Disaster Assistance Program

A nationwide network of architects to help communities before and after a disaster

Disaster Assistance Program

AIA ILLINOIS DISASTER RESPONSE TEAM PERFORMS BUILDING SAFETY ASSESSMENTS AFTER AN EF 4 TORNADO STRUCK WASHINGTON, ILLINOIS IN 2013.

AIA's Disaster Assistance Program equips architects with the knowledge and skills to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. As a result, architects’ disaster response processes, protocol, and training are aligned with federal frameworks.

Since 1972, the program has ensured that AIA, Chapters, and members are prepared to assist communities nationwide and internationally from leadership and volunteer roles. This strengthens AIA Component preparedness and fosters mutually beneficial relationships with jurisdictions and the larger disaster-response community.

Join the nationwide network of architects to:

  • provide technical expertise to make sound development decisions and inform local and regional planning and policy efforts
  • participate in building code development, enforcement and permitting
  • train for and share lessons learned from post-disaster building safety assessments
  • coordinate with local agencies such as the Office of Emergency Management, the Building Department and the Office of Planning
  • advocate for Good Samaritan legislation that provides liability protection for design professionals volunteering post-disaster and Portability of Licensure laws that enable out-of-state assistance

Updates from AIA's Disaster Assistance Program

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Get involved with disaster assistance

Connect with a local disaster assistance program through your state or local AIA chapter. If a local program doesn't already exist, consider spearheading one.

Disaster Assistance Handbook

The third edition of this handbook will help you understand your role in preparing for and responding to disasters.

Good Samaritan State Statute Compendium

Good Samaritan legislation affords critical liability protection to architects providing disaster assistance.

How To

The Safety Assessment Program

The Safety Assessment Program training provides built environment professionals with the knowledge to evaluate buildings after a disastrous event.

How To

HURRIPLAN training

This two-day course provides professionals with the training necessary to integrate resilient community planning and building design strategies with civic and commercial projects located in hurricane prone areas.

Case Study

What can architects learn from the tornado in Joplin, Missouri?

This report details how AIA Springfield established a partnership with the city of Joplin after an EF-5 tornado tore through the town.

Resilience

Hazard mitigation design resources

Discover resources that can support hazard risk reduction development, design, and construction choices.

Disaster response

Good Samaritan laws: Critical to disaster recovery

Without Good Samaritan laws in place, a licensed architect may be exposed to questions of liability even though he or she is acting in good faith to preserve the safety of a community.

Disaster response

Two hurricanes are gone, but are my buildings safe?

The AIA Safety Assessment Program training provides specialized knowledge and technical skills to architects in order to determine if a building is safe and habitable.

Disaster response

AIA, groups meet with Capitol Hill lawmakers on resilience strategies

Sustainability

AIA defends sustainable design

Sustainability

The AIA on disaster response: Codes matter

AIA's comments to FEMA on changes to disaster assistance programs that highlight the need for resilient codes

Image credits

Disaster Assistance Program

AIA Illinois