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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

Head, Special Format Conservation Section and Coordinator, Preservation Emergency Response Team, Library of Congress
Andrew Robb has been at the Library of Congress since 1996 and currently is Head of Special Format Conservation in the Conservation Division. He also is responsible for the Library’s Preservation Emergency Response Team and serves on the Library’s Emergency Management Team. He has been a Co-Chair of Emergency Committee of the American Institute for Conservation and serves on AIC’s Collection Emergency Response Team. He is the... Read More →

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

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