Disaster Assistance

Architects formally acknowledged in the FEMA Natl Incident Mgmt System

Released September 9, 2020, AIA Disaster Assistance Committee member, Rose Grant, AIA; FEMA Project Technical Committee member, shared this good news. What follows is a very brief overview, you can read the entire special advisory here.

While there is still some work to be done, now that architects are recognized and officially defined by NIMS, their assistance can be requested anywhere in the country (including U.S. territories) through EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact).

AIA’s Disaster Assistance program previously recognized the ICS courses as recommended but not will require them. Credentialing is essential in validating the identity and attributes (e.g., affiliations, skills, or privileges) of emergency personnel. Architects who have already taken SAP training, are encouraged to complete the following ICS courses free online:

  • IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System (2 hrs.)
  • IS-200: ICS for Single Resources and initial Action Incidents (4 hrs.)
  • IS-700: National Incident Management System, an introduction (3.5 hrs.)
  • IS-800: National Response Framework, an introduction (3 hrs.)

AIA’s efforts from proposing legislation, to helping write new NIMS resource type definitions, to working to produce the Post-disaster Building Safety Evaluation Guide (P2055) are unlocking opportunities for architects to volunteer to assist our communities. These efforts advance the AIA’s mission and goals to provide a method for members to meet (and exceed) their ethical obligation to “render public interest professional services, including pro bono services … after disasters or in other emergencies.”


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Building Safety Evaluations during COVID-19

AIA’s Disaster Assistance Committee has compiled a guidance document to make you aware of changes to the Federal Disaster response during COVID-19. This document is intended as a reference tool for your use in determining whether or not to volunteer. While our collective objectives in providing Building Safety Evaluations remains the same, changes in our processes are required. There is a “Go or No-Go” self-assessment and operational modifications to consider when you do deploy. Thank you for what you do and stay safe!

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Hurricane Season Predictions and Insights

This presentation may be of interest to Maryland members as the East Coast will be most effected.

Join Interstate Restoration and Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Research Scientist and tropical meteorology expert with the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University for a live webinar on Wednesday, June 10 at 11:00 am MT.

Topics include:

  • Latest predictions for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season
  • Potential risk to North America
  • Tropical cyclones and climate change

Even if you aren’t able to join live, register now and we’ll send you the recorded webinar to watch at your convenience.

Hurricane Season Predictions & Insights
Wednesday, June 10
11:00 am MT
1:00 pm ET

Phil Klotzbach, Ph.D.
Research Scientist

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FREE Webinar on FEMA E-74, Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage

Embrace seismic safety on your projects with a FREE webinar on FEMA E-74, Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage (June 10th)

Special early announcement for architects! Registration is limited.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Pacific
Registration Fee: Free

Architects play a crucial role in seismic safety and are especially integral when it comes to designing nonstructural components that are resistant to earthquakes. Earthquake damage to nonstructural components, like partitions, ceilings, glazing, and cladding, and MEP systems can cause serious safety issues to occupants and contribute to building downtime after an event. In recent U.S. earthquakes, nonstructural failures have also been the largest source of financial losses. In this free webinar hosted by the Applied Technology Council (ATC) about FEMA E-74, Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage, you will learn about the basic principles behind seismic resistant design of nonstructural components and the role you can play in reducing seismic risk of these elements. Architects are a prime audience for this webinar. Click here to register for the webinar, or click here to learn more.

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As we deal with COVID-19, we are seeing tropical activity and it’s not even hurricane season!

You will be seeing more on this in our May newsletter but we wanted to take a quick moment to get you thinking about possibly responding to a disaster and your personal safety. We are typically shouting from the rooftop about preparedness at the beginning of hurricane season (June 1) and this year will be more important than ever.

We have heard predictions that the east coast will see an active storm season and now, news that a tropical depression or storm could form off the Florida coast this weekend. We will certainly keep an eye on this. In the meantime, check your GO bag to be sure everything is in good working condition and, add PPE. Lastly, consider reviewing your SAP materials or some of the resources on AIA’s Disaster Assistance Page to refresh your disaster response thinking.

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Get tuned in …

Information, updates and resources are coming from The AIA, the national Disaster Assistance Committee, the CACE network and from our State Disaster Assistance efforts. Follow AIA Maryland on Facebook and Twitter and of course, here.  Currently, we are looking to compile a list of Maryland firms with health care facility expertise. If you would like to be added to a list of architects/firms willing to assist our State with pandemic efforts, please email Sandi Worthman.

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