Suzie Cooper joins volunteer search and rescue team in Beirut – Latest

Suzie Cooper, Structural Engineer at Elliott Wood, has been deployed as part of the Search and Rescue Assistance in Disaster (SARAID) team responding to the devastating explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020. The UN are currently reporting over 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes and three hospitals and 12 primary health care centres have been severely damaged or rendered inoperable in the Lebanese capital.

SARAID is a UK charity that provides highly trained search and rescue volunteers, free of charge, in response to large scale disasters around the world. The team’s primary tasking in Beirut is to coordinate and lead structural damage assessments with the aim of enabling residents to return to their homes. They will be working with local engineering teams and international urban search and rescue teams to assess the impact of the damage and help local engineers make the decision as to whether buildings are safe for occupation or not. This is a key role in ensuring the safety of the local residents and also provide a level of reassurance to those that have had their property affected by the blast.

We could not be prouder of Suzie, whose efforts are helping to get people back into their homes, back to their livelihoods and back to some sense of normality. She even managed to fit in a quick interview with the BBC to help raise awareness of the situation on the ground.

It’s the second SARAID mission Suzie has undertaken, following on from relief efforts for the earthquake in Albania 2019. Read the interview about her experience in Albania here.

SARAID is staffed entirely by volunteers and is funded solely by public donations. If you would like to contribute to their relief efforts in Beirut, please visit the donations page here:

Listen the Time to do More interview with Suzie about her experience in Beirut below.

Suzie Cooper joins volunteer search and rescue team in Beirut
Suzie Cooper joins volunteer search and rescue team in Beirut