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Sunday, May 15 • 9:30am - 10:00am
(General Session) Emergency Management since the Florence Flood – The Crooked Timber of Progress

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The state of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation resources related to the emergency management of cultural materials has improved significantly since the Florence Flood of 1966. There are many noteworthy accomplishments over the past fifty years. Our body of knowledge concerning emergency salvage techniques, especially in the area of freezing and freeze drying, has vastly improved the likelihood of successful recovery for many types of materials, even in large disasters. Emergency preparedness activities have greatly increased in many cultural institutions, especially medium to large ones. In the United States emergency plans at the national level now include cultural resources and a variety of organizational structures such as the Heritage Emergency Task Force, AIC-CERT, the Alliance for Response, and WESTPAS now exist to harness the experience and knowledge we have fifty years after Florence. However, despite these many accomplishments our capacity to respond is small and can be overwhelmed by the scale of an incident, especially in regional disasters. Bluntly put, we lack significant on-hand rfunds to respond to emergencies and to assist those in need of financial assistance. The presentation will compare and contrast recent disasters involving cultural resources, such as the Katrina and Rita hurricanes of 2005, the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan of 2010 and 2011, Superstorm Sandy of 2012, as well as the recent 2015 INION fire in Moscow, with the Florence Flood to better understand the current state of collection emergency management and to discuss ways to improve our ability to respond to, and recover from, disasters that harm cultural materials.

avatar for Andrew Robb

Andrew Robb

Special Projects Officer, Library of Congress

Sunday May 15, 2016 9:30am - 10:00am EDT
Room 210 AB/EF