In light of the September 11 attack, I like most Americans have wondered what meaningful public service I could provide. As an experienced home inspector, it occurred to me the Red Cross might find home inspector skills useful. I contacted Glen Studinger, the local Emergency Service Director for the Red Cross, and was delighted to find our chapter could be of use.
Mr. Studinger explained we could be trained to do Preliminary Damage Assessment. It would take about a day to complete an introduction to Disaster Services and a Prelimi-nary Disaster Assessment training course. Most assignments would be one to four days, a time frame inspectors could work into their schedules. Also, this course may be a stepping stone to other courses.
At the last meeting of our Triangle Chapter, 12 members signed up for training. Also, the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspectors Associa-tion (NCLHIA), began to recruit local volunteers. We are moving statewide to other ASHI and NCLHIA organizations and hopefully will add volunteers.
This effort will accomplish a number of things. First, we will mobilize home inspectors so they will be available to respond in the event of an emergency. Second, we provide our membership with an avenue to direct their skills into a potentially important area of public service. Third, we can use this as a public relations tool to enhance our image.
We hope to inspire ASHI to join in and to lead this effort, using its influence to mobilze our Member-ship. Our participation may well be a model for other professions to use their creativity to see how they may be able to serve.
The North Carolina Home Inspection Licensing Board appears to be receptive to accepting Red Cross training for Continuing Education Credits. If ASHI also approves this training, it will provide a springboard for our Membership to volunteer and send a message to the public that this is important to ASHI.
The truth is we may never be needed for more than natural
disasters, but the perception that we’re ready, willing, and able to do whatever is needed is the kind of dedication and the type of reassuring response our country needs at this time. Who knows what other doors may open as a result?
Editor’s Note: At the October Board meeting, ASHI Directors approved the renewal of ASHI’s Partnership Agreement with the American Red Cross. Shortly after September 11, HQ contacted the National Red Cross to offer ASHI’s assistance and provided names and contact numbers for ASHI Chapters in the New York City area. Through the Public Relations Committee, ASHI will be pursuing partnership opportunities.