August, 2006
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



ASHI Offers Disaster Inspection Training

BRENDAN RYAN

Special Session at InspectionWorld

In light of the severe natural disasters last fall, ASHI recognized the importance of its membership being trained to perform disaster inspections, not only to assist affected homeowners, but also as a means to sustain their own businesses. President Don Norman and then President-Elect Joe Corsetto, with the unanimous approval of the Board, created a Disaster Task Force. The goal of the task force is to provide information for the membership and to facilitate educational sessions at InspectionWorld and through ASHI chapters.

Hurricanes creating large-scale disasters are not the only cause of individual property damage. Throughout the year, there are numerous weather-related disasters of a more centralized nature such as tornadoes, floods and ice/snow/hail storms. There are also fires and earthquakes. There is no state in the union that is untouched. And when these events occur, there is most commonly a significant slowdown in the real estate market that lasts until the local economy rights itself again. Trained ASHI inspectors, who are local to a disaster, will have the opportunity to augment their income during a slowdown by performing inspections for FEMA sub-contractors.

A disaster Web page is being developed. It will have the answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning working with FEMA subcontractors. Links to the sites of all the subcontractors will be provided. Educational sessions offered through ASHI and ASHI chapters will be posted. Initial disaster training classes have been approved for 8 MRCs. Member’s profiles will contain a searchable field to identify trained inspectors.

Educational sessions are provided to ASHI chapters free of charge, with the chapters taking responsibility for arranging the class facility. “Closed Sessions” for as few as 15 members can be scheduled and offered as a chapter benefit. “Open Sessions” for groups of 30 to 40 may be advertised to the
general public for a reasonable fee as a fundraiser for the chapter.

The benefits of being involved in disaster-related inspections are many. The training earns you MRCs, and performing the inspections augments your income and presents publicity opportunities. Individuals and chapters alike should take advantage of this associated specialty to increase skills and knowledge. Above all, this is an opportunity to safeguard your business and to use your experience and talents to assist families whose lives and property have been devastated.