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RHSP: Introduction to Emergency Preparedness and Risk Assessments

One of the most important steps any cultural institution can take to safeguard its collections is to be prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster. Before an institution can begin developing an emergency preparedness and response plan, it is important to understand just what kinds of risks its collections might face. A risk assessment identifies potential risks and outlines strategies that might mitigate damage in the event of an emergency or disaster. .  This workshop will offer tips for conducting these assessments on a site-wide level and for specific collections, as well as case studies of institutions that have dealt with disasters, and advice on forming relationships with first responders and other outside contacts who can help conduct risk assessments. Participants will also learn about tools for developing an Emergency Response and Preparedness Plan and the basics of collections salvage.

Speaker: As Preservation Specialist at CCAHA, Samantha Forsko works with institutions and their collections. She conducts on-site preservation needs and risk assessments and assists with preservation planning. She also presents education programs on a variety of preservation topics and provides technical information to libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions. 

Samantha is the Vice Chair of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)’s Field Services Alliance and Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Area Conservation Association (PACA). She serves on the Board of the Association of Registrars and Collections Specialists (ARCS) and is the Chair of Alliance for Response (AFR) Philadelphia. 

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Major support for this program is generously provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.