STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS EMERGENCY RESPONSE
Committee Chair: Jeffrey Kobes
SEAoT and BOAT sign Memo of Understanding
In early 2012, SEAoT decided to re-engage efforts with the state emergency responders (Structural Engineering Emergency Response – SEER) in hopes to use structural engineers’ understanding of buildings in times of state emergency needs – natural disaster events, terrorist events, etc. These efforts were welcomed and looked on very favorably by the state emergency responders, and SEER set-up quarterly meetings in various state regions to engage the state efforts. Through the 2012 year and on to current, SEER has been developing standards for emergency responders to follow during these response times.
In late summer of 2013, discussions between SEAoT / SEER and Building Officials Association of Texas (BOAT) started between the respective leadership on the possibility of joining forces during state emergency times to make each organizations efforts more meaningful and ‘of worth’ to the State. The Texas Public Works Response Team was excited after hearing of these joint efforts in hopes of having a single source they can solicit for assistance in emergency times. This partnership is a ‘work in progress’, and will be continuously monitored for keeping on track. But to set the initiative, a Memo of Understanding (MOU) was developed and signed by the leadership of both groups in August 2014.
July 18, 2014
Following the Katrina disaster, many Structural Engineers across Texas added their name to our Structural Engineers Emergency Response database. Since that time, Texas legislators have passed the Good Samaritan law that protects Structural Engineers who are volunteering their time and professional knowledge against liability.
Below shows the four classes (IS-100.b, IS-200.b, IS-700.a, and IS-800.b) we are asking the SEERP members to have completed by our Houston meeting the second week of May. The completing of the classes will be managed by FEMA but you should keep the certificates showing your completion of each class.
Update on SEER Activities
The SEER committee held a meeting in early January 2015.
Several meetings were held in 2014, including a meeting with BOAT (Building Officials Association of Texas) Annual State Conference in August 5, 2014 in Fort Worth in which SEAoT and BOAT signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU).
The 2nd 2014 meeting occurred on the February 28th with the State Public Works Response Team (PWRT) in their State Operations Center (SOC) in Austin. Several of our SEER members are listed with the PWRT for emergency response which could likely occur during Hurricane season - June through November with the later carrying a higher degree of occurrence.
SEER has correlated education requirements with a pay scale with the state. Ref. information later.
We have developed guidelines to assist SEER in times of response. The state has shown positive response from what we have started:
i. SOG – 001 – Readiness
ii. SOG – 002 – Status
iii. SOG – 003 – Activation
iv. SOG – 004 – Deployment
v. SOG – 005 – Data Reporting
vi. SOG – 006 – Mobilization
vii. SOG – 007 – General Operations
SEER is looking to possibly establish a MOU with BOAT so as to combine access to mutual resources and act on responses with more uniformity between the groups.
SEER is in the process of outlining a pay structure for the SEER members responding for the state, and have this align with a level of understanding for response conditions.
National Incident Management System (NIMS)/Incident Command System (ICS)
IS-100.b - Introduction to Incident Command System (http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is100b.asp)
IS-200.b - ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents (http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is200b.asp)
IS-700.a NIMS An Introduction (http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is700a.asp)
IS-800.B National Response Framework, An Introduction (http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is800b.asp)
Anyone who will be considered a ‘manager’ needs to also take the following:
ICS-300 - Intermediate Incident Command System for Expanding Incidents. This is only available in person. There is no cost for this course and it is offered by ‘Preparingtexas.org’ (TX DPS). Here is a link to the course description (https://www.preparingtexas.org/ViewCourse.aspx?courseid=d7258469-33d6-4971-a418-27f8dfd699ed) and here is a link to the course calendar (make sure and scroll down the page a bit https://www.preparingtexas.org/ViewCourse.aspx?courseid=402f88cb-2f13-4627-82ab-8fe44fb10502). There is a class in December at DFW Airport DPS Station 1 Dec 3-5 with 16 spots available. There will also be a number of other offerings.