Disaster Assistance

Register for The Great Southeast ShakeOut

As we expand our disaster assistance efforts, we urge your firm to consider participating in The Great Southeast ShakeOut.

The “ShakeOut” is an annual public earthquake drill where millions of people in schools, businesses, and homes simultaneously practice ‘Drop, Cover, and Hold On’ which is the recommended action for people to take during an earthquake. The Great Southeast ShakeOut is organized by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and its member and associate state emergency management agencies.

Once Registered you will:

  • Learn how your business or organization can be more prepared for earthquakes.
  • Be counted in the world’s largest earthquake drill.
  • Receive ShakeOut news and other information about earthquakes and preparedness.
  • Make a difference by motivating others to participate and be prepared.

More Information: Please see attached or visit https://www.shakeout.org/southeast/participants.php?start=Maryland

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Updates from AIA’s Disaster Assistance Program

AIA and its architects serving as volunteers assist communities following disasters. Updates regarding AIA’s activities in disaster areas, member efforts, recovery resources and volunteer opportunities are provided below.

Hurricane Dorian

The Bahamas has incurred catastrophic damage from Hurricane Dorian, and while much of Florida has been spared, we await the full impacts to the eastern shore.  Flooding, power outages and downed trees pose issues for people returning to their homes along the North Carolina coast.  High winds damage roofs and when openings in the building envelope are penetrated, can cause severe damage.  Remember, flood water is contaminated; no depth of flood “water” is safe for a human or car.   For homes and buildings, storm surge causes dangerous water inundation, flood-borne debris and scour which compromises foundations and contributes to settlement. Flooding can lead to short and long-term non-structural damage to electrical systems, HVAC equipment, wallboard and insulation; contributing to the growth of mold and mildew, a potential health hazard.

Visit FEMA.gov/Hurricane-Dorian for additional tips and resources before, during and after the storm.

How to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian

One of the best ways to support those affected by Hurricane Dorian is to donate cash money to a trusted organization who can deliver the needed resources to the region:

National Volunteers Active in Disaster

The Bahamas Red Cross

National Association of the Bahamas Hurricane Relief Fund

Donation center in Florida

Team Rubicon

Architects Respond to Disasters

Trained architects in South Carolina and North Carolina’s AIA Disaster Assistance program are on standby ready to deploy for  building safety assessments.

Architects can use their building knowledge to help their communities both before and after a disaster. AIA’s Disaster Assistance Program supports Components and equips architects with the knowledge and skills to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. Since 1972, the program has ensured that AIA, Chapters, and members are prepared to assist communities nationwide and internationally in leadership and volunteer roles. At the request of a state or local jurisdiction, our members are trained to serve as volunteers to perform rapid or building safety assessments in their communities following a disaster.

Why is architects’ volunteerism so important to a city’s disaster recovery?

City staff, including building inspectors, undoubtedly have their hands full contending with the effects of a disaster potentially affecting large portions of their city’s population and geographic area, and therefore rely upon volunteer resources to expedite a safe return.

The AIA Safety Assessment Program (SAP) training provides the specialized knowledge and technical skills to architects, engineers and building inspectors needed to determine if a home or other building is safe and habitable

Not only do licensed architects protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, but AIA’s Code of Ethics asks members to provide emergency services in times of disaster as part of our commitment to the public.

Take a virtual walk alongside one of our volunteer teams in Rockport, Texas after Hurricane Harvey.  Learn more >

Find an AIA Safety Assessment and Disaster Assistance training on our calendar or sign up to be alerted when a training in your area.

Want to learn more?  

Design your next building to be both resilient and adaptable and start the AIA Resilience and Adaptation online certificate series today.

Join the national AIA Resilience Network

The AIA Resilience Network is a virtual member forum focusing on topics of hazard mitigation, disaster assistance, climate adaptation and resilience.  Network members share knowledge, news, research and events and based on your interest and expertise, AIA matches members with opportunities to participate in conferences or panel presentations. Resilience is a systems-based approach to addressing shocks and stresses, and it requires a variety of perspectives, skills and experience.

Join now >

Learn about the important role of architects in disasters

Want to prepare for the hazards in your own back yard and be ready to respond as a “citizen architect” to help your community recover from a hazard event?  Connect with your local or state AIA chapter to inquire about your state’s disaster assistance program. A directory of chapter committees can be found in the Appendix of the 3rd Edition of the AIA Disaster Assistance Handbook.

Download the AIA Disaster Assistance Handbook >

Disaster Assistance Program

The AIA Disaster Assistance Program supports chapters and equips architects with the knowledge and skills to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. Since 1972, the program has ensured that AIA, Chapters, and members are prepared to assist communities nationwide and internationally in leadership and volunteer roles.

Register for a Safety Assessment Program training in your area >

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AIA Maryland is monitoring Hurricane Dorian

As this storm continues to churn over the Bahamas, Maryland is preparing. Sandi Worthman has been in contact with MEMA representatives so that our SAP trained members could be considered for part of an EMAC – Emergency Management Assistance Compact. While we do not currently have the logistics worked out for our members to serve under MEMA, trained members would be eligible to serve under a FEMA EMAC. We will share more information with you as it becomes available.

In the meantime, Dorian remains a dangerous storm.

  • The forecasted storm track could change quickly. Do not focus solely on the center of the track, a slight deviation of the forecast could bring Dorian even closer to our lower eastern shore.
  • Make sure you are prepared for any scenario – this is an unpredictable storm and can bring high winds and storm surges.
  • If you live in low lying areas prone to flooding, consider leaving even before you receive an evacuation notice to reduce traffic and ensure you can arrive in a safe location.
  • Flooding is the key risk! Remember, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!

FEMA Region III is actively preparing for potential impacts to our region. AIA Maryland will continue to monitor this situation.

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Attend the Building Resilience Conference!

For those not already a part of the AIA Resilience Network

Building Resilience 2019 is the first national gathering of building industry professionals focused exclusively on how to create more resilient buildings and communities. Held Nov 7-8 in Cleveland, OH, conference attendees will have opportunities to participate actively in professionally facilitated, outcome-focused working sessions. These sessions will establish concrete guidance to advance the agenda of resilient design and feature a wide range of experts, including Janice Barnes, AIA, Richard Graves, AIA, Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, Greg Mella, FAIA, Rachel Minnery, FAIA, Nicholas Rajkovich, AIA, Jay Raskin, FAIA, and Megan Recher, AIA.

AIA members get 10% off the Building Resilience price – just enter the ID code “AIA10” when registering. Don’t delay, early bird pricing ends soon!

Visit buildingresilience.living-future.org for details and registration.

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FEMA Hosts Webinar on Hurricane Michael Recovery

FEMA scheduled webinars to discuss recently-released Hurricane Michael Recovery Advisories. These Recovery Advisories assist various stakeholders in rebuilding more resiliently by providing design and construction guidance to help minimize damage from future storm events. The webinars are free and available to anyone interested in the topics and content.

•  Aug. 7 from Noon to 1:45 p.m. ET

•  Aug. 15 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. ET

Each webinar will be divided into two sessions and participants must register for each:

•  Session 1: Successfully Retrofitting Buildings for Wind Resistance; suggested attendees include: building owners and operators, design professionals, contractors, and entities that fund retrofits.

•  Session 2:  Best Practices for Minimizing Wind and Water Infiltration Damage; suggested attendees include: building owners, operators, and managers; design professionals; building officials; contractors; and municipal building, and planning officials.

Register for the webinar here.  Any questions about this webinar, please contact the FEMA Building Science Helpline at FEMA-Buildingsciencehelp@fema.dhs.gov.

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AIA’s Disaster Assistance Handbook now in Spanish!

The Spanish version of the AIA Disaster Assistance Handbook has officially been published! Both versions are available via this link download.

We hope this translation of this essential resource will extend the reach of our important work and will build architects’ disaster assistance capacity in communities across the globe.

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