Hurricane Katrina, August 28, 2005. Photo: NOAA.

Hurricane Katrina, August 28, 2005. Photo: NOAA.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated major portions of the Gulf Coast. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) called on the Heritage Emergency National Task Force for assistance in responding to the disaster. As a member of the task force, the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) volunteered to lead a collaborative effort to develop assessment tools for evaluating the rich historical resources affected by the storm. These assessment tools are available for download individually or as a single zip file (12.8MB).

With Hurricane Rita adding to the region’s woes on September 24, NCPTT continues to work to provide technical assistance and guidance to those interested in preserving cultural resources damaged by the storms. At the invitation of FEMA, two NCPTT staff members were embedded in the Joint Field Office (JFO) preservation task force. NCPTT Architecture and Engineering Chief, Andrew Ferrell joined in October 2005 and was followed by NCPTT Materials Conservation Program Chief, Dr. Mary Striegel in November 2005. Both have worked with FEMA and the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office on preservation technology issues key to the success of recovery efforts. Alice-Anne Krishnan, a Tulane University School of Architecture student and former NCPTT intern, rejoined NCPTT after Hurricane Katrina to work on this resource and related projects, thereafter assisting with recovery efforts in New Orleans.

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