National Demolition Association wants members to be considered to help following natural disasters.
The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) has met representatives from the National Demolition Association (NDA) to discuss ways that the skills, equipment and experience of certified demolition contractors can be used to help save lives and property at disaster scenes.
“It is the NDA’s stance that demolition contractors should be pre-qualified and involved during the planning stages for emergencies, not after the tragedies occur,” says Michael Taylor, NDA’s executive director.
At the Cal EMA gathering, John Weber, past president of the NDA and a member of the association’s Disaster Response Committee, discussed the in-depth role a demolition contractor would play at a disaster site, including the re-establishment of vital infrastructure, site clearance to allow access, urban search and rescue, salvage and recycling and structural dismantlement.
Demolition contractors, Weber says, would serve as “second responders” following the direction of emergency management personnel.
Weber also expressed the association’s desire to develop a program guide that could be used by first responders and emergency management planners that details the skills a qualified demolition contractor brings to a disaster site. “The National Demolition Association is more than willing to assist the disaster response community on every level in planning for the next natural or man-made disaster,” Taylor added.
The NDA has created a Disaster Response Manpower and Equipment Survey for local and state governments to use to prepare in advance to save lives, facilitate faster response, and avoid the consequences of delayed decision making. The survey is available on the association website at www.demolitionassociation.com in its new Disaster Response section.