Updates from AIA's Disaster Assistance Program:
AIA and its architects serving as volunteers assist communities following disasters. Updates regarding AIA’s activities in disaster areas, resources and volunteer opportunities are provided below.
How to help those affected by the earthquakes in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico experienced several earthquakes on January 6 and 7, including a 6.6 magnitude event, with aftershocks. AIA Puerto Rico has reached out to its members to confirm their safety and mobilize the more than 75 AIA SAP trained members for deployment of building safety assessments. Trained members not located on the island but eager to help are encouraged to donate funds to a trusted organization, so resources get to those most in need.
How to help those affected by the wildfires in Australia
After the hottest year on record, Australia is experiencing the greatest fire storm we’ve ever seen and Australia may need to survive another few months of fire risk. Architects in Australia that meet the requirements are encouraged to offer their pro bono services by signing up on Architects Assist’s website. It is important to note that Architects Assist requires registered architects to reside in the state in which they are providing support.
We’ve expressed our concern and support from the US to our friends at the Australian Institute of Architects and will be monitoring their wellbeing. Please see their website for more detailed information on recovery efforts.
Climate change is heating up
Did you know that the American Institute of Architects’ Board of Directors declared climate change a national emergency in 2019? We are galvanizing all architects to recognize the role buildings have in both mitigating and adapting to climate change as part of our commitment to the health, safety and welfare of the public.
Learn how to design for climate change with these adaptation resources and join our AIA’s 2030 commitment for carbon neutrality of buildings.
Architects Respond to Disasters
Architects can use their building knowledge to help their communities both before and after a disaster. AIA's Disaster Assistance Program supports Components and equips architects with the knowledge and skills to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. Since 1972, the program has ensured that AIA, Chapters, and members are prepared to assist communities nationwide and internationally in leadership and volunteer roles. At the request of a state or local jurisdiction, our members are trained to serve as volunteers to perform rapid or building safety assessments in their communities following a disaster.
Why is architects’ volunteerism so important to a city’s disaster recovery?
City staff, including building inspectors, undoubtedly have their hands full contending with the effects of a disaster potentially affecting large portions of their city’s population and geographic area, and therefore rely upon volunteer resources to expedite a safe return.
The AIA Safety Assessment Program (SAP) training provides the specialized knowledge and technical skills to architects, engineers and building inspectors needed to determine if a home or other building is safe and habitable
Not only do licensed architects protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, but AIA’s Code of Ethics asks members to provide emergency services in times of disaster as part of our commitment to the public.
Take a virtual walk alongside one of our volunteer teams in Rockport, Texas after Hurricane Harvey. Learn more >
Find an AIA Safety Assessment and Disaster Assistance training on our calendar or sign up to be alerted when a training in your area.
Want to learn more?
Design your next building to be both resilient and adaptable and start the AIA Resilience and Adaptation online certificate series today.
Join the national AIA Resilience Network
The AIA Resilience Network is a virtual member forum focusing on topics of hazard mitigation, disaster assistance, climate adaptation and resilience. Network members share knowledge, news, research and events and based on your interest and expertise, AIA matches members with opportunities to participate in conferences or panel presentations. Resilience is a systems-based approach to addressing shocks and stresses, and it requires a variety of perspectives, skills and experience.
Learn about the important role of architects in disasters
Want to prepare for the hazards in your own back yard and be ready to respond as a “citizen architect” to help your community recover from a hazard event? Connect with your local or state AIA chapter to inquire about your state’s disaster assistance program. A directory of chapter committees can be found in the Appendix of the 3rd Edition of the AIA Disaster Assistance Handbook.
Disaster Assistance Program
The AIA Disaster Assistance Program supports chapters and equips architects with the knowledge and skills to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. Since 1972, the program has ensured that AIA, Chapters, and members are prepared to assist communities nationwide and internationally in leadership and volunteer roles.