Developments in post-disaster damage assessments: SARAID case study of Haiti 2021


Following a disaster, it is necessary to quickly understand the damage that has occurred to infrastructure to enable decision-making for emergency response, life-safety, and recovery in the short to long term. Primarily, effective damage assessments require sound procedures for technical inspection, but for inspections to usefully inform the decision-making process, they also require a complete system considering: coordination of assessors, the legal/procedural framework they operate in, and the collection, analysis and storage of data. This talk will present how a damage assessment process has been developed over a number of disasters and how SARAID helped establish and implement this process following the 2021 earthquake in Haiti. We will also discuss how the international community, in the form of the UN International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) is adopting this process; how SARAID is inputting to its formal development; and, the charity’s preparation for the INSARAG External Classification (IEC) later this year.

About the speakers

Suzie Cooper currently works as a structural engineer at Elliott Wood Limited where she has led on a wide range of projects in various sectors including commercial, residential and education. Alongside her career, Suzie volunteers as an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Engineer with SARAID - a British charity specialising in Search & Rescue in international disaster zones. Suzie was recently deployed to Haiti in the wake of the devastating 2021 earthquake and has previously been to Albania and Beirut on similar disaster response operations. Suzie was part of the team that set up the Damage Assessment Coordination Centre’s in these countries – helping the local government to set up and coordinate the engineering response to structural assessments and linking in international engineers.

Mark Scorer is a Chief Engineer who is Atkins Ground Engineering’s Discipline Lead for Seismic Geotechnics and Market Sector lead in Nuclear and Defence. He has over 15 years’ experience working on and managing a range of sensitive projects in the oil & gas, nuclear, defence, water, mining and building development sectors both in the UK and internationally. Mark is an elected committee member of SECED and helped establish their Young Members Group. Outside of work, he is a qualified Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Technician and Engineer with the UK charity SARAID and their International Development Officer. He deployed following the Nepal earthquake in April 2015, led an engineering assessment team to Albania in December 2019 and coordinated UK support to the Beirut Explosion 2020 and Haiti Earthquake 2021. Mark is also an EU Civil Protection Mechanism trainer and deployed as part of the UK engineering assessment team following the earthquake in Ecuador in 2016.

Further information

This event is organised by SECED. The event will be chaired by Valentina Putrino (Ariel Re). Attendance at this meeting is free for members and non-members alike. Please note that the EEFIT and the SECED Annual General Meetings will take place at 6 pm and 6.15 pm, respectively, followed by the lecture at 6.30 pm.

In-person attendance

The event will held in-person at the Institution of Civil Engineers (see map below). Prior registration is not required. Seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served from 5.30 - 6 pm. We encourage everyone to attend in person if they can.

Online attendance

This event will also be broadcast online. Please register for the online broadcast prior to joining. The registration process will provide you with the link you need to join the main event.


* Recording of the evening meeting is available here:

Developments in post-disaster damage assessments: SARAID case study of Haiti 2021 | Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

Event Details

Event Date 27/04/2022 6:00 pm
Event End Date 27/04/2022 7:30 pm