Cultural Resources Emergency Support Team (CREST) to Serve NC

Posted on: October 30th, 2013 by Jessica Unger | AFR, Raleigh, NC

With the help of an IMLS grant, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and the Connecting to Collections project have developed workshops for staff training and assembled emergency supplies for immediate salvage and recovery efforts after a disaster at cultural institutions. This project includes the development of a statewide CREST team (Cultural Resources Emergency Support Team) that can deploy members across the state immediately after a disaster. CREST members arrive with special supplies for triage of artifacts and have had specialized recovery training that includes soot removal, photograph salvage, freezing techniques, and textile cleaning for temporary or long-term conservation and storage.
A part of the CREST initiative is staging workshops in cooperation with the local fire and rescue professionals in the Piedmont, Mountain, and Coastal Plains regions of North Carolina. The first disaster/burn-recovery workshop was in Buxton, NC, on the Outer Banks. A mock museum was set up and, after a controlled burn of the “museum,” area historical collection stewards received hands-on training in the actual recovery of the wet and damaged items. Members of the recovery teams consisted of employees, volunteers, boards of directors, local members, and other passionate people who would respond should a fire, flood, tornado, or other disaster occur.

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