AIA-NJ HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE
NEWS AND UPDATES – DISASTER ASSISTANCE TRAINING HELD AT NJIT
by: Laurence E. Parisi, AIA – Regional Disaster Assistance Coordinator.
April 1, 2016 was no fool’s day for the11 members of the AIA-NJ and AIA-NY who attended the first of the two day training sessions. Participating in the 8 hour “train the trainer” disaster assistance program were the executive members of AIA-NJ and AIA-NY. The training for both sessions was headed up by Michael Lingerfelt, FAIA from Orlando, Florida and assisted by Laurence E. Parisi, AIA Chair of the AIA-NJ Homeland Security Committee, former AIA-NJ President. Mr. Lingerfelt is an experienced trainer of the California Safety Assessment Program.
We are truly fortunate to have Michael as our trainer. This is the third training session he has headed up for AIA-NJ; in my opinion he is the most invigorating trainer on the planet. Working with Michael on these disaster assistance programs has been an enriching and rewarding experience. By providing and supporting this event, our intention is to expand the training capabilities of AIA-NJ and AIA-NY. It is a benefit to New Jersey and New York, as coastal states, to be able to conduct training sessions for volunteering architects and engineers to be certified as card carrying Safety Assessment Workers by the California Safety Assessment Program. As we have learned from the recent past, disaster may strike at any time, and preparation is necessary.
April 2nd was just as explosive as April 1st, as nearly 100 architects and engineers attended the daylong disaster assistance training session. Sponsored by AIA-NJ, the goal of this program is to train professional architects and engineers as certified volunteer assistants in rapid recovery in the event of a catastrophic disaster such as Super Storm Sandy.
These training sessions will continue to be held periodically as an ongoing effort to strengthen and increase the number our professional volunteers. To date, we have approximately 300 architects and engineers in New Jersey that have been certified by the Office of the California Emergency Management as safety workers. Following a disaster, these safety workers will be able to respond to an affected area and evaluate the safety of homes and buildings.
We truly appreciate the hands-on efforts and logistical support of Ms. Laura Slomka, AIA-NJ Executive Assistant. We also wish to thank Urs P. Gauchat Dean of the School of Architecture and the administration of NJIT for allowing us to conduct our training at their facilities for these past sessions and all of the training sessions we’ve conducted.