On April 25, 2017, the COWncil adopted a Resolution approving Building Department Mutual Aid. This winter reminded us of the damage torrential rains with massive flooding and landslides can do. While our Town and its neighbors have a mutual aid agreement for Public Works, if and when there is another major emergency event (earthquake, fire, flood), we also need to have a mutual aid agreement for building inspectors.
When an emergency strikes, and buildings are damaged, safety requires that building inspectors and structural engineers inspect to determine if it is safe to occupy the structure and whether utilities need to be off. Permits and additional inspections are needed for repair of the damage. When there are many damaged houses, inspectors/engineers are needed to help us get our homes safe to live in as quickly as possible.
The Agreement requires that the “Requesting Party” reimburse the “Assisting Party” for all of its costs in providing assistance. This Agreement will facilitate reimbursement from state or FEMA.
Mutual aid with our neighbors will enable us to help each other with damage assessment and getting the repairs approved in emergency situations. Hopefully all of the jurisdictions in San Mateo COWnty will join in. It is a good first step. An additional step would be to develop and maintaining a list of volunteer engineers and private building inspectors in case the need arises.