The Disaster-Smart Team is made up of construction industry professionals that have over 200 years in combined experience. Customer service is a BIG DEAL, we only use professional licensed, insured, and trained inspectors. Our reports are accepted by all of the insurance companies in the US.

Darius H. Grimes, CRC, CSI, CDT, CWMS


Darius’ experience combines a diverse 25+ year career in manufacturing, distribution and construction with a talent for complex design and innovative solutions. His many contributions to the construction industry are based on a well-developed consultative approach reflecting years of hands-on experience, engineering understanding, and development of installation techniques and products earning him national recognition.

He specializes in the development and implementation of practical long-term solutions to natural and man-made risks through strengthening of building codes and implementation of common sense mitigation programs. Darius’ creation of Disaster-Smart is a more recent focus on the the utilization of inspection services to define and catalog data to develop a better process for communicating with consumers and underwriters. Darius is working with like-minded state, local, regional, national, and international organizations to promote long-term economic sustainability and implement new mitigation programs based on the successes of the My Safe Florida Home, SC Safe Home, and Rebuild NW FL programs.

“One of the biggest challenges facing coastal markets are the displaced low to moderate income populations that have become trapped in areas of rapid economic development. The resulting increases in property ownership costs, especially insurance, and is an issue affecting not only the local community but also increases the need for massive federal response following a disaster. Building stronger, safer, and more resilient homes is the first step towards building stronger, safer, and more resilient communities.”
Darius H Grimes- President

“Mitigation is not secondary to economic development; in coastal states it is elementary to economic survival.”
Lt. Gen. Russell Honore

Disaster-Smart is the largest inspections company on the North Gulf Coast. We are based in the Pensacola, FL area and service the coastal counties of NW Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina,  Louisiana, and Texas


David Hankins

Senior Field Underwriter

Florida Certified Home Inspector, FORTIFIED FEH Evaluator, Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector and My Safe Florida Home Mitigation Surveyor

David brings over 15 years experience in running his own remodeling company in NW Florida. Panhandle Renovations provided remodeling services including installation of exterior siding, hurricane shutters, windows, doors, garage doors, and more.

David’s experience in installation of hurricane shutters is valuable since many older shutter systems are not labeled and need to be identified for potential mitigation credits.

Brandi Hankins Photo

Brandy Hankins

Inspector Logistics, and Customer Service. Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector

Brandy has over 10 years of management experience and heads up our scheduling and customer service team. Brandy works with agents and consumers to coordinate scheduling of our 30 different types of inspections to make sure inspectors are on time and have the information they need to complete the work.

Brandy is alos part of our in-house QA/QC team that reveiws inspectors reports prior to release.

Ricky M. Nelson

Florida Certified Home Inspector, IBHS Certified FORTIFIED FEH Evaluator, Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector


Jason Bearden

IBHS FORTIFIED Evaluator, Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector, California Commercial/Residential Contractor, Construction Management degree from UCSD, Project Management degree from PMI, Disaster response/recovery and revitalization Coordinator AmeriCorps Beginning as a Helper directly out of the US Navy; Jason quickly moved up the ladder and continued his education from apprentice through Journeyman, to Foreman, Estimator, Project Manager, Superintendant, General Superintendent and finally on to Operations Management. This has provided Jason with a uniquely valuable and diverse experience in the industry.

Jason has currently volunteered over 1800 hours with Habitat for Humanity and received Habitat for Humanity’s“Golden Hammer” award. award. Jason dedicated a full year as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity’s AmeriCorps program to develop and manage a neighborhood revitalization project called “A Brush with Kindness.” Jason currently serves as an active member of Habitat for Humanity’s Construction Committee Board and is the neighborhood revitalization consultant for Habitat.

Image of Chera Federle on black background

Chera DeHoff-Federle

Auditor, Chera DeHoff-Federle has been in the Insurance Industry for 17 years. 10 of those years were spent in agency, working for 5 of the top agents at American Family Insurance and State Farm. Serving as a licensed multi-line sales/marketing representative and office manager for both companies, her contributions to her team(s) aided in agency growth, high customer retention, thus lending to several Agent/Agency award achievements, including the JD Power Award for Excellence in Customer Service all 10 years. Chera ventured out of the industry façade into the claims arena, working as a Catastrophe Field Claims Adjustor for Wardlaw Claims Services. The experience was educational and rewarding, yet exhaustive and short lived. In March of 2018, she found her niche and became a part of the Disaster Smart team. Prior to beginning her career in Insurance, Chera earned a BFA in Visual Communications from Indiana University and spent several years working as a freelance graphic artist, as well as serving as the Director of Childcare Services for His Hands Extended Ministries and Outreach Foundation. She is an award-winning writer, an artist, an avid nature photographer, food truck junkie, and self-taught knitter. She has 3 amazing children and 3 beautiful and cherished grandchildren. She lives on the road with her partner, Mike and their two French Bulldogs, Gus and Cleo.

Austin Bearden Photo

Austin Bearden

Florida Certified Home Inspector, Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector, FAA UAV 107 Commercial Drone Pilot,  My Safe Florida Home Mitigation Surveyor.

Austin began his career early, achieving his home inspector’s license at age 19 & Fortified Evaluator License at age 20. Since 2016, Austin has been an integral part of the Disaster Smart team.

Stacy Champion

Since 2016 Stacy has performed underwriting inspections for Disaster Smart. Stacy began her journey with our team, initially with her husband and general contractor, JR.

Stacy is an  FAA UAV 107 Commercial Drone Pilot, professional violinist, and happy dog mom.

Joey Statska

Joey has been in the underwriting business since 2001. He joined Disaster Smart in 2016 as a field underwriter and as a fortified evaluator. Joey is a certified IBHS Fortified evaluator and has completed hundreds of evaluations.

For the past five years he has been instrumental in helping Disaster Smart receive the Spotlight Volume Award.  The award recognizes companies that complete 500 or more evaluations per year.  Joey holds a current FAA UAV 107 Commercial Drone Pilot license. Joey and his wife Kathy have lived in Daphne since 1982. 

Mac McClendon

Mac is a native of Gulfport, MS and has been a licensed home inspector in Mississippi since 2017.

Having worked as carpenter,  job bid estimator, and FEMA adjuster, Mac has amassed extensive knowledge in the underwriting/inspection industry. Mac joined Disaster-Smart inspector 2018 & holds a current FAA UAV 107 Commerical Drone Pilot’s license.


Craig Little

Craig joined Disaster-Smart in July 2020 as a Field Underwriter. Prior to Disaster-Smart, he was a plumber , a forklift operator, and an Infantry squad leader in the US Army.

During his time with Disaster-Smart,  Craig has became a licensed FAA UAV 107 Commercial drone pilot and a highly proficient field underwriter.

Craig enjoys his time interacting with new people and performing  in an ever-changing and challenging job in which he excels.

Kaleb Federle

Kaleb joined Disaster-Smart in June of 2019, where he obtained his FAA UAV 107 Commercial Drone Pilot’s Liscense. Prior to becoming an inspector, he worked in customer service & construction.