Experts from the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) recently met with the National Demolition Association to discuss ways demolition contractors can strengthen the state government’s response to natural and man-made disasters.
John Weber, past president of the NDA and a member of the association’s Disaster Response Committee, addressed the group to layout in detail how the demolition industry’s skill set, equipment and experience can 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,” said Michael R. Taylor, CAE, executive director of the global trade association of firms involved i n the demolition process.
At the Cal EMA gathering, Weber 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, he explained, 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 many 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,” said Taylor.
The National Demolition Association is intent on helping U.S. communities that may be unprepared for a major disaster. It has created a Disaster Response Manpower and Equipment Survey that local and state governments can send to contractors and use to prepare in advance to save lives, facilitate faster response and avoid the consequences of delayed decision making.