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Preparing Alaska's Cultural Organizations for Emergencies Course

A training program especially designed for staff at collecting institutions in Alaska

Course Description

Let’s start with “Help!” One day you may be faced with an emergency that you can handle by yourself and the only help you will need is an ear to hear the tale; or, you may face a full on disaster where you need “all the help you can get and then some!”  Don’t Panic!  Over the next 4 months we will work through a logical progression of knowledge building and information gathering exercises that, by the end should incorporate into a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster response plan that is flexible, informational, easily updatable, and understood by all staff.

Through eight training modules, presenters and coaches will provide topic introductions, training webinars, learning outcomes, assignments, resource lists and activities. Over the weeks you will participate in discussion groups regarding the current module; have the opportunity for Q&A during “office hours;” and meet individually with your coach.  By the end of each module, you will have charts, lists, resources, plans, maps, etc. to add to your final plan.  You will develop quick guides to pull out of your pocket or off a wall for reference when an emergency happens.  You will learn to respond to emergencies and disasters in an orderly, logical and systematic manner.

Getting back to “Help,” now is a good time to identify and recruit a small team of people from different disciplines within your institution to help you as you develop your plan. You are a lone ranger, you say?  Maybe a board member or volunteer would enjoy brainstorming, helping with a few tasks, and giving some advice.

Course Objectives

  • Enhance knowledge, skills, and attitudes of cultural organizations related to emergency preparedness and disaster response.
  • Identify risks and hazards that could impact collecting institutions and develop plans responding to these risks/ hazards.
  • Create an emergency preparedness and disaster response plan for participants’ institutions. 
  • Develop these plans with input and interaction with local emergency and cultural heritage personnel.

Course Website

Course content is presented through the Preparing Alaska’s Cultural Organizations for Emergencies (PACO) website. Each module contains assignments—module introduction, pre-recorded webinar, required assignments, and recommended resources—that when completed will further the development of your disaster plan and improve your institution’s preparedness.

Course Book

The Field Guide to Emergency Response: A Vital Tool for Cultural Organizations and An Emergency Salvage Wheel, both from the American Institute for Conservation (AIC).

Final Product: Your Plan

This course guides participants through the process of creating an emergency preparedness and disaster response plan with all the elements required for AAM accreditation. These elements are:

  • A preparedness/ response plan for all relevant natural, mechanical, biological, and human threats
  • Information on protecting, evacuating, and recovering collections in the event of a disaster, including collection salvage priorities.
  • Floorplans, assembly areas, and evacuation routes
  • Responsibilities during emergencies
  • Contact lists
  • Addresses the needs of staff, visitors, buildings, and collections