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 >