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The award-winning Field Guide to Emergency Response and Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel are resources that can help you deal with damage to your collection.

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Heritage Emergency National Task Force
Information on Major Disasters

To report damage to a cultural institution, site, or collection, please click here.

For advice on saving damaged family treasures in the wake of the recent Oklahoma tornadoes, see our press release here.

Find contact information for state cultural agencies and federal and state emergency management agencies.

To request free disaster advice by phone, a number of resources are available:

  • Call the American Institute for Conservation's (AIC's) 24-hour assistance hotline at 202.661.8068.
  • Call the Regional Alliance for Preservation (RAP) member nearest you. Click here to locate that preservation organization.

To request on-site disaster assistance, such as damage assessment or coordination of salvage operations, at a cultural institution or site:

  • Call AIC's 24-hour assistance hotline at 202.661.8068.

After a federal disaster has been declared, FEMA and your state emergency management office (EMO) will schedule Applicant Briefings in areas affected by the disaster. Notices will appear in local newspapers, on local radio stations, and via the Web site of your state EMO. The meeting is held as soon as practicable following the President's declaration.

At the Applicant Briefing, the state EMO will inform prospective applicants of available assistance and eligibility requirements for obtaining federal assistance under the declared event. Applicant, work, and cost eligibility will be reviewed and the project formulation process will be introduced. The State will also discuss funding options, record keeping and documentation requirements, and special issues. At the meeting, cultural institutions will need to complete and submit a Request for Public Assistance application form. Cultural institutions that intend to apply for disaster assistance should make every effort to attend this important meeting.

Heritage Preservation Resources:

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) Disaster Response and Recovery

American Library Association Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Online Resources: Respond to an Emergency

Library of Congress Preserving Treasures After A Disaster

LYRASIS Disaster Response and Recovery

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) Disaster Recovery

NCPTT What to do when disaster strikes historic cemeteries

National Park Service Wet Recovery

National Trust for Historic Preservation Disaster Response

National Weather Service National Hurricane Center

Archive of Disaster Information
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 2011
Haiti Earthquake 2010
Upper Midwest Flooding 2009
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms 2008
Midwest Flooding 2008
California Wildfires 2007
Hurricanes 2005


Share Information About Damaged Cultural Resources

If you have information to share about cultural institutions or collections damaged in the recent storms in the Southwest, please click here.

Contact Information for:

During major national disasters, lists of contact information for state cultural agencies and associations and state emergency management agencies are provided here.

The Task Force encourages coordination with state agencies when planning response efforts.

Video Image Coping with Water Damage, a 10-minute video from the Field Guide to Emergency Response
Soot Video Snapshot Dealing with Soot, a six-minute video from the Field Guide to Emergency Response
Save Family Treasures from Soot
Save Your Treasures the Right Way
Guide to Navigating FEMA and SBA Disaster Aid for Cultural Institutions
NEW! The Small Business Administration (SBA) now has economic injury loans available to nonprofits. In addition, limits for both physical and economic injury loans have been raised to $2 million. Visit the SBA�s Web site to access their new electronic loan application.
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works has a trained team of responders ready to help assess damage. Call the 24-hour hotline for assistance: 202-661-8068.
Field Guide to Emergency Response and the Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel
Download the assessment, supply and other forms from the Field Guide to Emergency Response
More resources for cultural institutions...
More resources for saving your family treasures...

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Disaster Archive

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 2011

Heritage Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) share their sorrow for the tragic loss of life and their concern over the evolving nuclear situation as a result of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan on March 11, 2011.

Japan values and recognizes the importance of cultural heritage. Thus far, no requests for outside assistance have been made. Heritage Preservation and AIC will continue to monitor the situation on behalf of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force. We are also staying in close contact with the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield to coordinate with international organizations. When and if assistance is requested, our organizations are willing to collaborate with the international community to the extent possible.

Heritage Preservation and AIC have compiled a list of resources that members and all interested individuals can consult to monitor the progress of salvaging and protecting the cultural heritage of Japan.

Haiti Earthquake 2010

The catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, killed more than 250,000 people, left over 1.5 million homeless, and destroyed much of the nation's infrastructure. It also devastated Haiti's rich cultural heritage. The new Haiti Cultural Recovery Project is working to rescue, recover, safeguard and help restore Haitian artwork, artifacts, documents, media, and architectural features damaged and endangered by the earthquake and its aftermath. Learn more about the work of conservators at the project’s Web site.


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Upper Midwest Flooding 2009

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Hurricanes and Tropical Storms 2008

The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the most active seasons in the 64 years since comprehensive storm record-keeping began, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). See NOAA’s season summary. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force provided resources for cultural institutions recovering from damage.

Task Force conference call notes:
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008

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Midwest Flooding Summer 2008

Task Force conference call notes:
Wednesday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

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California Wildfires Fall 2007

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Hurricanes 2005

  • View the lists of damage and response reports
  • Read Task Force conference call highlights

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