What Is Museum SOS

Tom Clareson
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Jane S. Long
Read Bio


Creating Alliances with Emergency Responders

Tom Clareson
Global Product Manager
Planning and Education,
Digital Collection Services Division,
OCLC Online Computer Library Center

Jane Long
Founding Director
Heritage Emergency National Task Force


While many museums and libraries have stepped up emergency planning efforts in recent years, even the best-prepared institutions cannot protect collections and buildings without the help of their neighbors and professional first responders. To help foster these critical partnerships, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a Heritage Preservation program, created Alliance for Response. In the first phase of the project, three invitation-only, one-day forums in Dallas, Boston, and Cincinnati were held in late 2003. A fourth forum will take place in New York City in 2004.

The Alliance for Response initiative represents an unprecedented effort to build bridges at the community level between disaster management professionals and the stewards of cultural, historic, and scholarly resources. The forums brought together representatives of historical societies, museums, archives, and libraries with emergency responders from local, state, regional and national levels - from Fire Chiefs to FEMA representatives. A primary goal of the forums has been to establish viable local networks, and already two have been launched in February 2004: START (State of Texas Alliance for Response Team) and in Boston, CEMT (Cultural Emergency Management Team).

This session will be presented by Tom Clareson, Manager of Education & Planning for the Digital Collection & Preservation Services of OCLC, a Heritage Preservation board member, and chair of the Cincinnati Alliance for Response Forum; and Jane Long, director of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force. They will relate key findings of the "Alliance" meetings, and offer practical advice on how to:

  • develop an effective disaster plan,
  • find professional training opportunities,
  • create collaborative disaster response networks,
  • build relationships with first responders, and
  • help integrate cultural heritage into your community's incident command system.


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