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We are all vulnerable to emergency situations: serious events that demand our immediate attention. Likewise, we are all vulnerable to disasters: emergencies that have become so large, they overwhelms the capacity to effectively respond with resources on hand. 

Collecting institutions have special considerations when it comes to dealing with emergencies and disasters. The impact of these events has potential to severely damage and destroy unique items within a collection. Stewards of collections should learn how to effectively manage emergencies and disasters. Explore the resources on this page to learn about how best to protect our cultural heritage in the face of the unexpected. 

Disaster Response & Recovery Guides

Review our guides to help you better respond to and recover from disasters that may affect cultural property.


FAIC manages several initiates that aim to address all phases of disasters: from preparedness, to response, to recovery, to mitigation. 

  • Alliance for Response - a national initiative to encourage connections between local cultural institutions and their emergency professionals
  • National Heritage Responders - a team of trained professionals who provide assistance to institutions impacted by disasters
  • Risk Evaluation and Planning Program - a toolkit and workshop program that provides step-by-step instructions for conducting a risk assessment 
  • MayDay Campaign - an annual campaign to encourage collecting institutions to undertake emergency planning activities in the month of May
  • Getting Ready in Indian Country - a resource specifically developed for American Indian cultural resources


AIC and FAIC are partners in the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF). HENTF offers tools and information to cultural institutions and the general public for preparing for and responding to emergencies that affect collections and family treasures.

FAIC is a member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD), an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters. They accomplish this by providing a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration--and by fostering more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster.

AIC's Emergency Committee

Our Emergency Committee aims to promote awareness and increase member knowledge in the areas of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery for cultural heritage.