|2018 AIA Florida President Kim Headland, AIA, sent out the following message to AIA New Jersey leadership on Hurricane Michael updates and opportunities to help:
Hurricane Michael produced devastating destruction across much of the Florida Panhandle. It has produced the most widespread and severe damage experienced in recent memory in the northwest region of Florida. At this time officials are in the early assessment period and crews are continuing the difficult task of clearing debris to access major roadways and restore power. AIA Florida is working with the Building Officials Association of Florida (BOAF), state and local officials to identify ways that architects can assist with Safety Assessment Program needs. This will be a very, very long period of assessing damages and ultimately, recovery. We will keep members notified of any opportunities going forward.
In addition, AIA Florida Northwest and AIA Tallahassee, working cooperatively, have established a virtual forum for architects and architectural firms to provide aid to architects and their firms affected by Hurricane Michael. Firm needs may be posted, as well as general offerings of resources to those impacted. This “architect to architect forum” can be found HERE. Please share with your membership.
Some components have indicated an interest in helping by loading up supplies that are rapidly becoming scarce in the panhandle and delivering them to AIA Florida headquarters. Others have indicated a preference to ship materials. Either way, I have authorized the use of AIA Florida headquarters as a collection point for physical donations to be stored. From there, these supplies will be taken by volunteers to designated distribution centers to ensure they are fairly allocated among the severely impacted.
Should you want to participate in a “fill the truck” campaign and deliver goods directly to AIA Florida headquarters, please be aware that you will be responsible for unloading and advance notice is required to ensure access. Deliveries may be sent to AIA Florida, 104 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, 32301.
As another option, individuals may decide the best and most efficient method to help is to send a cash donation. Individuals may do so by making checks payable to AIA Florida and designated to Hurricane Michael Relief Efforts. Leadership from the impacted components will then purchase the supplies needed based on real-time information and as needs shift. If preferred, components may make an online donation HERE.
All the above is applicable to firms as well as components. We welcome all participation.
Again, this will be a months-long rather than a weeks-long crisis. Just today, one of the smaller jurisdictions impacted in the Panhandle was advised not to expect power until December. In other areas, there are no “places” in which to route power.
For those choosing the hands-on approach, items needed include:
• Chain saws
• Chain replacements
• Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)
• Cleaning supplies, bleach
• Garbage bags • Blankets, tents, tarps, etc.
• Paper Goods
• Hygiene items and toiletries (diapers-child and adult, wipes, pads, tampons, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, etc.)
A more comprehensive list can be found HERE.
On behalf of the entire membership of AIA Florida, we stand with our fellow architects and the citizens we all serve in this time of need. Please give generously.