Resources like ours help individuals and institutions preserve and protect their collections. Advance your skills with program materials, professional development, and funding opportunities.

Engage Your Network with Education, Training, and Activities

Alliance for Response communities around the country sustain cooperative networks by providing training opportunities, mutual assistance, and a role for cultural institutions in disaster planning at local and state levels. What follows are workshop ideas, projects, and resources developed by emergency networks around the country. Help us compile a comprehensive collection of Tool Kit resources by sharing your network’s activities and products.


Incident Command System

  • Learn the basics of the Incident Command System. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides free training online:

FEMA ICS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System

FEMA ICS-200: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

FEMA ICS-700: National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction

Risk Evaluation

  • Evaluate your own institution and make sure your disaster plan is current. In the process of updating your plan, take a look at your resources (equipment, supplies, space, staff, etc.) and think about how you might be able to share those with your larger community in a disaster.
  • Explore the free tools available in FAIC's comprehensive Risk Evaluation and Planning Program (REPP). Using the REPP tools, Savannah Heritage Emergency Response worked with local emergency managers to develop a number of different spreadsheets on Critical Facilities (Historic & Cultural): sorted by police department and precinct/sector, sorted by fire district, and sorted by city re-entry group zones (following a hurricane). See also:


  • Host a disaster plan writing clinic.

    Florida Connecting to Collections 2012: Developing Emergency Plans, a self-paced program

    • Design online educational resources about protecting cultural heritage.
    • Hold a fire safety program on performance-based planning and museum, library, and historic house fire codes.
    • Sponsor “table-top” training exercises adapted for museums and libraries.

    Library of Congress tabletop exercises

    • Sponsor disaster training sessions for cultural heritage institutions that include a practice drill.
    • Watch the archived Connecting to Collections webinars on emergency preparedness and response and host a meeting to discuss important points.

    Protecting Your Collections: Writing a Disaster Response Plan

    Exercising Your Disaster Response Plan

    • Hold a workshop on insurance and appraisal for cultural institutions

    • Learn valuable information by reading about lessons learned following a disaster with an after-action review (AAR). They provide an analysis of what happened, why it happened, and what was learned, with the goal of improving future performance.

    • Become familiar with the process of applying for federal disaster assistance following a major disaster.


    • Develop a regional disaster supply cache. See also Mutual Aid Agreements.

    AFR Pittsburgh Disaster Supply Cache

    BAMAN – Bay Area Mutual Aid Network

    North State Cooperative Library System

    Network: SILDRN Disaster Recovery Supplies

    • Develop a disaster plan exchange program with members of another network as back-up repositories in case of disaster.
    • Develop a buddy network outside of your region to provide support and assistance when a major disaster strikes.
    • Develop a cultural SWAT team composed of emergency response and preservation experts to aid institutions in the event of major disasters like the AFR NYC: Heritage Response Team.
    • Create a master database of cultural institutions in the area to improve communications during “peacetime” but especially following a disaster.

    • Create a master database of potential support (personnel, logistics) that cultural institutions can provide following a disaster.

    • Help your organization develop an effective social media and disaster communication strategy.