The AIA Iowa Disaster Assistance Program consists of locally based teams of volunteer AIA Iowa architects that provide disaster evaluations in the event of a disaster. This program is set to work with existing Homeland Security, Emergency Managers, and other public officials around Iowa.
The AIA Iowa Disaster Assistance Program provides advocacy, education, and training to advance the role of AIA Iowa members in disaster response. With guidance from the AIA Iowa Disaster Assistance Committee, the program supports a statewide network of architects who can offer and volunteer services that help prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. The AIA Iowa Disaster Assistance Committee serves the Institute and its members by drawing connections between design, disaster resilience, and the long-term sustainability of our communities.
Click here for more information on AIA National's Disaster Assistance Program.
What makes an AIA Iowa architect uniquely qualified to help?
The AIA Iowa Disaster Assistance Program provides quick-response services to a community damaged by a declared disaster. Architects’ knowledge of building safety and local construction make them uniquely qualified for this program.
When AIA volunteers are called into action following a disaster they will arrive to assess the nature and extent of damage to residences. Working in small teams, they will assess structures to determine if residences are safe for the occupants to return to stay, if homeowners are allowed to enter to retrieve possessions, or whether the structure is no longer safe to enter. This allows residents to return to their homes more quickly while protecting the safety of everyone.
When should I contact our local disaster assistance team?
Now, especially if your area is particularly vulnerable.
Even if you are located in an area where disasters are minimal, establishing a coordinated network for response and communications is critical. In addition to architects, Disaster Assistance teams should include representatives from local agencies dealing with construction, code enforcement, general contractors, homebuilders, insurance industry representatives, other pro¬fessional associates, and churches.
Make sure our architects are ready to hit the ground running the moment they are needed—contact AIA Iowa at 515.244.7502 or call Tom Hurd, AIA at 641.423.6395 to find the regional director nearest you.
Disaster Assistance Resources
Joplin Charrette Report: The AIA Spring Field Chapter of AIA Missouri has release their Joplin Charrette Report. The document reports on the May 22, 2011 disaster, the steps taken in recovering from the disaster and the lessons that were learned. To view the full report visit MockSutdio.com.
AIA Disaster Response Guide, How Local Chapters Can Help Rebuild More Resilient Communities: The AIA has also released a guide in relation to the above report that outlines a generalized approach that any local AIA Chapter and its members can use to engage its community after a disaster. For more information visit MockStudio.com.
NCEF- Assisting Schools with Natural Disasters
DISASTER ASSISTANCE WORKSHOP
The last AIA Iowa Disaster Assistance Workshop was held on Friday, April 27 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Capital Square Conference Center, 400 Locust St., Rm 155, Des Moines, IA 50309. This event gave attendees AIA/CES: 6 LU (for full-day event). This AIA Disaster Assistance Program provides quick-response services to a community with damage caused by a declared disaster. The AIA Iowa Disaster Assistance Training Workshop will studied various historical examples of disasters—locally and nationally—and explained how to properly assess damaged buildings. Architects were trained to evaluate building design and communicate to others that they are logically in a good position to execute damaged building assessments. The program showed how the process works by identifying the chain of command, communication lines, regional zones, and reporting guidelines. In addition, this workshop provided examples of how to work with county emergency managers, media, and how to perform evaluations. Disaster assistance volunteers also gain community relations skills and overall community design improvements. Attendees of the workshop will obtained Iowa certification and an ID badge. Past certified volunteers were invited in the afternoon for a refresher course on what forms are to be used and how. By attending this seminar attedees were able to:
- master the Iowa Disaster Assistance Program and how it relates to other programs;
- inspect the stated purpose of the AIA Disaster Assistance Program;
- breakdown methods used in proper disaster assessments;
- and, evaluate and learn from disaster assessments for future design.
The Refresher portion of the training program summarized the Iowa Disaster Assistance program and provide updates. Each report, form and guideline was reviewed as to content and when to use them. An outline of the methods to complete the assessments was presented. The program reviewed the chain of command, communication lines, regional zones, and communication system with Emergency Managers. An open Q&A session ended the program. By attending this portion of the seminar attendees were able to:
- re-explore the Iowa Disaster Assistance Program;
- re-inspect the purpose of the reports and other forms;
- breakdown methods used in proper disaster assessments;
- and, determine updates on the overall communication system.
The Program Presenter was Thomas R. Hurd, AIA, NCARB, ASES, Owner/Founder of Spatial Designs and Architects and Energy Solutions located in Mason City, IA, since 1983. Tom taught the Retrofitting Flood Prone Residential Buildings Hazard Mitigation course in Emmitsburg, Maryland for the Federal Emergency Management Institute, 1999 & 2000. He has been the Cerro Gordo & Franklin County Emergency Management Disaster Damage Assessment Chief for Homeland Security, since 2002, and served as a FEMA Certified Disaster Management Interoperability Services Operator, 2005-2007. He was asked to start the Disaster Assistance Program in Iowa in 2008 and currently is the Iowa AIA Disaster Assistance Coordinator for the State of Iowa. In addition he was just appointed to the national 2012 AIA Disaster Assistance Committee. Hurd holds a Bachelors in Architecture, Masters in Architecture from Iowa State University.
To access the Volunteer Section of the AIA Iowa Disaster Assistance Program, please log-in here. For more information please contact Tom Hurd, AIA, the AIA Iowa Disaster Assistance Committee Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org or 641.423.6395.