Disasters can strike at anytime, sometimes with little or no warning. Experience has shown us that while natural disasters can leave a path of destruction there are also man-made disasters that can bring an area to its knees. Being informed and preparing for those that could effect you are key to saving your site, building and collections. The first thing to remember is human safety is always the highest priority. Never value a collection or building above that of a person. If there is ever a question of safety stop, turn around, and leave the area until it is secure. For additional information please refer to our Health & Safety section.
Creating a disaster plan before a disaster strikes can be of great assistance in mitigating damage and loss. There are online tools such as dPlan that provide templates to help institutions develop a customized plan. Disaster plans assist in identifying risks and create procedures to follow if an event occurs. The best disaster plans in the world will not be of assistance if no one knows about it or it is not maintained and updated! Planning for your collections should be done at the same time as preparing a plan for your building or site. Prevention and protection needs would be determined during the planning process and could save time and resources when a disaster strikes. For additional information please refer to Collections section.
Preparing historic buildings and sites for a disaster should firstly focus on the disaster most likely to hit the area. If it is located along the coast or a body of water, flooding could be the most likely disaster to strike. In the western United States earthquakes are common and can occur with little warning. However, most disasters can occur over in multiple regions. Just because earthquakes are common on the west coast doesn’t mean that one will not happen in Little Rock, Ark. If any substantionel changes are planned to prepare an historic building for a disaster please refer to the Secretary of Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Structures and check with all local and state authorities before making any changes. For additional information please refer to our Building & Site section. If you are preparing for a disaster or have been already been affected there are several places you can look at for funding opprotunity. Before and After Disasters: Federal Funding for Cultural Institutions and the Disaster Assistance website can be of assistance, as can as a variety of local, state and federal offices.
Originally published on Jun 30, 2011.
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With the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey only beginning, NCPTT wants to share pertinent resources. In 2004, the Center awarded a Preservation Technology and Training grant to the University of Utah’s Marriott Library to develop a Protocol for Emergency Washing, Drying, and Sterilization of Historically Significant Books.” The research team tested recovery protocols for flood-damaged books from ...
|Preservation Studies Summer Field School at Tulane|
This summer, NCPTT, the Tulane School of Architecture, the Preservation Trades Network, and Save Our Cemeteries hosted training on treatments for above ground cemeteries damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Topics included masonry applications, preservation technology, limewash, appropriate treatments for tombs, and a history of the cemeteries of New Orleans. This video was produced by Tulane University.
|Preparing Your Historic Landscape for Storms|
Days before touch down, managers and stewards of historic landscapes should be well prepared for the aftermath of a major catastrophe. Preparedness at Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens begins at the start of Hurricane Season, not days before a storm. Major efforts include the thinning of historically significant trees, as well as trees close to important ...
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Preparing your collection for a disaster could greatly increase what survives. Northeast Document Conservation Center recommends to first prepare an emergency preparedness plan. This will allow your staff to respond quickly before, during and after a disaster with explict instructions that will provide the best practices for preparing and salvaging your collections. ...
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If any substantial changes are planned to prepare a historic building for a disaster please refer to the Secretary of Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Structures and check with all local and state authorities before making any changes. This article provides information on disaster preparedness in the face of floods, high winds, hurricanes, wildfires, ...
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The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) is gearing up to assist preservation professionals and the public as Hurricane Sandy makes its way towards the eastern seaboard of the United States. Since 2005, NCPTT has aggregated emergency preparedness and response information for collectors, museum professionals, cultural resource managers, building and maintenance crews, and ...
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Latest Earthquakes in the USA Earthquake Hazard Program, “Latest Earthquakes in the USA”, USGS. What You Can Do Bolt sill plate to foundation Reinforce crawl space or “cripple” walls under floor joists Connect rim joists to top plates with metal brackets1 1“What You Can Do”, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, 25 Jan 2007.
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Saving Our Heritage Public Service Announcement (LPB) Get the Flash Player to see this player. QuickTime (Web Streaming) 19.5 MB (Right-click, choose Save As) Download QuickTime (Full Definition) 2.0 GB (Right-click, choose Save As) Download NCPTT Damage Assessment Tools Detailed Building and Site Condition Assessment. The Detailed Building and Site Assessment is a three-page form that may be used to make a more intensive survey ...
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Disaster Preparedness for Cultural Resources
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Download this episode as an mp3 or Subscribe via iTunes Kevin Ammons: Welcome to the Preservation Technology Podcast, the show that brings you the people and projects that are advancing the future of America’s heritage. I’m Kevin Ammons with the National Park Services national center for preservation technology and training. Today we join NCPTT’s Jason Church ...
My name is Mary Striegel, and I am Chief of Materials Conservation at NCPTT. Today I’m going to bring you some information about disaster planning and how to go about creating a disaster plan for your collections. So we’ll start with our first slide. I just want to tell you that Benjamin Franklin said, “By ...
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These resources have been assembled to help people mitigate risks to cultural resources when faced with a disaster. Whether you need to prepare for a disaster, mitigate damage after a disaster, or seek the assistance fo a conservator, these resources can help your institution with preparation and recovery efforts.
|Development of a Prototypical Historic Fire Risk Index to Evaluate Fire Safety in Historic Buildings (1998-08)|
The difficulty of imposing building and fire codes on historic buildings has been a subject of wide spread concern in recent decades.
|Developing Geospatial Cooperative Agreement with LSU Architecture|
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|Designing an Experiment with Crude Oil|
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An updated version of this information is available. Please see: https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/ncptts-updated-assessment-tools-aid-in-disaster-response-and-recovery/ NCPTT Detailed Building and Site Condition Assessment. The Detailed Building and Site Assessment is a three-page form that may be used to make a more intensive survey of damaged properties after natural or manmade disasters. The form requires some knowledge of architectural history and survey techniques in order to produce ...
|Culture Shock: Fire Protection for Historic and Cultural Property (1995-01)|
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|Creating a Disaster Plan|
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Conserve O Gram 21-01: Health And Safety Hazards Arising From Floods Conserve O Gram 21-02: An Emergency Cart For Salvaging Water-Damaged Objects Conserve O Gram 21-03: Salvage Of Water-Damaged Collections: Salvage At A Glance Conserve O Gram 21-04: Salvage At A Glance, Part I: Paper Based Collections Conserve O Gram 21-05: Salvage ...
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Recovery specialists need to have a clear sense of the pros and cons of existing treatment options before they can respond effectively.
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US/ICOMOS seeks abstracts that discuss innovative, successful programs and partnerships involving collaboration in international preservation within three broad areas.
|Archaeological Sites After Disasters|
Good morning. My name is Tad Britt. I’m Chief of Archaeology and Collections for the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, and today I’d like to talk about archaeological sites after disasters, documentation, and planning. Before we get started, I’d like to tell about NCPTT’s mission. NCPTT advances the application of science and technology to ...
|Andrew Ferrell completes detail with FEMA|
NCPTT’s Andrew Ferrell recently completed a detail in Texas to assist FEMA with recovery efforts related to Hurricane Ike.
|An Evaluation of Supercritical Drying and PEG/Freeze-Drying of Waterlogged Archaeological Wood|
A new preservation technique involving the use of supercritical fluids to dry waterlogged archaeological wood will be investigated and compared to current preservation treatments.
|An Evaluation of Supercritical Drying and PEG/Freeze Drying of Waterlogged Archaeological Wood (2007-04)|
This study evaluates the physical effects of drying waterlogged archaeological wood using supercritical carbon dioxide as compared to air drying and the polyethlene gylcol (PEG)/freeze drying method.
|AIC Board Meeting|
Mary Striegel represented NCPTT at the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) board meeting, held Nov. 2-4, 2006.
Department of Labor: Midwest Flood Recovery Assistance – Information about National Emergency Grants (NEGs), employment, cleanup, and recovery. FEMA Midwest Flood Response – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has compiled information on flood recovery. Flooding and Historic Buildings Technical Advice Note 2004 Heritage Emergency National Task Force – A partnership of 41 national service organizations and ...
|A Simple Book Repair Manual (1995-02)|
The web version of the Simple Book Repair Manual was created by members of Preservation Services, Dartmouth College Library.
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Within days of Katrina, NCPTT was helping FEMA with its damage survey. At FEMA’s request, the Center took the lead to produce a Rapid Building and Site Condition Assessment tool and database that FEMA could use to evaluate flood-damaged historic buildings in New Orleans and surrounding parishes. Rapid Cemetery Condition Assessment and Detailed Building and ...
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The health and safety of people before, during and after a disaster should always be the top priority. Possessions can be replaced. People cannot. Ready America and FEMA provide information on preparing yourself, family, home, and business for disasters. Being prepared can save precious time and lives when a disaster is imminent.
Ready America recommends:
If you are responsible for children do not forget to explain to them what is happening and what they may experience. There are activities and games available from Ready Kids Publications to help explain disasters to children.
Emergency Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Landslides & Mudslides
- Emergency Preparedness and Response: Tornadoes, CDC