With Hurricane Sandy threatening the East Coast, museums, historic sites, libraries, and archives in much of the Eastern United States will be at risk. The American Institute for Conservation (AIC), the national association of conservation professionals, is offering free emergency response assistance to cultural organizations. Please help make sure that staff members of collecting institutions know to contact AIC-CERT when a disaster—flooding, hurricane, earthquake, fire—has damaged collections.
- Call AIC’s 24-hour assistance number at 202.661.8068 for advice by phone.
- Call 202.661.8068 to arrange for a team to come to the site to complete damage assessments and help with salvage organization.
AIC-CERT volunteers have provided assistance and advice to dozens of museums, libraries, and archives since 2007. AIC-CERT teams were on the ground following Tropical Storm Irene and flooding in Minot, North Dakota in 2011, the Midwest floods in 2008, and in the Galveston area following Hurricane Ike later that year. AIC-CERT members and other AIC conservators participated in an 18-month-long project in Haiti assisting with recovery of cultural materials damaged in the 2010 earthquake.
AIC-CERT is supported and managed by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC). In 2007 and again in 2010, FAIC received funding from the Institute of Museum & Library Services to support an advanced training program for conservators and other museum professionals that resulted in a force of 107 “rapid responders” trained to assess damage and initiate salvage of cultural collections after a disaster has occurred. They are ready to assist.
Resources and information on disaster recovery and salvage can be found on the AIC website at www.conservation-us.org/disaster. The public can also call AIC-CERT at 202.661.8068.