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AIA Florida Hurricane News and Updates

Important Documents­


Architects can use their building knowledge to help their communities both before and after a disaster. The list of doccuments below will help equip architects with the knowledge and skills to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster.­

Disaster Survivor's Checklist

FEMA Community Rating Insurance

Flood Claims Handbook

Increased Cost of Compliance Fact Sheet

National Flood Insurance Program

The Flood Claim Process - Infographic

What Flood Insurance Policyholders Need to Know

What to do After a Flood

What to do After Your Flood Adjuster Visits

How to Engage an Architect in Disaster Assistance

National Incident Management System Matrix for Qualifications of Volunteer Architects

Compendium of Good Samaritan ­Laws

AIA National Disaster Handbook

Providing Services in an Emergency Situation

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Federal Disaster Assistance­


Business owners in additional Florida counties are now eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Programs as a result of Hurricane Irma that began on September 4, 2017. ­Business owners­ in ­Brevard, Broward, Charlotte,­Citrus, Clay,­ Collier, ­Desoto, Duval, Flagler, ­Glades, ­Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands,­ Hillsborough,­Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee,­ Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe,­Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, ­Palm Beach,­ Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Saint­ Johns,­ Saint Lucie, Seminole, Sumter­ and ­Volusia ­counties in Florida ­may now apply for ­both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.

To Apply for Physical and Economic Injury Loans­

Businesses must first register with the­Federal Emergency Management Agency­(FEMA) at­­­­ www.disasterassistance.gov, or by mobile device at ­m.fema.gov­­­or call the toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Upon registration with FEMA, businesses may apply for a disaster loan a number of ways:

  • Submit an online application at ­https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela;

  • Download an application from­­­ ­www.sba.gov/disaster­ and submit to a SBA disaster recovery center or mail to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155;

  • Visit a SBA recovery center for one-on-one assistance; or

  • Visit their local­­­­ Florida SBDC­­ for assistance.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is­ November 9, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.

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For a complete list of eligible counties, information on state assistance available through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, and how the Florida SBDC can help, please ­ click here.­ ­

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SAP Volunteers


AIA National has resources and guidelines available to help you prepare. ­You can find this information in the AIA Handbook for Disaster Assistance Programs ­HERE.

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We are also compiling data and confirming volunteers from those who have participated in the Safety Assessment Program, or SAP, training in the last several years.­Should Emergency Management officials reach out for volunteer­assistance, AIA Florida SAP trained architects stand ready to volunteer their help. ­AIA Florida's General Counsel reminds members of the following:

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This is to advise you that while some states do have laws that protect volunteers from a legal action arising out of the contribution of their professional services, Florida does not.­ There is a Florida law stating that, as a volunteering professional, you are immune from liability—as long as you can show that your volunteer work was performed without professional negligence.­ In essence, this statute subjects you to the same standard you are subjected to in your everyday practice. ­So, if you provide volunteer architectural services, even in a time of need, you still may be sued and may be liable unless you can prove that your services were provided with the same degree of skill as a reasonable licensed architect.

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What to do in a Disaster


If you are in the path of Hurricane Irma, please consider the following suggestions:

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Basic Tips

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  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) and have a plan for where you can stay.

  • Assemble a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information. Plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days. Be sure to charge your devices.­

  • Find out what alerts are available­ in your area by searching the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts."

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After a Hurricane

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  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions and return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.

  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.

  • Photograph the damage to your property to assist in filing an insurance claim.

  • Take precautions to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.

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Refer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA)­­­­­­Ready.gov/hurricanes­­ ­ for comprehensive information.

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AIA National's­­ Disaster Assistance Handbook ­­­is a great resource for architects looking to help their community after a disaster has occurred.­

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The Florida Division of Emergency Management has a great resource for disaster alerts and update as well as tips on making an emergency plan. Click ­­­­HERE­­ to visit their page.

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Governor Rick Scott has called for volunteers to help in advance of Irma. Architects and members interested in helping should visit­­­ ­ www.volunteerflorida.org­­ to register and find volunteer opportunities nearby.­

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Stay up to date on news and information about Irma as well as contribute updates by following the hashtag ­#AIAFlaDisasterReady­ on Twitter and our Facebook page.­

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Hurricane Irma Relief Charities­


­The Miami Foundation is currently accepting donations benefiting these charities:

  • The­Hurricane Relief Fund­-­The Miami Foundation's Fund will support recovery and rebuilding work driven by organizations on the ground.­

  • Irma Caribbean Strong Relief Fund­- This Fund will support relief efforts in Caribbean nations and territories, including Antigua & Barbuda, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.­

  • Irma Community Recovery Fund­- This Fund will support relief efforts for Florida's marginalized communities, ensuring residents in poverty have access to critical services and resources.­

You may donate by clicking here.

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AIA Florida stands ready to help members throughout the storm. ­Stay safe and let us know how we can assist you.

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