November 30, 2012
The Importance of Resiliency
The recent devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy is a reminder of the importance of resiliency in communities in preparation for future disasters. The unpredictability of natural hazards urges non-profits and the public and private sectors to join forces in building a resiliency network.
Architecture for Humanity is committed to building resilient cites, and provides opportunities for communities to get involved.
The following are a few examples:
- In 2008, Architecture for Humanity participated in "What If New York...," a design competition sponsored by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) that invited architects, designers, and planners to design temporary housing that could serve dense urban spaces in the wake of a catastrophic hurricane. This program allowed us to get a better understanding on how to frame the issue of reconstruction in a dense urban environment like New York. The team behind it continued the work and was hired by city and regional OEM offices. Many of them have gone on to build their careers around this work, and have been playing key roles in the Sandy recovery response.
- In November, Architecture for Humanity hosted a disaster panel at our annual Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! Event. The panel, "Key Practices for Success in Disaster Reconstruction,” featured former Mayor Art Agnos past AIA President Clark Manus, Greensburg Greenstown Director Daniel Wallach and Program Manager Diego Collazos. Speakers discussed how to identify key players in disaster reconstruction, collaborate across sectors, and execute strategies for successful reconstruction. They shared insight into best practices so that others would not have to "wish they would've known" when disaster strikes. Watch the panel discussion here.
As more opportunities come up, we will be posting them here. Stay tuned.
Don't forget to follow us on twitter @AFHDisasterTeam!
November 02, 2012
Hurricane Sandy Response
This week Hurricane Sandy carved a path through the Caribbean before moving up the Atlantic and turning into New Jersey, striking many coastal towns. The storm moved north and created a storm surge that has devastated the New York Metro area. There has been widespread major damage and loss of life.
Right now the need is relief and recovery but very soon it will be long-term reconstruction. Beyond the large scale water and wind damage we need to think about upgrading and restoring in a sustainable manner.
See our Hurricane Sandy Reconstruction page for updates and information regarding our response.
October 09, 2012
Colorado State Hazard Mitigation Program (SHMP) Grant Announcement
COEM Mitigation Team Announces Open Application Period for State Hazard Mitigation Program Grants
The Colorado Office of Emergency Management (COEM) Mitigation Team has opened the application period for State Hazard Mitigation Program (SHMP) grants. Awards are subject to the availability of funds through COEM.
We encourage jurisdictions without a local hazard mitigation plan or those needing to update a plan to use this opportunity to assist in plan development. All local entities applying for pre- or post-disaster FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance program grants must have a FEMA approved local hazard mitigation plan to be eligible.
Activities that will be considered for this grant program include:
- Local hazard mitigation plans
- Mitigation studies
- Purchase of NOAA weather radios
- Mitigation training materials
- Printing mitigation information and brochures
- Mitigation planning activities
- Hazard Analysis and Risk assessments
- Hazard mapping projects
- Risk Communications projects
Activities that are not within the scope of this grant program:
- Structural projects (projects requiring environmental or historical assessments)
- Response-oriented equipment
The Mitigation Team is soliciting Grant Applications for this program on a rolling basis. Grant applications must be filled out by the local emergency manager, please download the application to fill it out on your computer. Take a look at theState Hazard Mitigation Program Announcement Letter for more details on how to apply. For questions or comments, contact Scott Baldwin, Interim Mitigation Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-852-6696.
October 18, 2012
The Great Shakeout offers an opportunity to prepare
On October 18, twelve states and the District of Columbia will be the sites of a coordinated earthquake preparedness drill and AIA National, along with Architecture for Humanity, are encouraging architects to get involved.
By visiting www.Shakeout.org anyone can commit to participating in their own small way by conducting an earthquake drill in their office, creating or revising emergency plans, or simply taking a moment to recognize the seismic hazards in your immediate area.
But this exercise is more than an occasion to prepare your home and office; it can also be an opportunity to connect with other architects or community groups. Local AIA Components and Architecture for Humanity chapters around the country can team up with Girl and Boy Scout troops, after school STEM programs, or other youth groups to discuss the architecture of earthquake resistance in a fun and engaging environment. The drill can even be an opportunity to host a brown-bag continuing education session and networking opportunity over lunch.
Many other ideas and resources for participation and preparedness are available on the www.Shakeout.org website. When you decide how to mark the occasion, be sure to share with AIA National and post to your chapter web page and Worldchanging. We’d love to hear your ideas.
2012 Grant Recipients
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Architecture for Humanity are pleased to announce the grant recipients for the 2012 Disaster Response Plan Grant.
The AIA and Architecture for Humanity look forward to the positive impact these teams' work will have on their home states as they make progress toward safer and more resilient communities.
The grant recipients are:
Architecture for Humanity D.C. Disaster Response Project
The project aims to engage Washington, D.C., architects in preparing the District’s shelters, helping with post-disaster damage assessment, and allowing architects to serve as leaders in all the communities of our nation’s capital. It also aims to engage D.C. architects in documenting and learning lessons from past disasters.
Washington State Disaster Preparedness and Response (DPR)
A new Intrastate Mutual Aid law in the state allows architects, engineers and code officials to receive training and integrate with emergency management, but many of the details are yet to be determined. The DPR will advocate, educate, and train these design professionals to help implement the new law and prepare communities for disaster.
NYC Safety Assessments Trainings
In partnership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Architecture for Humanity NY (AFHny) will develop a disaster response network and offer periodic trainings in the post-disaster Safety Assessment Program (SAP).
Disaster Assistance Coordination Network in Maryland
The Baltimore AIA, in partnership with the Architecture for Humanity Baltimore chapter, plans to establish an active Disaster Assistance Program for the state of Maryland. This group will liaise between the state emergency management agencies, AIA, and other emergency management professionals in the region to develop plans and programs to address disaster preparedness and recovery.
Illinois Architects’ Emergency Management/Disaster Response Workshop
The workshop will have key leaders of AIA Illinois and Architecture for Humanity Chicago work collaboratively to develop an industry-specific comprehensive statewide disaster response plan in an exercise environment working alongside emergency management officials. In addition, develop a post-workshop toolkit for the education of our members in the architect’s role in emergency management in Illinois.