AIA Ohio Disaster Assistance Program
Bruce Sekanick, FAIA
As with many parts of our lives, we often have a greater demand for our time than we have time to give. It’s true for the work we commit to in the office as well as the organizations and groups that we volunteer for that fill up the rest of our life. This is all part of the work-life balance that we try so hard to keep in place. We face the same challenges within the AIA. There are many moving parts of the AIA and only so much time. If you are interested in serving the organization and your community but don’t have a lot of time to give, the AIA Ohio Disaster Assistance Program might be something to consider.
Established in 2019 by AIA Ohio through the model program established by AIA National, the Disaster Assistance Program (DAP) consists of members who are willing to take time during a period following a natural disaster to be a “second responder” and assist in the evaluation of structures affected by the storm or event. Since 2019, AIA Ohio has held two training sessions in cooperation with the AIA, providing certification to over 30 members through the State of California Safety Assessment Program (CAL-OES). This program, widely recognized throughout the country and by FEMA, provides volunteers with the knowledge necessary to be part of an assessment team, assisting building departments and emergency management offices throughout the state.
While members of AIA Ohio have not yet been asked to participate in events, the Disaster Assistance Program continues to seek members who are interested in taking the training so that they are prepared for the next disaster that occurs within the state. The Ohio program is led by Rick Posey, AIA, and Sam Marcum, AIA, who have dedicated their time to getting this program off the ground. This program is in its infancy and the DAP team continues to work with building officials, EMA offices, and others to help utilize member’s skills and knowledge in their communities. Members who are interested in obtaining training or being part of the DAP program should contact Kate Brunswick, Hon. AIA, CAE at firstname.lastname@example.org.