NHR Free Webinar Series July and August

AIC’s Emergency Committee has organized a two-part webinar series on managing moisture in disaster environments with Jeremy Linden, Principal/Owner of Linden Preservation Services, Inc. These are both great opportunities to catch up, learn and share new information during hurricane season.

For 2018 hurricane season, NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70-percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

Each time NHR and/or AIC collaborate to offer a series such as this it presents a great opportunity to add to disaster recovery preparation skill sets and understanding to the toolbox. Please register early and put a reminder on your calendar. These webinar series are a great way to have continuing education at your desktop and start conversations about your disaster recovery plans within your institution or organization.

The first webinar is on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 2:00:00 PM EDT – 3:30:00 PM EDT: Managing Moisture in Non-Mechanized Environments and Disaster Situations, To register and read more about the first webinar in this series please click on the link: Managing Moisture in Non-Mechanized Environments and Disaster Situations

The second part of the series is on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 2:00:00 PM EDT – 3:30:00 PM EDT: Mechanical Control of Moisture in Cultural Heritage Settings, To register and read more about the second webinar in this series please click on the link: Mechanical Control of Moisture in Cultural Heritage Settings

Live and Learn: Collections Emergency Lessons and Training

On June 13, 2018, next Wednesday, Connecting to Collections Care will offer a free webinar training program from 2:00-3:30 PM EDT. Priscilla Anderson, Senior Preservation Librarian, Harvard, is the presenter. This webinar will help you improve your emergency planning and response.  It’s a great learning opportunity to jumpstart your preparations at the start of hurricane season.

Please make sure to visit the site, read a bit more about this training then complete the registration form.

Live and Learn Collections Emergency Lessons Training


HERA “Picking Up The Pieces”: Webinar Video link

HERA Atlanta would like to share a link to the webinar which is part of HERA’s Educational series. HERA schedules two educational events each year. This webinar was presented by Ann Frellsen: Picking Up The Pieces: Helping Puerto Rican Cultural Heritage Organizations After Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Ann discusses her NHR experiences leading two teams during disaster recovery and assessment work in Puerto Rico last fall. Ann teaches a number of workshops and is recently retired from Emory University as the Book and Paper Conservator after 27 years with the University.  Ann is a member of SERCA, HERA, AIC and a member of the National Heritage Responders Team, which assists cultural heritage institutions affected by disasters. This particular presentation is chocked full of really good information and the recovery for each of these institutions is an ongoing process.

We invite you to view and learn from this important educational event.

Picking Up The Pieces: Helping Puerto Rican Cultural Heritage Organizations After Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Prepare for May Day

It’s time to think about May Day again!  Here is a free webinar to get us thinking about everything: Tara Kennedy, Preservation Services Librarian, Yale University Library, will be presenting a webinar: “Avoiding Ambulance Chasers: Working With Recovery Vendors“, April 24th from 2:00-3:30 EDT.

Here’s a link with some more information and you will need to register: Avoiding Ambulance Chasers

NHR Emergency CAPs

Jess Unger, Emergency Programs Coordinator, FAIC, has sent an update to make everyone aware of an opportunity that IMLS and FAIC have been able to make available to museums affected by recent disasters.  A brief synopsis is provided below. This information is also distributed on the HERAlistserv.  Please share this with your colleagues where applicable and you may contact Tiffani Emig with any questions: (temig@conservation-us.org or 202-750-3346)

The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

 (FAIC) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announce the availability of Emergency Collections Assessment for Preservation support. Based on the existing Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program, the Emergency CAP will help those collecting institutions in federally declared disaster areas receive post-disaster collections care recommendations from conservation and building professionals on an expedited basis.

Emergency CAPs follow the general guidelines of the Collections Assessment for Preservation program, with the following exceptions:

  • Only museums affected by recent federally-declared disasters are eligible.
  • Museums of any size are eligible for an Emergency CAP. Small and mid-sized museums will receive a general conservation assessment. Larger museums will receive a review of preservation/conservation plans for the structure and/or those parts of their collections which have been damaged by the emergency or disaster.
  • Assessor allocations for Emergency CAPs range from $3500-$4900 per assessor, based on institutional budget, need, and available funds.
  • Applications for Emergency CAPs are reviewed immediately upon receipt. Applicants are typically notified of their status within two weeks of application.
  • Program schedules and deadlines are determined by each institution and its team of assessors, subject to approval by FAIC. All program activities must occur within one year of notification of program acceptance.

Museums include, but are not limited to, aquariums, arboretums, art museums, botanical gardens, children’s/youth museums, general museums, historic houses/sites, history museums, natural history/anthropology museums, nature centers, planetariums, science/technology centers, and zoological parks.

Limited funding is available.

Eligible museums interested in receiving an Emergency CAP assessment should contact Tiffani Emig, CAP Program Coordinator, at 202-750-3346 or temig@conservation-us.org for additional information.


SAA National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives

The Foundation of the Society of American Archivists funds grants of up to $2000 and is available for archives affected by disasters.  The application is easy and the applying organization does not have to be a member.
Please share this widely within your networks for those who may benefit from this resource:

Disaster Recovery PDF Resources to Download

We wanted to share several resources in a blog post that could be used in disaster planning and recovery efforts.  Some of these PDFs may be large downloads and will not work well in a mobile situation:

  1. Field Guide Assessment Form: Field Guide_Assessment Form
  2. AIC CERT List of Salvage Priorities: AICCERTSalvage Priorities
  3. AIC CERT Damage Assessment Form: AICCERTDamage Assessment
  4. 2016 Endangered Heritage Interactive Report Emergency Evacuation of Heritage Collections: 2016Endangered-Heritage_INTERACTIVE



Hurricane Recovery Resources Reminder

We wanted to post this blog with a few links to some PDF resources for all to use.  As you gain situational awareness of your area and assess damages to your facilities, please don’t forget to remain aware of the existing resources available in your cultural heritage community.

Here are a few key points to share:

Salvage Priorities

Most vulnerable materials

  • Paper, books, some photographs
  • Parchment, vellum, semi-tanned or untanned leathers or  Ivory
  • Paintings
  • Textiles with fugitive dyes
  • Anything with water-soluble or friable colors
  • Finely constructed furniture, veneers, inlays
  • Anything lacquered or gilded
  • Low-fired ceramics
  • Iron or unstable archeological metals
  • Anything with mold growth

The Least Vulnerable Materials

  • Metals other than iron or unstable archeological metals
  • Most glass
  • Most ceramics
  • Most stone

Drying Techniques

Preventing mold in the collection is important. Reduce humidity while increasing air circulation or freezing – depends on the item and the degree of wetness.  Over-drying or drying too fast can damage artifacts further. If you are able to use cell phones on site, the Emergency Response and Salvage Mobile App contains salvage advice by format:

If you need printable resources:

Furniture and Wood

Water-soaked furniture and wooden objects should be dried slowly using fans to keep air circulating. Try to maintain a relative humidity of 60% to prevent over-drying. Rapid drying can cause warping and cracking.

See: ConservoGramWatersoakedWoodFurniture07-07

Textiles should be dried within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. If you cannot dry them they should be frozen. There are some exceptions, like items with beads, metallic threads.

Complete list here:ConservOGramTextiles21-08

Paintings should also dry slowly. Acrylic paintings on acrylic primed grounds are rather resistant to water damage. Oil paintings on glue sized canvas can be very reactive. Automatically removing paintings from frames is not recommended. The frame can help resist torquing. Do not remove a wet painting from its stretcher or strainer. Remove backing boards to permit air flow along the back of the canvas. If the canvas is really wet, it should be placed horizontally up on blocks to prevent paint from falling off if there is major canvas shrinkage. Slightly wet paintings can be leaned against a wall face out which is often necessary when handling many paintings in limited space. Keep air circulating but do not direct a fan at a painted surface. Keeping relative humidity near 60 percent while drying to avoid over drying. Do not go below 40 percent.

If a badly flaking painting must be moved (horizontally) then lay sections of single ply toilette paper across the damaged area. The wet tissue holds down the damaged paint for transport. When the tissue dries, it seems to lift up and away from the paint, so that a conservator can perform consolidation.

Ornate gesso coated frames can also be fragile when wet.  The gesso can crumble into powder.  Loss elements can detach and damage a painted canvas.


National Heritage Responders Request

Greetings.  As we watch one very serious hurricane and two more serious storms approach the US, and as many people are still dealing with the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey; NHR is trying to pool the collective knowledge of Heritage custodian professionals into some imaginative and useful videos as a resource for the general public.   Incorporated below is a message from Jessica Unger detailing this request and there are links to PDFs of the Tip Sheets at the bottom of this post. Please share:

Hi all,

Over the past couple of days, several NHR team members and our stellar NHR Coordinator Rebecca Elder have been corralling useful information in the form of tips sheets for the folks in Texas and Florida. Please see attached for:

Tips for working with recovery companies

  1. Tips for evacuating collections
  2. Tips for sheltering collections in place

(Special thanks to Tara Kennedy and Andrew Robb for making these happen!)

Now here’s an opportunity for other team members to step up and provide useful info for those affected by these historic storms.

We’re looking for help creating some very quick training materials aimed at the general public to help them salvage their family treasures damaged by Hurricane Harvey (and, likely, Hurricane Irma). We’d like for you to create a quick and dirty video (think iPhone with Facebook Live quality) discussing how to salvage your particular specialty, and create a one-page bullet point handout to go with the video.

The ideal video and handout will be:

  • 3-5 minutes long
  • Aimed at the general public
  • Informal
  • Free of professional jargon
  • Recommend supplies that should be readily available, such as paper towels.
  • Emphasize health and safety concerns when dealing with contaminated water.

A quick turnaround time on these is essential— if possible, by COB on Friday. Hopefully, the quick turnaround will facilitate the casual and unproduced feel for the videos that we are looking for. If you need longer, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.


Best wishes,
Jess Unger

Jessica Unger | Emergency Programs Coordinator
202-661-8069 | f 202-452-9328
www.conservation-us.org | @conservators | Facebook


Links to tip sheets are here:

Sheltering Collections in Place

Evacuating Collections

Recovery Company Tip Sheet

C2CC Announcement for Free Webinar for those Institutions who may have been affected by Hurricane Harvey

NOAA photographs
Hurricane Ike approaching the Texas coast. 2008 September 12 
Credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

Was your institution affected by Hurricane Harvey? Are you curious about resources available to the museum community after a major disaster? Join Rebecca Elder of the National Heritage Responders and Lori Foley of the Heritage Emergency Task Force to discuss resources available to the museum community after a major disaster.  They will allow plenty of time to discuss your questions on emergency response, salvage, and recovery, so come prepared!

The webinar will be held September 28 at 10:00 central time.

The webinar is free, but registration is required. Go to https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1686939294244406785
to register now.
 Rebecca Elder
National Heritage Responders
Direct: 512-699-3494
NHR Hotline 202-661-8068