Delegates from Maine have been hard at work following our April forum in Philadelphia. Participant Dwane Hubert of the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) was able to allocate $45,000 of MEMA’s Homeland Security funds to a grant to the Maine State Museum for cultural disaster preparedness. The grant will enable the Museum to hire a part-time coordinator who will create training and disseminate information about disaster preparedness to both cultural institutions and emergency responders. Funding will also cover the development of a website, purchase of supplies, and a few training sessions across the state.
A steering committee, consisting of representatives from the Maine State Museum, Maine State Library, Maine State Archives, Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Maine Emergency Management Agency, two conservators who serve on the AIC-CERT team, and the head librarian from Scarborough, ME, had actually met once, agreeing to lay the foundation for Maine’s cultural heritage emergency network with no funding in hand. Then Dwane and MEMA came through with the grant. The committee is called the “Cultural Emergency Response Coalition” or CERC – Maine.
Kate McBrien, Curator of Historic Collections at the Maine State Museum, said the April forum “was just the catalyst we needed to start a program in Maine.” We are delighted to oblige! For more information, contact Kate at Katherine.McBrien@maine.gov.
Also involved is Maine Archives and Museums: http://www.mainemuseums.org!
Kudos to everyone in Maine who is involved with this statewide initiative! This is a tremendous project and Maine’s cultural heritage is a bit safer in the face of hazards and disasters because of your collective and coordinated efforts.