Disaster Assistance and Preparedness
The mission of the AIA Wisconsin Disaster Assistance Committee is to strengthen the disaster resilience of Wisconsin citizens and their communities by providing resources and support for disaster preparedness. It includes providing education and training opportunities for AIA Wisconsin members, assisting state and local government emergency management officials respond to disasters and assess the resulting damage to buildings, and helping communities in the recovery of their built environment.
A goal is to have 100 trained AIA Wisconsin members available to assist authorized emergency response teams in assessing damage to buildings. We are seeking at least one committee member to serve as the contact person for each of the six regions in the state established by the Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management (WEM).
In addition to an interest in disaster assistance and preparedness, committee members gain experience with building assessment, complete training in the Safety Assessment Program (SAP), and sharing knowledge about sustainability, community and urban design, building forensics and building performance.
Currently, 35 AIA Wisconsin members have completed the training and are CalOES certified. In the case of a disaster and the Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management requesting assistance, these trained AIA members would join WEM teams and use their expertise to assess the safety of affected structures.
Committee co-founders Janine Glaeser, AIA, and myself have been working closely with WEM to establish a Memorandum of Understanding between WEM and AIA Wisconsin. AIA Wisconsin’s legal counsel reviewed the so-called “Good Samaritan” provisions in Wisconsin Statutes. And, we have developed the protocol and procedures for committee member participation in safety assessments.
The committee is preparing readiness kits and an awareness campaign in advance of a 2018 CalOES training session for new participants to join the committee.
We are looking for volunteer Regional Coordinators. These members will serve a five-year term, work with the AIA Wisconsin Disaster Assistance Committee, be CalOES SAP trained, participate in the CalOES Train-the-trainer course (anticipated to be September 2017), and assist in the forthcoming efforts to increase awareness about this program.
Wisconsin-specific credentialing also is a goal; and we continue to develop strategies for its implementation.
Please contact AIA Wisconsin if you are interested in becoming part of the CalOES-credentialed assessment team or volunteering to serve as one of the Regional Coordinators.