The process of reconstruction and recovery has begun in Chapman, Kan., following the devastation caused by the June 11, 2008, tornado and the Heart of America Chapter has once again been called to the aid of our fellow Kansans.

While the City of Chapman has adopted codes, it had no building department staff prior to the event, with all inspection functions handled by a Public Works staff member. The Heart of America Chapter, International Code Council (ICC) is seeking experienced volunteer building inspectors, plan reviewers, and combination inspectors/plan reviewers to populate the Chapman Building Inspection Department, during the initial phase of the recovery process. Officials of the City of Chapman have requested the Heart of America Chapter, ICC, act as an agent for this request. The City of Chapman has made this request in recognition of the expertise developed during our Chapter's work last year in Greensburg, Kan.

The City of Chapman has requested this assistance to commence June 30, 2008, and extend through Aug. 31, 2008, because their need is immediate. While the City of Chapman has guaranteed reimbursement for hotel, mileage, and meals, it is our expectation that the State of Kansas will soon take responsibility for reimbursement.

Jerry Mallory, Building Official of Johnson County, Kan., will assist in placing a computerized building inspection/permit management program, and a contractor registration program. Contractors, building owners, and homeowners are flooding the Chapman area, eager to begin the process of reconstruction. The department structure is being developed, everyone is ready; all we need are experienced building inspection staff members willing to volunteer their time, and expertise.

During the initial recovery phase, the work week will begin Mondays at 8:00 am and continue through noon the following Friday. Although volunteers are asked to commit to work periods of a five-day week, commitments of shorter duration will be appreciated.

The Heart of America Chapter, ICC, is the official association representing building inspection professionals across the State of Kansas. Under our leadership we are coordinating you as volunteer professionals to provide the highest quality building inspection services to lay the foundation for a self-sustaining building inspection department for the City and citizens of Chapman.

If jurisdictions are able to supply volunteer staff, or if you have any questions, please contact Tina Rakes, Baldwin City, Kansas, by calling 785-594-6907, or via e-mail, at, Jerry Mallory, Johnson County, Kan., by calling 913-715-2211, or Sean Reid, Johnson County, Kan., 913-915-2276, e-mail