Missing Links: Connecting Emergency Management and the Cultural Heritage Industry

Cultural heritage is a source of community identity and local income, two elements that are necessary in any successful disaster recovery effort. The cultural heritage industry, however, has been historically underprepared for disaster events, as recent events demonstrate. This lack of preparedness may result in the loss of irreplaceable artifacts and lagging recovery efforts. It is time to remedy this lack of preparedness through emergency planning. Although the planning process for cultural institutions is similar to other types of emergency planning, some components are unique. This article outlines the elements of emergency planning particular to cultural heritage institutions and provides guidance for emergency managers and the cultural heritage industry so that they may develop emergency plans.

This article was published in the July/August 2010 issue of the Journal of Emergency Management.

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