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NCSEA Message and Resources Regarding Disaster Response

The devastation and loss of life in Turkey and Syria resulting from the recent earthquakes have caused an outpouring of support and response from around the world. The pictures and stories that have been shared are truly staggering, and the recovery efforts will clearly continue for the foreseeable future. NCSEA, our state-level member organizations, and practicing structural engineers throughout the United States are not alone as we process this disaster and as we seek to provide assistance to those who have been affected. This message is intended to remind you of the resources available to your SEA through NCSEA if and when, a disaster strikes.

The international nature of this particular event means that most NCSEA members will not respond in-person, at least not formally under the Structural Engineering Emergency Response (SEER) “2nd Responder” program and the Disaster Response Alliance database as those are generally set up for disasters within the United States. However, we know that many people are contributing to the humanitarian aid efforts in various ways from afar, and some structural engineers from the United States are engaging in the response in-person, for example those who are formally trained as members of search-and-rescue teams, or those who may be engaged in the response and post-earthquake reconnaissance through their company or through their involvement in other professional or humanitarian organizations. When the time is right, NCSEA is eager to hear and learn from those who have first-hand experiences and share that information with practicing structural engineers around the United States.

We also know after similar disasters in the US or abroad that structural engineers are often asked if something similar could happen here and what structural engineers are doing to help prevent or minimize that possibility. If individual engineers or SEAs are asked such questions, NCSEA is able to help respond. Please contact NCSEA Executive Director, Al Spada (, if you would like assistance with a request from the media, and he will connect you with an NCSEA member with media interview experience. If you or your SEA are building your own resources for responding to media requests, click the link below to access a resource that was developed with help from the NCSEA Communications Committee and contains information regarding the role of structural engineers in general and how structural engineers respond to disasters and advance the practice. This is meant to be a working document, and we welcome your comments and suggestions as NCSEA continues to build its own disaster response resources.

For individuals and SEAs considering how this international event may serve as a reminder about the need to be prepared to respond to the next disaster here at home, click the link below to access a summary of pre-disaster actions that can be taken by individuals and by SEAs.

NCSEA’s vision is that structural engineers are valued for their contributions to safe structures and resilient communities. Toward this end, NCSEA will continue to work with and support our member organizations to share lessons learned from this disaster and help convert those into practice so that we can proactively mitigate potential disasters and be better prepared to respond to future events.

Click the links below to view and/or download additional resources: