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Build Relationships with Emergency Responders

Alliance for Response is all about connecting with local emergency responders. In any emergency, you will be working with local emergency responders to save and secure your institution. If you have a good relationship with your local emergency responders and know how their systems and practices work, you can help them keep your staff and collections safe.

1. For tips on how to connect, see FAIC's Working with Emergency Responders poster.

  • To initiate the conversation, bring copies of the Working with Emergency Responders poster to your local firehouse.

2. Become familiar with the vocabulary and terminology of emergency management.

3. Engage in planning and preparedness activities – including exercises and drills – with your first responder community.

4. Join your state’s emergency management association and volunteer for a committee.

5. Participate in exercises run by your state emergency management agency 

  • Agenda for Savannah’s 2015 Citywide Hurricane Exercise that includes a breakout group focusing on historical and cultural sites
  • Participate in national preparedness activities such as the Great ShakeOut earthquake drills.
6. Find out from your local emergency management director if there’s a local chapter of Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) and sign your network up to be a member.

7. Ask someone from the Business Continuity speak about COOP (continuity of operations) planning for cultural institutions. Even though you may be a nonprofit, you are still a business.

8. Gain a “seat” for cultural heritage at the municipal Emergency Operations Center.

9. Designate official liaisons from local cultural institutions to the city emergency management agency.

10. Include cultural institutions in the local emergency access communications system.

11. Form a statewide committee to formulate a plan to address the needs of cultural institutions in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.

12. Volunteer to speak at meetings and conferences of local and state emergency personnel to spread the word about Alliance for Response.

13. Ask local emergency personnel to speak at a network meeting.

14. Produce a short video on collaborating with first responders.

15. Present a forum related to historic weather events in your city.

16. Present a forum with panelists from the fire protection community, facilities managers, curators, and collections care professionals.

17. Work with your emergency management agency to plot locations of cultural and historic entities in a GIS data layer.