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The American Institute of Architects, California Council, Contributes to Hurricane Katrina and Rita Relief Work

Date: 10/30/2005

The American Institute of Architects, California Council, Contributes to Hurricane Katrina and Rita Relief Work
Friday October 28, 7:10 pm ET
State Architect Group Continues to Implement Disaster Preparedness, Stabilization and Rebuilding Efforts

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 28, 2005--Stephan Castellanos, FAIA, President of The American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC) announced $20,000 in hurricane relief contributions to assist with funding volunteers and support the National AIA efforts in helping affected local architects, as well as providing support to the recovery of the dual disasters of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The AIACC encourages architects to use their professional skills to help communities recover from natural disasters, and to foster a productive relationship in working with the established disaster response community.

Although California natural disasters rarely take the form of a hurricane, earthquake, flood and fire experience has honed statewide disaster response skills and knowledge. This knowledge has been shared with the stricken areas in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Douglas L. Steidl, FAIA, MRAIC, President of the American Institute of Architects, Washington D.C., responded to the AIACC contribution stating, "Your offer is a wonderful example of `One AIA' where the understanding, knowledge, and preparedness of one component benefits the lifeblood of many. That may be one of the long-term legacies of this event."

AIACC contributions complement the three stages of Disaster Assistance: Emergency, Relief, and Recovery. Assistance includes teams of specially trained AIACC volunteers for both emergency stabilization and long-term rebuilding efforts, monetary contributions, fund raising efforts, and availability of disaster related support tools and informational publications, such as the AIACC Disaster Preparedness Handbook.

Specific actions taken and contributions distributed are as follows:

In response to a request from the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) the AIACC mobilized members James Fong, AIA, Bill Melby, AIA and Val Usle, AIA, all certified by OES as Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Evaluators, as part of the first wave of emergency responders to Louisiana. Many more AIA evaluators have volunteered and will be sent to affected areas upon requests by local authorities.
Several California Design Assistance Teams (CEDAT), who are experienced in planning and rebuilding options for disaster struck communities, are available for assistance. Volunteers can be requested to go on-site, and affected regions can obtain information about the work and experiences of CEDAT teams memorialized by AIACC and several chapters.
In addition to AIACC member volunteer efforts, they are also co-coordinating fundraising efforts among the larger firms in the state. This effort is headed by former AIA President Gordon Chong, FAIA. Interested parties are asked to visit the AIACC website (www.aiacc.org) and support rebuilding efforts through the avenues created by the AIACC.

Stephan Castellanos, FAIA, is also pleased to announce that the AIACC contribution of $20,000 for recovery and rebuilding efforts will be allocated as follows: $10,000 to the American Architectural Foundation fund designed to assist displaced architects; $5,000 designated to help architects replace equipment; and, $5,000 to help affected AIA components recover and continue providing member services. These contributions, and subsequent donations, are applied in keeping with the goal of helping to restore the professional and personal lives of colleagues rebuilding their communities.

Architects are critical to local stabilization and rebuilding efforts. It is their contributions to planning and design that will help create the temporary housing for today and shape the communities for future generations. The support and leadership of the AIA, the contributions of the AIACC and its chapters are an important part of the recovery efforts.

The AIACC thanks its members, volunteers and staff for their personal and professional contributions and for their hard work in support of the AIACC teams.

The AIACC represents the interests of 10,000 architects and allied professionals in California. Founded in 1944, AIACC's mission supports architects in their endeavor to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more livable communities, sustainable designs and quality work environments. Today the AIACC is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit www.aiacc.org.

The American Institute of Architects, California Council
Lori Reed, 916-448-9082