Following the tragedy of the Minnesota bridge collapse last summer, the emergency management community has begun to face the daunting challenge of addressing weaknesses in the country’s infrastructure. This process of strengthening our resiliency will be an ongoing effort that requires participation from a diverse range of private and public stakeholders. The following news brief is an encouraging sign of the collaboration between sectors that will be essential to identifying and correcting these vulnerabilities.

“In an effort to address the need for increased emphasis on coordination of all aspects of emergency management worldwide, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) have signed a memorandum of cooperation. The new agreement establishes a relationship designed to promote awareness of the state of the United States’ critical infrastructure, and to encourage the involvement of the engineering community in supporting emergency managers.

“Because both organizations recognize the importance of improving the integrity of our nation’s aging and overburdened infrastructure as a part of protecting public safety, ASCE is looking forward to working with IAEM on this important issue,” said ASCE President David G. Mongan, P.E., F.ASCE. “It is imperative to design, develop and construct critical infrastructure that is resilient from all hazards and achieving that goal will be an integral part of this partnership.”

“IAEM is looking forward to this new partnership with ASCE,” said IAEM Executive Director Elizabeth B. Armstrong, MAM, CAE. “Our similar goals make this partnership a natural fit in our efforts to continually improve public safety.”

While IAEM activities are dedicated to promoting the goal of saving lives and protecting property during emergencies and disasters, both organizations acknowledge the need for the engineering community to support the preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation phases of emergency management. In cooperation with IAEM, ASCE aims to enhance disaster management efforts at the local, state, federal and international levels, as well as to ensure the continued participation of all agencies and departments involved in emergency management. In addition, both organizations recognize the need for additional funding and increased emphasis on coordination of all aspects of emergency management worldwide.”