for application development, maintenance, and support.

Sean is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts and received his Masters in International Business from Central Michigan University. He was also a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force prior to his career in the business world.


General Counsel and Executive Vice President

Linda Erkkila, Esq.

Linda Erkkila is the general counsel and executive vice president for Safeguard and oversees the legal, human resources, training, and compliance departments. Linda’s responsibilities cover regulatory issues that impact Safeguard’s operations, risk mitigation, enterprise strategic planning, human resources and training initiatives, compliance, litigation and claims management, and mergers, acquisition and joint ventures.

Linda assures that Safeguard’s strategic initiatives align with its resources, leverage opportunities across the company, and contemplate compliance mandates. Her practice spans over 20 years, and Linda’s experience covers regulatory disclosure, corporate governance compliance, risk assessment, executive compensation, litigation management, and merger and acquisition activity. Her experience at a former Fortune 500 financial institution during the subprime crisis helped develop Linda’s pro-active approach to change management during periods of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Linda previously served as vice president and attorney for National City Corporation, as securities and corporate governance counsel for Agilysys Inc., and as an associate at Thompson Hine LLP. She earned her JD at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Linda holds a degree in economics from Miami University and an MBA. In 2017, Linda was named as both a “Woman of Influence” by HousingWire and as a “Leading Lady” by MReport.


Chief Financial Officer

Joe Iafigliola

Joe Iafigliola is the Chief Financial Officer for Safeguard. Joe is responsible for the Control, Quality Assurance, Business Development, Accounting & Information Security departments, and is a Managing Director of SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Joe has been in a wide variety of roles in finance, supply chain management, information systems development, and sales and marketing. His career includes senior positions with McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Newell/Rubbermaid, and Procter and Gamble.

Joe has an MBA from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University’s Honors Accounting program.


AVP, High Risk and Investor Compliance

Steve Meyer

Steve Meyer is the assistant vice president of high risk and investor compliance for Safeguard. In this role, Steve is responsible for managing our clients’ conveyance processes, Safeguard’s investor compliance team and developing our working relationships with cities and municipalities around the country. He also works directly with our clients in our many outreach efforts and he represents Safeguard at a number of industry conferences each year.

Steve joined Safeguard in 1998 as manager over the hazard claims team. He was instrumental in the development and creation of policies, procedures and operating protocol. Under Steve’s leadership, the department became one of the largest within Safeguard. In 2002, he assumed responsibility for the newly-formed high risk department, once again building its success. Steve was promoted to director over these two areas in 2007, and he was promoted to assistant vice president in 2012.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve spent 10 years within the insurance industry, holding a number of positions including multi-line property adjuster, branch claims supervisor, and multi-line and subrogation/litigation supervisor. Steve is a graduate of Grove City College.


AVP, Operations

Jennifer Jozity

Jennifer Jozity is the assistant vice president of operations, overseeing inspections, REO and property preservation for Safeguard. Jen ensures quality work is performed in the field and internally, to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. Jen has demonstrated the ability to deliver consistent results in order audit and order management.  She will build upon these strengths in order to deliver this level of excellence in both REO and property preservation operations.

Jen joined Safeguard in 1997 and was promoted to director of inspections operations in 2009 and assistant vice president of inspections operations in 2012.

She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in business.


AVP, Finance

Jennifer Anspach

Jennifer Anspach is the assistant vice president of finance for Safeguard. She is responsible for the company’s national workforce of approximately 1,000 employees. She manages recruitment strategies, employee relations, training, personnel policies, retention, payroll and benefits programs. Additionally, Jennifer has oversight of the accounts receivable and loss functions formerly within the accounting department.

Jennifer joined the company in April 2009 as a manager of accounting and finance and a year later was promoted to director. She was named AVP of human capital in 2014. Prior to joining Safeguard, she held several management positions at OfficeMax and InkStop in both operations and finance.

Jennifer is a graduate of Youngstown State University. She was named a Crain’s Cleveland Business Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year in 2017.


AVP, Application Architecture

Rick Moran

Rick Moran is the assistant vice president of application architecture for Safeguard. Rick is responsible for evolving the Safeguard IT systems. He leads the design of Safeguard’s enterprise application architecture. This includes Safeguard’s real-time integration with other systems, vendors and clients; the future upgrade roadmap for systems; and standards designed to meet availability, security, performance and goals.

Rick has been with Safeguard since 2011. During that time, he has led the system upgrades necessary to support Safeguard’s growth. In addition, Rick’s team has designed and implemented several innovative systems.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Rick was director of enterprise architecture at Revol Wireless, a privately held CDMA Wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana, and operated his own consulting firm providing services to the manufacturing, telecommunications, and energy sectors.


AVP, Technology Infrastructure and Cloud Services

Steve Machovina

Steve Machovina is the assistant vice president of technology infrastructure and cloud services for Safeguard. He is responsible for the overall management and design of Safeguard’s hybrid cloud infrastructure. He manages all technology engineering staff who support data centers, telecommunications, network, servers, storage, service monitoring, and disaster recovery.

Steve joined Safeguard in November 2013 as director of information technology operations.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was vice president of information technology at Revol Wireless, a privately held wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana. He also held management positions with Northcoast PCS and Corecomm Communications, and spent nine years as a Coast Guard officer and pilot.

Steve holds a BBA in management information systems from Kent State University in Ohio and an MBA from Wayne State University in Michigan.


Assistant Vice president of Application Development

Steve Goberish

Steve Goberish, is the assistant vice president of application development for Safeguard. He is responsible for the maintenance and evolution of Safeguard’s vendor systems ensuring high-availability, security and scalability while advancing the vendor products’ capabilities and enhancing the vendor experience.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was a senior technical architect and development manager at First American Title Insurance, a publicly held title insurance provider based in southern California, in addition to managing and developing applications in multiple sectors from insurance to VOIP.

Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Ohio.