California’s fire season underscores the importance of disaster preparedness. Architects need to protect their family and their practice, which will ensure consumer protection to their clients and the public.
There are numerous resources to help educate on important aspects of preparedness. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has prepared a guide, which can be used as a basic foundation for business continuity. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency publishes a resource that can assist your firm in planning for disasters. The cost of preparing for natural disasters is minimal, while a lack of preparedness can devastate a business. Your efforts to ensure resilience can position you to serve clients when they need you the most.
Architects can also apply their unique talents after a disaster. The Cal OES Safety Assessment Program (SAP) utilizes volunteers and mutual aid resources to provide professional engineers and architects and certified building inspectors to assist local governments in safety evaluation of buildings and infrastructures in the aftermath of a disaster. To volunteer for this important role, participants must first receive specialized training and can visit the SAP website to sign up for sessions. Architects’ integral role of achieving community readiness in the built environment is the topic of a robust publication—Disaster Assistance Handbook—from AIA. The document underscores the criticality of a systems-based approach that seeks to balance the needs of the community and the environment.
The possibility of disasters in California is always present. Vigilance is the key to ensuring that you can have an efficient recovery. The investments you make in planning help your firm, clients, and the public, as we maintain our crucial state of readiness.