Yesterday, Congress passed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA). Check out the link for more information of how this act will establish a way for the AIA to advance opportunities for architects to better serve communities when disasters occur. It is expected to be signed into law in the coming days.
This is incredibly important with global warming issues and the increasing numbers of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and for us in South Dakota, forest fires, tornadoes, winter storms, and floods.
According to the AIA National Advocacy Committee, “this bill includes AIA authored language that will have the following positive impacts:
- paves the way for communities to better utilize architects during their disaster recovery efforts, namely through AIA components’ administration of AIA’s Safety Assessment Program (SAP),
- requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency, architects and engineers to co-develop standardized best practices for building-safety assessments that focus on a building’s structural integrity and livability post disaster,
- ensures that local and state officials understand the role of architect volunteers, which are a vital resource to the recovery of communities after a disaster,”
Passing this legislation will help to reinforce programs such as the AIA Disaster Assistance Program which utilizes the skills of architects to help communities be resilient before and after disaster strikes.
Stay tuned to see how other states have already begun to implement Disaster Assistance Programs and the steps AIA South Dakota has taken to create our own Disaster Assistance Program!
Part 1 of 3… to be continued…
Allison Dvorak, AIA, CPHC, is a member of the AIA South Dakota Board of Directors, liaison to the Emerging Professionals and Communication committees, and an architect in Sioux Falls. She received her M.Arch from North Dakota State University in 2011 and continues to develop her Master’s thesis of researching and implementing design theories focused on human centered design through speaking engagements, design practice, and one-on-one client education. Allison lives in Sioux Falls with her husband and son.