Official New Hampshire website
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Department of Cultural Resources
 
Disaster planning and response for New Hampshire’s cultural institutions
 

The Department of Cultural Resources recommends that your primary concern during a disaster should be your own personal safety, as well as the safety of your family and staff.

Keep numbers for your local police department and fire department where you can easily access them, and create emergency plans for your family as well as for your organization.

New Hampshire’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management operations has developed information to get you started on a personal emergency preparedness plan: www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/hsem/Planning/.

Always keep this emergency contact information where you can easily access it in case of an emergency.

If you are immediate danger, dial 9-1-1.

Planning ahead: What cultural organizations should do before a disaster strikes
Finding help: Who cultural organizations can contact for assistance after a disaster

Planning ahead: What cultural organizations should do before a disaster strikes

The best way to minimize loss caused by a disaster—flooding, fire, etc.—is to plan ahead. Whenever possible, work with architects, engineers, insurance experts and emergency responders to make sure you’re doing all you can to avoid the kinds of damage disasters can cause.

Disasters can happen even under the best of circumstances. By keeping track of your collections and having plans for what to do should a disaster strike, you increase the possibility of minimizing potential losses.

To get started, consider visiting www.dplan.org and creating a disaster response plan for your organization. dPlan is a free online tool that can help you create a plan for both disaster prevention and response. It was designed specifically for small- and medium-sized institutions that do not have in-house preservation staff, or that need to develop separate but related plans for multiple buildings, locations or branches.

It will take you some time to work your way through the dPlan template, but you can stop at any time and save your information, then return later to complete your plan.

You can view a demo of dPlan by visiting dplan.org/demo.asp. The login is demo@dplan.org and the password is demo.

Once you have created a dPlan for your organization, make a copy of it and keep it in several places that you can access should the need arise. You will also be able to access your dPlan online, but it’s a good idea to have a printed copy available in case power is out and / or internet access is not available.

Other resources to help cultural organizations with disaster planning…

  • ReadyNH (a New Hampshire Department of Safety website): www.readynh.gov/. The State of New Hampshire’s emergency preparedness website. Helps individuals, families, businesses and other organizations prepare for emergencies.
  • Council of State Archivists (CoSA)’s Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER): www.statearchivists.org/iper/index.htm. Web- and CD-based training for state and local governments about how to protect records before, during and after disasters and other emergencies.
  • Heritage Preservation’s National Heritage Emergency Task Force (NHETF): www.heritagepreservation.org/PROGRAMS/TASKFER.HTM. Tools and information on how to plan for emergencies to both collections and historic properties, including how to train staff and volunteers.
  • www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Provides information on how to get help from the U.S. Government before, during and after a disaster.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): www.fema.gov/plan/. Explains how to prepare for and prevent a variety of hazards.
  • The Office of the Interior’s National Center for Preservation Technology & Training (NCPTT): www.ncptt.nps.gov/category/disaster-recovery/. Listing of articles and services from the NCPTT, which uses technology to serve the future of America's heritage through applied research and professional training.
  • Free downloads from Heritage Preservation: www.heritagepreservation.org/free/. Includes Emergency Resources and Collections Care Resources that address emergency resources checklists, working with emergency responders, funding issues, assessment and more.

Finding help: Who cultural organizations can contact for assistance after a disaster

Disasters can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know where to turn for help once a disaster has happened.

If you are immediate danger, dial 9-1-1.

Once you and those important to you are safe, there are many resources that can help you and your cultural institution as you work to overcome damage caused by a disaster. The following websites offer information on disaster recovery:

  • Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) Disaster Assistance hotline: (978) 470-1010. Offers an emergency assistance program for institutions and individuals with damaged paper-based collections.  Available 24/7.
  • American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC): www.conservation-us.org/ (click on “Resource Center”). The AIC is the national membership organization of conservation professionals.
  • Heritage Preservation’s National Heritage Emergency Task Force (NHETF): www.heritagepreservation.org/PROGRAMS/TFRespRecover.html. Contains resources for dealing with disasters and managing recovery efforts, including getting professional help, assessing damage, finding funding, and salvaging collections and family treasures.
  • www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Provides information on how to get help from the U.S. Government before, during and after a disaster.
 

 

 
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