Libraries, museums, and related institutions that sustained damage during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria may find the following list of response and recovery resources useful during the salvage, assessment, and rebuilding process.
The resources below were prepared by federal agencies and private non-profit organizations with experience in disaster planning and response to help with the recovery process. This is not an exclusive list, but rather reflects some of the many resources available to assist cultural institutions. Contact email@example.com to share additional resources or to request further information.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services participates in the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a partnership of 42 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. Our Response and Recovery Resources Page, maintained by FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, provides an excellent place to find support in your recovery efforts. Other useful sites include:
- Library of Congress Response and Recovery Guidelines
- American Alliance of Museums Disaster Preparedness & Response Resources
- Northeast Document Conservation Center Emergency Management page
How to Salvage Objects Affected By Water
The following sites provide information about how to protect objects affected by water:
- This page on the Library of Congress website, What To Do If Collections Get Wet, reviews first actions to take and how to care for collections damaged by water.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fact sheet Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Heirlooms offers tips and resources on salvaging different types of objects, from photos to fabric to furniture, and more.
- FEMA fact sheet After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures offers tips and resources for individuals and institutions. (Versions are also available in Spanish and Vietnamese.)
- For at-your-fingertips salvage advice, download the free ERS: Emergency Response and Salvage app from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation.
- The guide from the Minnesota Historical Society covers salvage procedures for wet items including archaeological artifacts, decorative objects made of organic and inorganic materials, magnetic media, grooved records, and textiles.
- This guide on mold remediation by the Environmental Protection Agency, is written to help schools and commercial buildings, but the recommendations provide information for investigating, evaluating, remediating moisture and mold problems in libraries and museums.
Professional Support with Recovery
The National Heritage Emergency Responders, a team of conservators and other collections care professionals with expertise in emergency response for cultural heritage collections, are ready to assist. Call 202.661.8068 (available 24/7) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grants for Those Affected By Hurricanes
Institutions recovering from hurricane damage may apply for grants. Here are some opportunities:
- The National Endowment for the Humanities has committed up to $1 million to cultural institutions affected by the hurricane. Texas and Louisiana's state humanities councils will receive $250,000. Beginning on September 8, and continuing through December 31, cultural institutions in FEMA-designated disaster areas can apply for emergency grants for up to $30,000 through the agency's website.
- The National Endowment for the Arts is coordinating with the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Division of the Arts in the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development and is prepared to direct additional funds to those state arts agencies for re-granting to affected organizations.
- The Texas Library Association is accepting applications for disaster relief funds. Applications are due October 16 and grant awards will be announced November 3.
- The Florida Library Association is working with the State Library of Florida to coordinate a response to damage caused to libraries across the state by Hurricane Irma. They are hosting an online sharing tool to connect libraries affected by Hurricane Irma and those wanting to help.
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is extending the deadline for the National Medal nominations from October 2 to October 23 for institutions in federally declared hurricane disaster areas.