Good morning, esteemed colleagues,

Americans for the Arts is a member of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force and the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response. 

Both groups are monitoring the situation. I share these tips from HENTF with you because you may be in the identified area and/or have friends and loved ones in the area, and it is always a good reminder to make sure you have a plan in place at home and at work in the event of a disaster. 

If you have questions, email me at

Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Please forgive any typos or brief responses. 

Ruby Lopez Harper

Director of Local Arts Services

Americans for the Arts

202.371.2830 x2079

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Subject: Hurricane Florence preparedness tips from HENTF

Dear HENTF members, 

This week will be like no other. Please forward this information to your members and constituents in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. These preparedness tips have also been sent to the respective state cultural agencies. They were also sent to the few Guam POCs (points of contact) that I have. Guam is already hunkered down for the onslaught of Typhoon Mangkhut.


A version of these tips also appears on the Heritage Emergency National Task Force website, at



Be Prepared!


Hurricane Florence is threatening to intensify into a major hurricane later this week. It’s important that all individuals and cultural institutions prepare for sustained winds, heavy rain, and potential flooding:


·       Track the storm via the National Hurricane Center,

·       Monitor information via your state’s Emergency Management Agency:

o   In North Carolina:

o   In South Carolina:

o   In Virginia:

·       Gather your staff and review your disaster plan today. No disaster plan? Put that at the top of the to-do list once the hurricane passes (and hope you didn’t need it this time).

·       If you have a disaster plan, make sure everyone has a printed copy to take home. An electronic version may be useless if you lose power.

·       Make sure staff, volunteer, and board contact lists are up to date. Determine how you will communicate with one another before, during, and after the storm.

·       Make sure your insurance and disaster recovery vendor contact information is readily available.

·       If you don’t already have up-to-date images (photographic/video) of your facility’s exterior and interior, including storage areas, now’s the time to take them. Being able to illustrate how your building and collections looked before damage will be helpful if the need arises to pursue recovery financing. 

·       Back up electronic records and store the back-ups off-site or in the cloud.

·       Secure outdoor furniture, bike racks, book drops, etc. – anything that can become a projectile in strong winds.

·       Move collections that are in areas vulnerable to flooding – i.e., the floor, the basement – or susceptible to rain – near windows or under roofs.

·       If you have time, cut lengths of plastic sheeting to be able to throw them over shelves or equipment should the building envelope be compromised.

·       Know the location and shut-off procedures for water, electricity, and gas.

·       Review individual or family plans. You’ll feel better attending to your organization knowing that your loved ones are safe.

·       For tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane, go to

·       Keep this 24/7 hotline number handy: 202.661.8068. The National Heritage Responders, a team of trained conservators and collections care professionals, are available 24/7 to provide advice.

·       Download FEMA fact sheets “After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures” and “Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Heirlooms,” available at

·       Familiarize yourself with the disaster declaration process in case one is declared for your state,


Thank you!




Lori Foley

Administrator, Heritage Emergency National Task Force

Office of Environmental Planning & Historic Preservation

Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration


M: 202.826.6303