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Disaster Preparedness, Recovery & Resilience

Natural and human made disasters pose risks to culturally and historically significant resources, including:

  • Buildings, structures, and historic districts
  • Artifacts and collections
  • Lists and databases
  • Cultural events and activities
  • Access to sacred places and environmental assets (such as indigenous first foods)

These resources have also been determined to be critical factors in community recovery. They provide an anchor to community identity and shared experience needed for resilience.

Heritage organizations should be working on thier disaster preparation and should be front and center in community emergency planning! Use the resources below to make this critical work happen.

​General resources for the emergency and disaster preparedness and preservation of heritage resources including historic properties and collections.

Heritage resources are critical to community recovery and resilience following a disaster. Part of your organizational disaster planning should be the promote this value of your organization, and to be at the table in community planning.

​An emergency has occurred and it is time to respond. Heritage recources are cirtical for community recovery, so your organization needs to be there. Even if you have a plan and didn't implement it, or if you didn't have a plan at all you can still access recovery resources.

Pocket Response Plan (PReP)
Oregon Guide to Emergency Preparedness Resources, Balboa Arts Conservation Center 2015
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Institute for Museum and Library Services
American Association for State and Local History
Minnesota Historical Society Disaster Response and Recovery Resources
Treatment for Flood Damaged & Older Buildings

​Heritage resources are cirtical for community health and recovery in a disaster. Organizations that care for and promote these resources must establish a plan to be prepared for and mitigate damage from emergencies and disasters. Working together within a community to establish goals and acccess resources is good way to prioritize this work.

Working together with the city or county and the other heritage organizations in your community can help develop, implement and coordinate disaster plans and recovery. Check out the model community-wide heritage resource resilience plan, a guidebook to create your own, and the individual organization models!


Disaster Resilience Plan for Heritage Resources in Cottage Grove
Cottage Grove Historical Society Resilience Plan
Cottage Grove Museum Disaster Resilience Plan
Downtown Cottage Grove Disaster Plan

Guidebook & Tools

Guidebook - Use this to assit in creating an organizational plan or a community-wide plan. Appendices inlcude guidance for Tribal, consultation, meeting agenda templates, organization survey questions and plan templates, model community survey, scripts, plan templates, and other resources.

Value of Heritage in Disaster Resilience Report and Messaging Guide- Use this report and risk communication guide to articulate the value of your community's landmarks, historic collections, and intangible heritage to planners, emergency management professionals, and the public.

Videos - The following videos supplement the Guidebook:

Participating Organizations

The following model organizational plans, community-wide plan, and guidebook to develop these plans in your own community were created by Oregon Heritage in partnership with:

Institute for Policy Research & Engagement
City of Cottage Grove
Bohemia Gold Mining Museum
Cottage Grove Genealogical Society
Cottage Grove Historical Society
Cottage Grove Museum
Main Street Cottage Grove

The project was funded in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Disaster resilience organizational inventory tool & report model.

Cottage Grove Genealogical Society
Cottage Grove Historical Society
Cottage Grove Museum
Main Street Cottage Grove

Oregon Wildfire Response and Recovery Resources

Special message from Oregon Heritage on Wildfire Recovery & Response

Oregon Emergency Management  - Includes:

  • New and alerts
  • current conditions
  • evacuation levels
  • what to pack
  • emergency lodging
  • property owner and homeowner information including insurance and claim information
  • and more

National Heritage Responders - Call 202-661-8068

  • They are ready and prepared to field calls from those who need some guidance on response and recovery of their lost or damaged collections and archives. This group of preservation trained volunteers usually can deploy to areas affected by natural disasters as they have done in the past with floods and hurricanes but, of course, COVID has made that difficult this year. They are however able to talk through guidance on the phone and possibly do virtual walk throughs with folks once they can safely access their building with clearance from local authorities. For more information about this group of volunteers visit here.

Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS) resource packet includes:

  • Field Guide Assessment Form
  • Facilities Emergency Systems
  • Disaster Response Team
  • Collection Salvage Priority excel sheet
  • Insurance Coverage worksheet
  • Disaster Response and Supplies
Oregon Wildfire Response Resources, Nonprofit Association of Oregon

​Rapid Building and Site Condition Assessment, National Center for Preservation

Condition Assessment Tools for Aid in Disaster Response and Recovery, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

National Archives Objects Recovery, Mitigation

First aid for fired damage of audiovisual materials, The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Conservation advice: Cleaning sootdamaged objects, Australian War Memorial

Fire damage, Chicora Foundation - includes response and treatment advice

Saving DamagedFamily Treasures after a Fire, Heritage Emergency National Task Force

Watch the Field Guide to Emergency Response “Dealing with Soot” video (Windows Media Player 5.9 MB or Flash 4 KB or on YouTube)

Smoke and Odor Removal, State Library of New South Wales

Recovering fire-damaged records, National Archives of Australia

How can you salvage your family's precious belongings? Australian Institute for the Conservtion of Cultural Materials

Collection Emergencies, Library of Congress - Includes gettinig rid of the smell of smoke, removing soot, and how to find a conservator

​Repeat after us: The heritage work you do is critical to the community! No matter if you sustained losses or damage.

Critical role historic places and collections play in recovery – Oregon Heritage Exchange

Community Trauma Toolkit, Australian Institute for Disaster Resillience