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Architects’ Role in Hurricane Relief

When disaster strikes, you may wonder how you can help…big, small, near or far. This is how many unaffected Texas residents – and others around the country –  are feeling after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and surrounding areas on August 26. After about 50 inches of rain and 117 hours of landfall, it has come to an end. Now what? How can we all help?

Now that the flood waters are slowly receding, reality hits with the amount of damage that has been done. The AIA Texas chapter is working with FEMA and local and state officials to implement a plan for restoration.

If you’re a registered Texas architect with AIA/CAL-OES Safety Assessment Program (SAP) training, there’s more you can do to help than you may know. The AIA SAP training provides education to architects, building inspectors and engineers so they can evaluate homes and buildings to determine if they are safe to be occupied. The training session lasts a full day and is provided as a volunteer service for anyone who wants to attend. For a list of instructors, please contact resilience@aia.org. With this training, you would relieve some of the tasks of the city and building inspectors who are expected to support the Texas population that’s been affected. For more information on getting involved with the relief, please email harvey@texasarchitects.org.

Even if you’re not a registered architect in Texas, or you haven’t completed the SAP training, you should seriously consider getting the training now. Unfortunately, disaster strikes far too often and you can prepare now to assist in the future – whether it be in Texas or other areas.  With the threat of Hurricane Irma looming in Florida and the southeast, if you complete your SAP training now, you would be able to make a difference immediately after the storm.

Maybe you’re not an architect, but you still want to help. The best way to help right now is to donate money to reputable relief programs so they can purchase the most needed supplies throughout the rebuilding process.

For more information, please visit aia.org.

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