American Institute of Architects – New York State
In part –
[ . . . ]
“While architects may already have professional liability insurance, that insurance does not cover any actions they may take while acting as a “volunteer”. In recent years, AIA New York State has been trying to get the law changed to cover “Good Samaritan” deeds, but the legislature has not acted. Without such protection, the potential of lawsuits, in essence, prevents licensed professionals from serving as volunteers.”
Kelly Hayes McAlonie, President of AIA New York State
– November 2012
(found here – )
(This was sent as an email to them a few minutes ago) – Yes, I had better things to do, but I did it anyway –
to AIA – NY State
I read your statement about the Good Samaritan law.
There are critical ways your membership can help right now that no one else can do. Your professional skills can explain to the public involved in this destruction – through news articles in the Staten Island Advance, other news papers, the New York Times and online media sources, including CNN and other large media affiliates – that information you take so for granted because it is part of your profession.
People do NOT know that walking next to or under a house that is tilted up off its foundation is seriously dangerous or that going into those structures whether already marked as structurally unsound or not – can cost further lives and cause injuries to volunteers trying to help and to the homeowners, renters or property owners or family members going into them.
People do NOT know that their structures can now be re-built and recreated in any way they want, and that they can hire an architect to help them do it (without being gouged on fees to have that help). They do not know that their kitchens can be made updated and beautiful, their plumbing brought up to 21st century standards, under tile heating systems that have been recently designed can be installed during the rebuild and that they have the right to create new living spaces that are more efficient, energy backup improved, storm resistant and better for their individual lives and needs. Your membership can show them that. Your members can individually and collectively off the kinds of helpful information that none of the rest of us can do.
People will listen to you when YOUR Members say – don’t go in those structures, let’s make new wonderful living spaces for you and here are some of the things our industry professionals can help you to do. The massive libraries of homes, buildings and businesses that your members have created in the past to be flood resistant, wind and storm resistant. energy efficient, alternatively power sourced, passive heating inclusive, and incorporating new standard practices of wiring, plumbing, lead-free and asbestos-free living spaces, along with a myriad of other handy things, like internet ready can be brought to the articles that you submit for every source – so people will start thinking beyond the disaster they see today.
Thank you so much for your efforts and those of all your members who want and who do volunteer in this disaster. I do understand your concerns and there is no need to let that fully hinder your efforts to help. These efforts simply need to be offered in a different way and the public affected by this – not only from this storm, but across the nation where storms have ravaged parts of our nation in recent years beyond anyone’s ability to comprehend – need to be brought your inspiration, your encouragement, the support of your industry and its specialized skills. It is not just New York that will be watching these articles and information your architects and engineers are offering, but those across the country and around the world who have similar storm and disaster-related rebuilding to do.
We do need you and your members to be part of the team tackling this situation and it doesn’t just take boots on the ground to get the job done, but also those with specialized skill sets to back up the information available for the public to understand better what they are facing, what dangers it holds and what to do about it. Mold is setting up in these structures and among your membership, there are likely knowledge bases of new products to tackle these water scourged problems along with new materials to make them less of a problem during future events.
There is so much to do. I look forward to seeing your efforts in the public domain that can help far beyond what I can do or anyone else can bring to this table. Your skill sets and conscientiousness in what you create have always amazed me with stunning and extraordinary results. Thank you to every member and to your collective membership as a whole. Right now, your willingness and desire to be involved to help in this disaster and in its recovery is genuinely extraordinary. I honestly do thank you.
Forever your friend,
(Please extend this to your membership however you feel is appropriate. Thank you.)
Diane C Phillips
Staten Island, NY 10305
by google search – CricketDiane
By the way –
check out this Flood House that was designed through Grigg and Davis Engineering – (first award box on the page)
Absolutely stunning and a brilliant design.
There are other designs around the world that can be brought to help in this situation – I will start finding them and maybe some of the other bloggers around will do that as well. Maybe it would be worth speaking to the Builders Association and their industry magazine editors as well as the structural engineering departments at universities.