Northeast Collaborative, Olson Photographic

Hurricane Harvey: Updates from AIA's Disaster Assistance Program

Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane and remains a danger to Texas and southwest Louisiana due to significant rainfall, flooding and wind.

How to help those affected by Harvey?

At this time, Texas is still in the midst of an evolving hazard event.  AIA is coordinating with local components, agencies and other building industry organizations on response efforts.  Once flood waters have receded, SAP or ATC-trained Texas architects may be called upon by the state or local jurisdictions to perform rapid or safety assessments of homes and buildings.  Please check back here for more information on volunteer opportunities.

One of the best ways to support those affected by Harvey is to donate to a trusted organization who can deliver the needed resources to the region:


The American Red Cross is responding to immediate needs

Habitat for Humanity is assessing shelter and housing needs caused by the storm

Coalition for the Homeless is coordinating shelters and housing for the homeless

Global Giving has created a fund to support the recovery of local non-profits


All Hands takes apart damaged buildings, removes debris and rebuilds post-disaster

Airbnb is waiving fees for those who host evacuees

For homes and buildings, storm surge causes dangerous water inundation, flood-borne debris and scouring compromising foundations while high winds damage roofs and if openings in the building envelope are penetrated, can cause severe damage. Flooding can lead to foundation scour and settlement of buildings and can damage electrical systems, HVAC equipment, wallboard and insulation and contribute to the growth of mold and mildew, a potential health hazard. Remember, flood water is contaminated; no depth of flood “water” is safe for a human or car.

Take action

For those in the affected areas, please check with local authorities for the most up to date public safety information, warnings, and notifications.  Let us all be reminded to be prepared, and protect our communities by taking action to mitigate harmful impacts to homes and businesses.

Architects, as stewards of public health and safety, can use their building knowledge to help their communities both before and after a disaster. AIA's Disaster Assistance Program supports Components and equips architects with the knowledge and skills to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. Since 1972, the program has ensured that AIA, Chapters, and members are prepared to assist communities nationwide and internationally in leadership and volunteer roles. At the request of a state or local jurisdiction, many AIA members are trained to serve as volunteers to perform rapid or building safety assessments in their communities following a disaster.

AIA Disaster Assistance Handbook

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