Presenter: Lori Foley, Administrator, Heritage Emergency National Task Force, FEMA/Smithsonian Institution.
About the webinar: When a disaster strikes your community, the resulting damage and loss to private nonprofit cultural institutions – museums, libraries, archives, historical societies, and even arboreta and zoos – can affect the economic and social recovery of your community. In cities across the US, local emergency managers are partnering with their cultural institutions to protect cultural and historic resources (CHR), and many state emergency management agencies are collaborating with their state cultural agencies to protect CHR. The resulting cultural heritage emergency networks better position the local community and the state to be ready to respond to and recover from disasters affecting CHR. At the federal level, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF), a partnership of 42 federal agencies and national service organizations co-sponsored by FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, helps coordinate response and recovery activities for CHR when a major disaster strikes. This webinar used case studies to illustrate how emergency managers can start a dialogue with their local cultural institutions or their state cultural agencies; highlighted resources available to help sustain that relationship; explored how damage to the collections held by cultural institutions can be factored into Preliminary Damage Assessments; pointed to FEMA policies regarding private nonprofit eligibility for Public Assistance following a major disaster declaration; and described the role of HENTF in helping cultural and historical institutions prepare for emergencies and obtain the needed resources when disaster strikes.