AIA Disaster Assistance Program preparing for Hurricane Florence

AIA’s Disaster Assistance Program trains architect volunteers to provide building safety inspections in disaster areas

WASHINGTON – Sept. 13, 2018 – The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Disaster Assistance Program has more than a thousand architect volunteers standing by to conduct building safety inspections in areas impacted by Hurricane Florence.

“We’ve been coordinating our architect volunteers in the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland for potential deployment to disaster areas,” said AIA President Carl Elefante, FAIA. “These states have Good Samaritan laws in place that allow for our architects to respond to disasters more easily should they be called upon. Good Samaritan laws are critical to our volunteers being able to provide the building safety inspections that can help communities recover more quickly.”

In the days after a natural disaster, the AIA’s Safety Assessment Program (SAP) deploys its trained volunteer members to assist local officials in determining the structural integrity and livability of damaged buildings.  Under the law, AIA can only deploy its architect volunteers after a state of emergency is declared in the area and if government officials call on AIA’s assistance.

The SAP is part of the AIA’s larger Disaster Assistance Program, which also produces its Disaster Assistance Handbook. The handbook—for building design professionals, emergency managers, building departments, and state and local officials—draws upon lessons architects learned during previous disasters to protect and restore the built environment in the future. Advocating for stronger building codes and Good Samaritan State Legislation are additional priorities of the program.

Complete details of the AIA Disaster Assistance Program are available online as well as updates regarding the program’s activities. A video regarding architects working in the field is available online.

About AIA

Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.

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