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.
|Workshop: Disaster Prep & Response for Collections, July 23 & 24|
The Delta Region faces natural disasters frequently from hurricanes, flooding, and tornadoes to name a few. It is important to ensure that collections managers are prepared for natural disasters that frequent the area.
|What to Do When Disaster Strikes Historic Cemeteries|
On April 14-16, 2011, at least 153 confirmed tornadoes led to severe destruction across 14 U.S. states in one of the largest single-system tornado outbreaks in the country’s history.
|Wet Recovery Workshops|
NCPTT worked in conjunction with the American Institute for Conservation to produce the workshop series, “After the Storm: Recovery of Wet Collections,” which was held in March.
Publications AIC Disaster Response and Recovery – The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works has information on wet recovery of family heirlooms, salvaging water-damaged textiles, and saving photographs after a flood. An Evaluation of Supercritical Drying and PEG/Freeze Drying of Waterlogged Archaeological Wood (PDF, 9.1MB). Comparing Mass Drying and Sterilization Protocols ...
|Webinar: Submerged Cultural Resources|
A free webinar session at the 29th International Submerged Lands Management Conference will address cultural resources. This session will cover issues surrounding the assessment of injury and damage to submerged cultural resources from oil or chemical spills, groundings, looting or any other man-made impact. The speakers will discuss the various methodologies that are used to conduct ...
|Webinar: Preparing for the Next Disaster|
The broadcast for Preparing for the Next Disaster has concluded. Once transcripts and closed captioning have been completed, we will place the videos online. Thank you for your participation. Should you have any questions, please comment on this post or email Sarah M. Jackson. NCPTT offered a free webinar “Disaster Preparedness for Cultural Resources: Preparing You ...
|Trees: Storm Preparation and Recovery|
Transcript Hi, I’m Debbie Smith, Chief of Historic Landscapes Program at NCPTT. Today I’m going to discuss ways to protect your trees before a storm and how to recover after a disaster. Storm effects that I’ll be covering include: Flooding, lightning strikes, and primarily wind damage. To prepare for a disaster, you need to know your trees and ...
|Texas Wildfires and Bastrop State Park|
Download this episode as an mp3 or Subscribe via iTunes Learning From the Texas Wildfires: Bastrop State Park and Beyond (Podcast 45) Kevin: 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 Service’s National Center ...
|Surviving Disaster: dPlan online software helps collections managers plan for the worst|
A good plan can determine whether a cultural collection survives a disaster or fades into memory. And while nature can be unpredictable, the online disaster-planning portal “dPlan” offers a streamlined, reliable way for institutions to protect their cultural collections. Created through funding by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, dPlan is a free, ...
|Structures in a Disaster|
AIA Disaster Assistance Program ATC-45 Field Manual: Safety Evaluation of Buildings after Wind Storms and Floods Before and After Disasters: Federal Funding for Cultural Institutions CDC Index of Printable Hurricane and Flood Materials CRM Online: Disaster Management Disaster Management Programs for Historic Sites Disaster Planning for Florida’s Historic Resources FEMA: Earthquake Publications and Resources FEMA: Learn About Types of Disasters FEMA: National ...
|Risk: SPE, ORMA, and GAR Calculator|
The Risk app is a calculator that uses the SPE and ORMA risk assessment models to determine risks and mitigate those risks. This app was developed as an alternative to the laminated paper card issued to National Park Service staff who complete Operational Leadership training. The SPE model calculates risk for specific hazards, such as launching ...
|Remarks of Fran P. Mainella following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita|
Before going further, let me add my own heartfelt sympathy for the victims of the storms that have so recently swept through the South. Above all, the personal tragedies of our fellow citizens require our support and our understanding.
|Rapid Documentation of Historic Resources (Podcast 3)|
Transcript and show notes for the Preservation Technology Podcast, Episode 3: Rapid Documentation of Historic Resources with Barrett Kennedy. Download Episode 3 as an mp3 or subscribe via iTunes.
|Protocol for Emergency Washing Drying and Sterilizing Historically Significant Books|
NCPTT received a final report from a PTT Grants project, “Protocol for Emergency Washing, Drying, and Sterilization of Historically Significant Books” by the University of Utah’s Marriott Library.
|Protecting Historic Structures from Oil Contamination|
This document is written as general guidance for property owners, as well as state and federal officials, for the care of historic structures facing the impact of oil contamination from releases of crude oil in marine and terrestrial environments, whether from oil tankers, drilling rigs, wells, offshore platforms, or pipeline breaks and failures.
|Protecting Archeological Objects from Crude Oil|
In the wake of recent oil spills, many in the public sector recognized a need for concise, reliable information to protect cultural heritage from the long-term effects of crude oil. In particular, government officials, archeologists, and preservation professionals wanted to know the risks associated with crude oil contamination on buried and submerged archeological objects and ...
|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 ...
|Preparing Your Collection for a Disaster|
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. ...
|Preparing Historic Buildings and Sites for a Disaster|
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, ...
|Preparations for Hurricane Sandy|
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 ...
|Preparations for Hurricane Irene|
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 ...
|Post-Disaster Building Assessments|
NCPTT has completed field testing of a new mobile device-based form for post-disaster condition assessments of buildings. Working in consultation with the New York State Historic Preservation Office, the field team selected several neighborhoods and sites in New York City that might exhibit damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The app performed flawlessly and plans are ...
|Picking Up the Pieces|
Transcript Hello, my name is Dustin Fuqua, and today I’m going to be telling you a story I like to call “Picking Up the Pieces: Resource Documentation and Post-Disaster Recovery at the Bayou Folk Museum Kate Chopin House.” The context of this project is Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, and in particular, the Cane River Region. Note the historic ...
|Personal Disaster Preparedness|
Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness CDC: Coping With a Disaster or Traumatic Event CDC Fact Sheet: Prevent Injury after a Disaster FEMA: A Guide to the Disaster Declaration Process and Federal Disaster Assistance FEMA: Featured Resource Records Heritage Emergency National Task Force: On-line Courses in Emergency Management for Cultural Heritage Responders Hurricanes: Unleashing Nature’s Fury Smithsonian: Hurricane ...
|Oil & Cultural Resources|
Hi, I’m Carol Chin. I’m a Conservation Scientist at theNational Center for Preservation Technology and Training, and I’ve been doing some work with my colleagues here on the Gulf Oil Spill and conservation of some cultural resources down along the coast. So today I’m going to be talking about Oil and Cultural Resources – Lessons ...
|New Study Expands Research for Removing Crude Oil from Historic Brick|
Since the summer of 2010, NCPTT has been actively researching the removal of crude oil from objects and sites of cultural significance, such as Fort Livingston. This 19th century coastal fort on Grand Terre Island, Louisiana, was badly contaminated by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Our scientists visited the site twice last year to ...
|NCPTT’s Updated Condition Assessment Tools Aid in Disaster Response and Recovery (2012-12)|
NCPTT has released updated Building and Site Condition Assessment forms and a database for use in documenting the devastating effects of natural disasters on historic properties. FEMA’s Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Program are already putting these tools to good use to document effects of the April tornado outbreaks throughout Alabama.
|NCPTT works for long-term protection of cultural resources in the Gulf|
The effects of oil contamination on cultural resources will continue to be a challenge to the Gulf Coast region for years to come. NCPTT is meeting this challenge with technical research support for state and federal land managers, and for the public.
|NCPTT Archeologist Surveys Hurricane Sandy Effects.|
Tad Britt, NCPTT’s Chief of Archeology and Collections, spent 13-23 November in Staten Island and surrounding area surveying hurricane damage per Section 106 of the NHRP, as amended. Britt was part of the READ (research advisor) team who were deployed to investigate the park properties, which had been subjected to the ravenous effects of Hurricane ...
|NCPTT aids FEMA in Hurricane Sandy Recovery|
Executive Director Kirk Cordell deployed for three weeks in March 2013 as a “Cultural Recovery Specialist” to the FEMA Hurricane Sandy Joint Field Office in New York City under a national agreement that supplies National Park Service technical experts to FEMA during declared disasters. Specialists are responsible for helping FEMA identify cultural resource needs, synthesize impact ...
|National Landmark ‘Kate Chopin House’ is lost to fire|
The Kate Chopin House, named for the legendary feminist writer who lived there during the 1880s, burned to the ground in an early morning fire today.
|Methodology Report for a Multimedia Approach to Training Staff in Simple Book Repair (1997-26)|
Simple book repair was defined as those repairs meeting the following criteria: the repair could be completed in a relatively short period of time, required a relatively low level of conservation skill and experience, and could be accomplished with available tools and supplies.
|Maps and Lists (Katrina/Rita)|
This article contains maps and lists from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita recovery efforts in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
|Managing Collections After a Disaster|
If a disaster has affected your collection, time is of the essence. The following pages provide basic information on a variety of materials that may be part of your collection. The Salvage at a Glance series is part of the NPS Museum Management Program’s Conserve O Grams. Conserve O Grams are short leaflets that focus on caring ...
|Interactive Map: Gulf Coast Cultural Resources|
NCPTT has prepared an interactive map showing Gulf Coast cultural resources within the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) zone. This zone is established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This map below plots resources listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes National Park Service sites and National Historic Landmarks.
|Hurricanes Katrina and Rita|
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated major portions of the Gulf Coast.
|Hurricane Technical Assistance Journal|
In response to Hurricane Katrina, two NCPTT staff members were embedded in the Joint Field Office (JFO) preservation task force. Architecture and Engineering Chief, Andrew Ferrell joined in October 2005 and was followed by NCPTT Materials Research Program Chief, Dr. Mary Striegel in November 2005. Both have worked with FEMA and the Louisiana State Historic ...
|Hurricane Sandy Archeological Investigations|
NCPTT Archeologist Tad Britt spent 13-23 November 2012 in the New York and New Jersey areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Britt, temporarily based out of Ft Wadsworth, NY, conducted archeological and cultural resources inventory of the Park units affected by Hurricane Sandy. Areas inspected by Britt included: Jamaica Bay, NY, Morristown, NJ, Fire ...
|Hurricane Recovery Cemetery Consultation|
NCPTT recently provided a daylong consultation with David Patterson and Brett Smith of Sipapu Cemetery Services.
|Health and Safety in Disaster Preparedness|
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 time and lives when a disaster is imminent.
|Gulf Coast Cultural and Natural Resources|
These maps are provided courtesy of the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System Facility (CRGIS) which aggregates data from several sources as noted below. Certain sensitive sites, such as archeological sites, are not displayed. Additional resources: ERMA at GeoPlatform.gov NOAA ORR Maps Deepwater Horizon Response Maps
|Funding Before and After a Disaster|
Resources on funding before and after a disaster.
|Field Report: Fort Livingston, Grand Terre Island|
NCPTT made a second visit to Fort Livingston, Grand Terre Island, in September, 2010. Eight surface washing agents were tested for their effectiveness in removing weathered crude oil from the brick masonry at the fort. A few of the products tested were somewhat effective, removing approximately 50% to 70% of the surface soiling from the ...
|Ferrell Participates in Louisiana Flood Protection and Ecosystem Restoration Professional Development Program|
NCPTT’s Andy Ferrell recently participated in the first Louisiana Flood Protection and Ecosystem Restoration Professional Development Program.
|FAIC Cultural Recovery Center|
On October 29, 2012 Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the New York and New Jersey coastal area. The news covered the destruction, devastation and loss to homes, business, and families. In the weeks after the storm surge had receded we first started hearing about the loss and damage to cultural materials. The first time I ...
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.
With the historic preservation expertise of the NCPTT and the proximity of the Center to the Gulf Coast, the Center was involved in the cultural resource response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
|Disaster Recovery: Saving Our Heritage Public Service Announcement (LPB)|
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 ...
|Disaster Recovery Resources|
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 affect you are key to saving your site, building ...
In response to the recent flooding in the Midwest and fires in California, NCPTT’s Sean Clifford and Mary Striegel continue to update the NCPTT web pages on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
|Disaster Preparedness for Buildings|
Transcript Hello, my name is Sara Marie Jackson, and I work with the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training with the Architecture and Engineering Program. Today I’m going to be talking about preparing buildings for disasters. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. We are four hours from the Gulf Coast where it hit. However, ...
|Disaster Preparedness and Response Workshop in Tunica, MS|
Disaster Preparedness and Response for Collections along the Delta Workshop offered in Tunica, Mississippi. On July 23, 2013 NCPTT conservator’s Jason Church (Materials Conservator) and Sarah Jackson (Architectural Conservator) taught a day long workshop at the Tunica Museum. This workshop was offered as part of a Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative Grant from the National Park Service. The ...
|Disaster Preparedness and Response|
On July 24, 2013 NCPTT conservators Jason Church (Materials Conservator) and Sarah Jackson (Architectural Conservator) taught a day long workshop at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. This workshop was offered as part of a Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative Grant from the National Park Service.
|Disaster Preparedness & Response Workshop, September 25 in Natchitoches, LA|
The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training and the Cane River Creole National Historical Park will be conducting the third in a series of workshops this summer related to disaster preparedness and response for museum collections. The Lower Mississippi River Delta Region is frequently threatened by natural disasters including hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. It is important for the ...
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 ...
|Disaster Management and Mitigation Resources|
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|
Developing this technology will enable planners and others to better assess risks to historic resources, plan effective mitigation strategies, and improve disaster response.
|Damage Assessment Tools|
An updated version of this information is available. Please see: http://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)|
Boston University produced this training video to raise awareness of fire risks to cultural properties and to provide technical information about fire detection and suppression systems including sprinklers, gaseous agents, and water mist.
|Creating a Disaster Plan|
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 ...
|Conserve O Grams|
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 ...
|Comparing Mass Drying and Sterilization Protocols for Water-Damaged Books (2008-04)|
Recovery specialists need to have a clear sense of the pros and cons of existing treatment options before they can respond effectively.
|Colloquium on Wind, Flood, and Heritage Recovery|
NCPTT sponsored the colloquium “Wind, Flood and Heritage Recovery” as part of the APTI pre-conference activities.
|Call for Abstracts for the 12th US/ICOMOS International Symposium|
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.
|6 ways NCPTT has helped Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina & Hurricane Rita|
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