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Monday, May 16 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
(General Session: Lead by Example - Models to Follow) Our Place in Line: Response Protocol for Conservators Following Major Disasters

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In March 1855, students rushed into the burning Nassau Hall at Princeton University to save the painting “Washington at the Battle of Princeton” by Charles Wilson Peale. As I treated this painting while interning with Bernie Rabin at the Princeton University Art Museum in 1975, I imagined myself being part of the heroic effort to save this important piece of American history. Many conservators, upon hearing of a major disaster, also imagine themselves being part the cavalry charge to save the day. While conservators are able to respond quickly to local building fires and floods, once cleared for safe access, providing aid to sites within a major disaster zone requires restraint. True First Responders are law enforcement, firemen, and emergency medical staff. Facts and Guidelines for conservators to remember following a major disaster: 1. Do not attempt to access a major disaster area until invited. 2. Do not become a burden to those you are trying to help. Food, water, and fuel supplies may be limited. 3. When invited, try to go with adequate food and water for yourself. 4. Once Incident Command System rules are enacted, they must be followed. Become ICS 100 certified and know the chain of command. http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/icsresource/trainingmaterials.htm 5. Understand, the person with the keys to the door of the site you want to help may have evacuated to another state. 6. Understand that there may not be open hotel rooms anywhere near the disaster area as they are filled with displaced persons. If airports are open, rental cars may not be available. Gasoline may be rationed to First Responders. Access roads may have been rendered impassible. 7. Once contact is made with staff at a disaster site, be ever mindful of their psychological state and be prepared to provide emotional support. 8. Maintain awareness of the psychological state of your co-responders. Fatigue, both physical and emotional, can strike quickly. First Aid skills can also become important. 9. Be prepared to perform basic triage condition evaluations first, followed by establishing recovery priorities with site staff. Then perform basic stabilization and relocation efforts. Experienced members of AIC-CERT often possess the MacGyver skill to solve any problem with duct tape and twine. Solving problems in the field after a disaster is not the same as being in the conservation studio. 10. Be cautious when talking to the media. Avoid commenting of value of collections or any perimeter weakness which could become a security risk for the site you are helping.

avatar for David Goist-[Fellow]

David Goist-[Fellow]

Conservator of Paintings and Painted Surfaces, Goist Art Conservation
M. A., Art History, University of Iowa& 1970-72; M. A., Conservation, Cooperstown Graduate Programs 1972-74; Internship, Princeton University Museum of Art 1974-75 ; Conservator, Intermuseum Laboratory 1975-77; Chief Conservator, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 1977-81; Chief Conservator... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
Room 516 CD