Structural Engineers Emergency Response

The following resources are available through the SEAO Emergency Response Committee:

  • Database of SEAO members who are Registered Engineers and/or ATC certified and who may be able to assist with emergency response.
  • ATC-20 Post-earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings training for your organization.
  • Resources for local jurisditions and emergency responders.

The Emergency Response Committee is a committee of SEAO charged with developing a plan to assist and provide structural engineering expertise to government entities during, or in preparation for, an emergency event.

The mission statement of the committee is “To provide rapid mobilization of structural engineers from the private sector to assist local emergency management agencies in responding to disasters of such a magnitude that the technical capacities of the government agencies that normally handle such events are overwhelmed”

An emergency can entail flood, large scale accident (i.e. a gas explosion), intentional attack, earthquake, etc.  We are currently focused on post-earthquake response.

Please contact our emergency response committee chair at emergencyresponse@seao.org for more information.

The Emergency Response Committee is a committee of SEAO charged with developing a plan to assist and provide structural engineering expertise to government entities during, or in preparation for, and emergency event.  

The mission statement of the committee is “To provide rapid mobilization of structural engineers from the private sector to assist local emergency management agencies in responding to disasters of such a magnitude that the technical capacities of the government agencies that normally handle such events are overwhelmed”

An emergency can entail flood, large scale accident (i.e. a gas explosion), intentional attack, earthquake, etc.  We are currently focused on post-earthquake response.

NCSEA Structural Engineers Emergency Response Plan (SEERPlan Manual)

Structural engineers have been involved with emergency response programs for some time. Engineering emergency response programs range from search and rescue programs, in which structural engineers assist emergency response personnel, to emergency structural assessments that allow people to return to their property as soon as possible. The majority of these programs are concentrated on the West Coast, where they were quickly developed because of the frequent reoccurrence of earthquakes. Structural engineers there have had the chance to reassess their programs many times over; and their experience proved valuable and useful in the aftermath of the September 11 manmade disaster.

To make engineering emergency response programs even more effective in the future, NCSEA created a Structural Engineering Emergency Response (SEER) Committee in November 2001. The charge to the committee was to develop a uniform framework for emergency response engineers, so that responders from different areas of the country would be able to uniformly assist, without having to relearn inspection protocols and procedures.  The final work product of the NCSEA SEER Committee is a document titled the SEERPlan.

The SEERPlan is divided into three sections: Organizational, Response, and Reference Information. The first section includes chapters on soliciting volunteers, credentials and job descriptions for the various levels of volunteers, staffing requirements, and key positions required to develop a local SEER committee. The Response section addresses issues associated with post-disaster assessments. It includes guidance on organizing and staffing a field office or control center and managing assessment teams. The final section, Reference Information, provides information on topics such as good Samaritan laws, legal and insurance issues, personal safety and equipment, and coordination with other emergency response personnel. Also included is an extensive list of reference documents, forms, and  organizational contacts.

Link to SEERPlan Manual

Members

Members

Chair
David Tarries
City of Portland BDS
david.tarries@portlandoregon.gov
emergencyresponse@seao.org

Member
Annie Mahoney
GBD
anniem@gbdarchitects.com

Member
Chad Norvell
VLMK Consulting Engineers
kevink@vlmk.com

Member
Eric Watson 
Miller Consulting Engineers
eric@miller-se.com

Member
Matt VanderZanden
BKE Engineers
matt@bkengineers.com

Member
Reid Zimmerman
KPFF Consulting Engineers
reid.zimmerman@kpff.com

Member
Ruben Aya
ZGF
ruben.aya@zgf.com

Member
Scott Donart
 
donartje@gmail.com

Member
Tom Walsh
Portland Fire 
ffwalshtg@gmail.com

Member
Shawn Stevenson 
Morrison Hershfield
SStevenson@morrisonhershfield.com

Member
Joshua Stein
Mahlum Architects 
JStein@MAHLUM.com

Member
Tom Wharton
Port of Portland
Tom.Wharton@portofportland.com

Minutes, Meeting Notes & Information

The committee has created a database of SEAO volunteers who are registered engineers and/or ATC-20 certified.  The existence of a Good Samaritan Law in Oregon has helped increase our volunteers.  We are currently working on an efficient methodology of contacting our volunteers when needed. 

Additionally, we have created an ATC 20 training curriculum that can be used to partner with the community.  Through this curriculum we hope to bring ATC 20 training to jurisdictions and large institutions that don’t have the in house expertise.

The SEAO ER Committee is actively working on creating relationships and open dialogue with other similar organizations, groups, and jurisdictions.  Some of these are the NCSEA, the State of Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM), ER committees from neighboring states such as SEAW and SEANC, and AIA.  Teaming with other groups will help in applying lessons learned during previous events and prevent spending unnessesary time on tasks or hurdles that have already been done or encountered by other entities.  In addition, the committee is discussing the opportunity for other Structural Engineers Emergency Response (SEER’s) committees to meet at upcoming NW Conferences.

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