Missouri SAVE Coalition.  Ensuring Building safety in a disaster

The Missouri Structural Assessment and Visual Evaluation (SAVE) Coalition is a group of volunteer engineers, architects, building inspectors and other trained professionals that assists the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency with building damage inspections. After a disaster, SAVE volunteers are trained to move quickly to determine which buildings are safe to use and which should be evacuated.

Missouri SAVE Coalition meeting
Missouri SAVE Coalition meeting

SAVE Coalition volunteers are called to assist when a disaster such as a tornado or earthquake causes so much structural damage that local officials need help determining the safety of buildings. SAVE inspectors are trained in rapid, visual evaluations to get people back in their homes as soon as possible. An inspection of the outside of the building results in posting of a green card meaning that the building is safe to enter, a yellow card meaning the building is safe to enter briefly but not to occupy, or a red card meaning the building is severely damaged and cannot be entered.

SAVE volunteers are well-qualified to conduct emergency inspections, with at least five years of professional experience in engineering, architecture, building inspection or construction industry skills. Members must also take special training in rapid visual evaluation to receive SAVE certification, with re-certification every three years.

More than 1,000 professionals are trained as SAVE volunteers in Missouri, and are ready to respond to communities in need across the state. When local governments contact SEMA for assistance after a disaster, SAVE volunteer coordinators send available inspectors to the affected area to help them conduct building assessments.

Missouri’s SAVE Coalition was formed by state law in 1991 to establish a building inspection program for all disaster events, both natural and manmade. There are no fees for SAVE inspections.

For more information on Missouri’s SAVE Coalition, contact Jeff Briggs at 573-526-9232.