Pennsylvania Moves Forward

The Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA), which was represented at the Philadelphia forum, has been awarded $189,000 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to lead the Pennsylvania Cultural Resilience Network (PACRN), a two-year project to develop, coordinate, and consolidate statewide efforts to address disaster preparedness and response needs at museums and historic sites through new programs and resources. Components of the PACRN initiative include: emergency planning, response, and recovery training for museums and historic sites; the establishment of a trained response team to provide triage assistance when emergencies occur; expanded online emergency resources; and the development of an Annex concerning protocols at collecting institutions to be added to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s statewide response and recovery plans. Click here for more information.

Another cool Pennsylvania initiative is Pennsylvania’s Top Ten Endangered Artifacts. This campaign highlights the cultural significance of our nation’s valuable and vulnerable heritage held in trust in Pennsylvania’s museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites. Check out the Top Ten here and vote for your favorite artifact (and even consider a financial contribution). Anyone can vote, whether or not you’re a Pennsylvanian.

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More Support for Your State Partnership

Heritage Preservation has been awarded an off-cycle grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to provide additional training and guidance to the 23 state heritage emergency partnerships that were launched at three forums this past spring. As part of the new grant, Heritage Preservation will host four two-hour webinars in 2014 on the following topics:

How an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Operates
Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning
Mitigation and the Mitigation Planning Process
Navigating Public Assistance Following a Disaster

We would love to draw from forum emergency managers to help us present these webinars; you are the experts, not us. If your area of expertise is in one of the above topics and you’re interested in sharing your knowledge, please let Lori Foley know. We’ll even pay you an honorarium.

And we’ll keep all of you posted as planning proceeds.

Full Steam Ahead in Maine

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.

Welcome To Our New Site

We have a new name and a new site! Previously US Culture Network, we are now officially The Heritage Emergency Partnership. Below is a brief description of our project. To learn more, visit our About page.

Heritage Preservation Received IMLS Grant to Support the Development of Statewide Cultural Heritage Emergency Networks

Heritage Preservation received a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in August 2012. The IMLS grant supports the development of statewide cultural heritage emergency networks by strengthening the relationships among state libraries, state archives, state museum associations, state historic preservation agencies, and state and federal emergency management agencies to more effectively prepare for and respond to disasters.

The project began with an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of six existing statewide preparedness and response initiatives – the Alliance for Response, the Coordinated Statewide Emergency Preparedness (COSTEP) initiative, the Cultural Resources Emergency Support Team (CREST) project, the Delaware Disaster Assistance Team (DDAT), the Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER) project, and the Regional Emergency Response Networks (RERN) program. The findings of this assessment will form the basis of three national forums attended by state delegates from each of the five communities of interest. The conclusions and recommendations that emerge from the forums will inform an action plan that will empower states, territories, and tribal nations to establish emergency networks.

The overall goal of this project embodies Heritage Preservation’s mission- to preserve and protect our nation’s cultural heritage for future generations through innovative leadership, education, and programs.