The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) is gearing up to assist preservation professionals and the public as Hurricane Irene 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 others who care for cultural heritage.
The information contained in our Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Section includes guidance for collections, historic structures, historic sites, and historic landscapes. Condition assessment forms and databases have been recently updated and can be found on the site. Useful ideas for response to disasters in historic cemeteries can also be found here.
Here are the some helpful tips:
- Human safety comes first. Never underestimate the power of a hurricane. Follow the instruction of your public officials, police officers, emergency response teams, and safety officers. No cultural resource is as valuable as your life.
- If you have a disaster preparedness plan, review it. Make sure that your team (or family) knows how to contact each other, where to shelter, and the duties assigned to each individual.
- Make sure that you have a copy of a collection inventory placed offsite and far enough away from the storm that it will not be damaged. If the inventory is available electronically, send it to a remote server, or to a friend that is well away from the storm.
- If time allows, board up windows securely to protect the structure from flying debris.
- After a storm, there may be lengthy delays before you can return to your historic building, site or collection. While there may be a sense of urgency to begin recovery, take a deep breath and wait to ensure that it is safe to enter a structure.
- Prioritize your recovery efforts. Think about what can be replaced and what is critical to salvage.
For more information check out other posts on this website or one of our many links to other organizations.