Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on April 21, 2021
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on May 5, 2021
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 16, 2021
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports comprehensive planning, education, and training initiatives that increase the ability and readiness of civil engineers to effectively participate in emergency preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts related to events that impact the nation’s built environment, and associated physical infrastructure (e.g., water, energy, utilities, transportation, communication, and building systems). Emergency planning initiatives should be carefully coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and its Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and should be immediately incorporated into emergency response planning and implementation.
Federal, state, and local governments face numerous risks and threats to their people, property, economy, and environment from natural and man-made disasters. Recent disaster events have highlighted the significance of the nation’s infrastructure vulnerabilities and the critical role civil engineers play as members of the emergency response team. In order to enhance public health, safety, and welfare in the aftermath of man-made and natural disasters government agencies need to engage civil engineers in their emergency preparedness and response.
The civil engineering profession provides leadership and expertise in support of emergency preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery. ASCE participates in the development and implementation of emergency preparedness and response strategies to mitigate the impact of future disasters on public health, safety, and welfare.
The existing Safety Assessment Program (SAP) is an example of an effective program. SAP utilizes volunteers and mutual aid resources to provide professional engineers, architects, and certified building inspectors to assist local governments in safety evaluations of the built environment in the aftermath of a disaster.
ASCE Policy Statement 499
First Approved in 2003