May 22, 2013
I want to use this opportunity to give an update on the rapidly unfolding actions taken by
the AIA in the hours immediately after the devastation in Oklahoma.
We have reached out to all affected components to offer any support we can as AIA
members assist their clients and communities in evaluating the damage and moving
forward with recovery. A message has been posed on the CACE listserv that directs
members who want to help to the Disaster Response webpage.
We are also aggressively working to locate all our AIA Oklahoma component members
to make sure they and their families are safe, and to provide any assistance for as long as
it takes to help them overcome this disaster on both a personal and business level.
Some hopeful news has come out of this tragedy. We know Melissa Hunt is okay and has
been posting on the AIA Central Oklahoma Facebook page with status updates. We also
heard from Jan Loftis with AIA Oklahoma that she and her husband Jim are safe and
I am gratified to report our professional community is coming together in the face of this
tragedy. Yesterday, the ICC reached out to us and offered to coordinate response efforts
if any are needed. We will be following up on that opportunity soon.
Although there are no Architecture for Humanity (AFH) chapters in the state yet, they are
preparing to send Tommy Stewart, AIA, a member of AIA Forth Worth and a long-time
AFH volunteer. He is not there to perform assessments or to offer assistance. His role
will be that of a field observer to make recommendations about what projects AFH might
be able to undertake. Cameron Sinclair may soon join him. In the meantime, AFH has
established a “Rebuild Moore” fundraising donation page.
Leading much of the disaster assistance effort on the ground will be AIA Oklahoma,
which has more than 20 trained evaluators from a session we ran last October. In fact,
AIA Oklahoma has already reached out to the state’s emergency management agency (OEMA) to offer assistance. For the present, Lindsey Ellerback with AIA Tulsa is our Disaster Response POC for Oklahoma.
In the weeks and months and no doubt years ahead, we will work through AIA Oklahoma and our partners to aid in the healing and rebuilding. In the meantime, I will keep you posted as developments unfold, especially where our training and compassion can make a difference. The most up-to-the-minute information will be posted on the AIA’s Disaster page AIA Disaster Response.
At this moment, the communities affected continue to be in the search and recovery mode. As the citizens go about the grim task of picking up their lives, our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Mickey Jacob, FAIA
2013 AIA President