About State Heritage Emergency Partnership

If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, you go together.

African Proverb


In 2012, Heritage Preservation undertook a national project addressing the roles and responsibilities of state cultural agencies and emergency management agencies in protecting the nation’s cultural and historic resources in the face of disasters. In concert with the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), we embarked on a project we call the State Heritage Emergency Partnership. Our aim: to develop and strengthen relationships between and among state cultural and emergency management agencies to enable them to build disaster resilience in the cultural community, the ability to absorb and bounce back from the consequences of an incident, whether major or not.

Project activities included:

  • A review of five existing state-level emergency preparedness and response initiatives;
  • Three forums for delegates from 22 state libraries, archives, museums, historic preservation offices, and emergency management agencies to generate a picture of how state agencies can communicate effectively in advance of and following major disasters;
  • Conference calls to review the progress made in the emergency preparedness goals each state set at their forum;
  • A series of webinars to educate cultural stewards about emergency management concepts;
  • The SHEP framework, a guidance document outlining actions and activities that foster collaborative and coordinated approaches to emergency preparedness; and
  • The creation of this SHEP website. Users can access and share resources, upload examples of achievement and accomplishment, and engage in online discussions pertinent to creating and sustaining statewide cultural heritage emergency networks.

What are Cultural and Historic Resources?

Cultural and historic resources are culturally significant items, such as objects, documents, public records, manuscripts, maps, photographs, books, artifacts, artworks, buildings, structures, burial sites, sacred sites, cemeteries, and zoo and aquarium animals. Items often have artistic, educational, historic, legal, scientific, or social significance. Cultural and historic resources often represent an aspect of a cultural system that is valued by or significantly representative of a culture that are preserved (or appropriate for preservation) and used as an extension of human memory.

Cultural and historic resources may include:

  • non-living and living specimens
  • tangible entities or cultural practices
  • physical or digital manifestations
  • individual objects or collections

And they are often housed in:

  • libraries
  • museums
  • archives
  • educational institutions
  • historical societies
  • historic properties
  • historic sites
  • archaeological sites
  • performing arts complexes
  • religious centers
  • local, state, and national parks
  • government
  • botanic gardens
  • aquariums
  • zoos

Advisory Committee, 2012–2015

Scott Baldwin

Mitigation Specialist

Colorado Department of Public Safety

Division of Homeland Security and

Emergency Management

Alix Bentrud

Digital and Preservation Services Librarian


Linda Endersby


Missouri State Museum

Rebecca Mitchell


Alabama Public Library Service

Angela T. Spinazzè


ATSPIN Consulting

Jack Sullivan

FEMA Region I

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

LeRae Umfleet

Chief of Collections Management

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

Victoria Irons Walch

Executive Director (retired)

Council of State Archivists

Pat Young

Resource Collection Coordinator

Disaster Research Center

University of Delaware