HERA Atlanta Annual Program: Emergency Response to Hurricane Sandy: Three Eyewitness Accounts


HERA Atlanta invites you and your colleagues to our annual program Emergency Response to Hurricane Sandy:  Three Eyewitness Accounts on Friday, June 13, 2014  from 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM at the Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library. Attendance is free for all and lunch is provided.

Our three featured speakers will present their professional experiences on the frontline of heritage emergency response to Hurricane Sandy.

·        April Cummings,  Acting Regional Environmental Officer, FEMA Region IV

·        David Goist, paintings conservator and member of AIC-CERT (American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works-Collections Emergency Response Team)

·        Barry Hawkins, Business Development Specialist, Polygon

The panel presentations will be followed by a box lunch generously provided by Polygon.  Afterwards, we will begin a Q & A and general discussion session, during which members of HERA Atlanta will give an update on recent activities including participation in GEMA’s Hurrex.

 Please RSVP to Kim Norman (kim.norman@usg.edu) by June 6 to order lunch.



Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library
111 James P. Brawley Dr., SW
Atlanta, GA 30314


There is a lot behind the library; charge is $5.00. Pay station takes credit and debit cards only. Parking instructions:

1. Upon entering the RWWL Parking Lot at the Milton Street entrance, driver will proceed to an upper level numbered parking space.

2. Driver will note the numbered parking space and proceed to the Parking Pay Station and follow directions.

3. Once the parking ticket has been dispensed from the Parking Pay Station, the driver must return to their parked vehicle and place the parking ticket in the front windshield so that it is easily visible.

4.  Parking Pay Station parking tickets can only be used for the noted space number.

From the parking lot, walk around to front entrance of the library.  Security guard will direct to you to the correct room.

HURREX 2014 Re-Cap By Christine Wiseman and Kim Norman


HERA was invited by Venessa Sims, ESF-11 Coordinator, to participate in Hurrex 2014, a three-day statewide exercise that ran from May 6-8th. In preparation for the exercise, we updated our contacts list and conducted a test communications drill. Leading up to the event we worked with Venessa to develop specific objectives and injects for the exercise.  An “inject” in emergency management is an unexpected scenario or element introduced during a drill to make it more realistic and further test the response.


Kim Norman and Christine Wiseman, representing the Georgia Archives and HERA, spent the morning at the GEMA State Operations Center on May 6th, the first day of the exercise. Our primary objectives were to observe the exercise, make contacts, and continue to test communications. The SOC was buzzing with activity as representatives of the various ESF’s (Emergency Support Functions) filed in and took their positions at the appropriate desks. The room is arranged based upon the 15 Emergency Support Functions that are reflected in both the state and federal response plans. Some of these include Public Health & Medical Services, Search and Rescue, Transportation, and Public Affairs. Oddly enough, cultural resources and records fall under ESF-11, which is Agriculture and Natural Resources.


The exercise got underway at 8:30 am with a briefing by a GEMA official.  We learned that the National Weather Service had issued a warning to expect a CAT 3 hurricane was likely to impact the Georgia coast in 66-72 hours.  We were told to expect widespread flooding, storm surge and high winds. To further complicate the situation, this scenario is taking place on Labor Day weekend when the state can expect large numbers of people vacationing on the coast. After the briefing, the various ESF’s got busy requesting resources and formulating their plans. A few hours later, there was an extended briefing which included weather updates from Charleston, SC and Jacksonville, FL illustrating that a large hurricane usually involves a multi-state response.  At that point, we were told that the storm was 48 hours from landfall.

We sent out a test communication to the HERA listserv, reminding members to begin necessary preparations and to stay tuned for updates. We copied the post to the HERA Facebook page and blog. We also met with members of ESF-15 (Public Affairs) to discuss mounting preparedness and recovery tips on their Ready Georgia website.  Although our inject –a tornado hitting a major midtown museum– was not issued by the time we left, it was a fascinating experience to see how a disaster scenario is handled by the state. We look forward to future exercises and a debriefing from Venessa about the rest of the drill.


Four-Flaps, Reimagining a Solution in Preventative Collections Care

Four-flaps have shown effectiveness to protect items from soot, smoke, fire, light, and water damage. Enclosures can provide extra time, in the event of a fire which could be crucial to prevent fire damage and can provide added protection in the event of water damage.

 Why Four-Flaps?

Four-flap lined with permalife paper created to house personal papers at the C. Benton Kline, Jr. Special Collections and Archives, John Bulow Campbell Library, Columbia Theological Seminary.
Four-flap lined with permalife paper created to house personal papers at the C. Benton Kline, Jr. Special Collections and Archives, John Bulow Campbell Library, Columbia Theological Seminary.

Simple four-flaps are a low cost, customizable storage solution. They can be created in-house from a selection of archival materials. Before creating four-flaps you will want to determine what type of materials you will select to protect your objects. Photographs should use materials that pass the Photographic Activity Test (PAT). Typical books will require 20 point acid free lignin free board.

Making a Four-Flap Enclosure

Some instructions for four-flaps are well conceived and instruct how to complete precise measurements for each dimension surrounding your object. I have found that most items, especially older ones possessing more personality, are not always square. I therefore use the item itself to create measurements and I “transfer” the measurements in all directions for each side to measure height, width, and depth, following the simple mathematical rule applied to equations: “what you do to one side, you must do to the other.” Remember to always take your measurements across the largest portion of the item to ensure that your item will fit in the enclosures. You will want to create your flap for the vertical side and the horizontal side, ensuring again that the items will be snug, but not tightly housed. You will need enough material for each flap to measure the object times three plus the depth times two.


Using a straight-edge and a bone folder, score your lines (following the direction of the grain) and crease the board or stock at the score marks.  Periodically check that the item fits the enclosure. Remove your item and open the outer flap on a cutting mat and cut off one corner. Turn the cut-off corner upside down and use it as a template for the second corner. This ensures that the flap being created will be centered.  Fold the flap again and mark the location for a slit with two pencil dots on each side of the flap. Pierce the dots with an awl. Cut the slit in between the piercings to insert the tab. Finally, adhere your vertical and horizontal flaps with polyvinyl acetate (pva) and permit to dry. For very large enclosures, I have used linen thread and a pamphlet stitch rather than adhesive to sew these flaps together.


Posted by Meredith E. Torre, Archival Assistant at C. Benton Kline, Jr. Special Collections and Archives, John Bulow Campbell Library, Columbia Theological Seminary.