Disaster Relief – Engineers Can Help!

Our natural response to seeing our fellow Americans suffering through a natural disaster is, “How can I help?”  But sometimes, that is about as far as we get.  We might donate a few dollars to the Red Cross, or a religious organization that specializes in disaster relief, but we as structural engineers are uniquely equipped to be of help during disaster relief.

Recently, the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations website published How Structural Engineers Can Assist in Natural Disaster Relief Efforts.  This page includes information on how you can be a part of future disaster relief efforts, and provides ways to keep up to date with specialized training seminars, including free webinars from the Applied Technology Council on the ATC-45 Field Manual: Safety Evaluation on Buildings after Windstorms.  The Structural Engineer Emergency Response (SEER) Committee is active in the recovery efforts in Texas and Florida, and you could be positioned to help with the next crisis that may come our way.

Engineers seeking to help with the relief efforts in Texas can apply for a temporary emergency license by visiting the Texas Board of Professional Engineers’ website.  Also, the National Science Foundation is encouraging submissions of proposals seeking to address the changes related to Hurricane Harvey.

Additionally, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is a collective organization which draws together various groups who specialize in disaster response.  These organizations are able to quickly mobilize and provide relief to individuals affected by these disasters.  Different organization are active in different parts of the country, so check out their websites to see how you can volunteer through your local chapters or donate necessary supplies.

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