SHEP State Partnerships

The three SHEP forums were held in 2013 in Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Portland, Oregon, affording opportunities for statewide collaboration in 22 states and one territory.


Philadelphia, April 16–17, 2013

  • States Invited (By FEMA Region):
  • REGION I: Maine
  • REGION II: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico
  • REGION III: Delaware, Pennsylvania
  • REGION IV: Alabama, North Carolina

St. Louis, May 8–9, 2013

  • States Invited (By FEMA Region):
  • REGION V: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin
  • REGION VI: Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas
  • REGION VII: Kansas, Missouri

Portland, June 19–20, 2013

  • States Invited (By FEMA Region):
  • REGION VIII: Colorado, North Dakota
  • REGION IX: California, Hawaii
  • REGION X: Alaska, Oregon, Washington

As a result of this national conversation, both SHEP and non-SHEP states are sharing ideas and resources that can be adapted in other states. We’re sharing Forum Spotlights, forum presentations that highlighted activities underway in various states, and Case Studies, state partnership activities and accomplishments that have occurred since the 2013 forums, via the Partnership News blog. Other examples of the great strides states are making in protecting and preparing cultural institutions for inevitable disasters include the following (SHEP states are in bold):


  • State and county emergency management agencies in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Utah, and Colorado have collaborated with cultural heritage partners to develop cultural and historic resource annexes to their emergency operations plans. Based on the annexes developed by the above states, a draft is in the approval stage in Illinois.

  • Maine’s Cultural Emergency Resource Coalition secured state emergency management and private foundation funding for a project to foster disaster planning at cultural institutions around the state. FEMA Corps members have been trained to serve as travelling facilitators, working directly in the field with cultural organizations to guide them through the entire disaster planning process.

  • Alaska’s partnership members provided input on cultural institutions and collections at risk and how each state cultural agency would help its constituents, bringing a real (and sobering) perspective to FEMA’s April 2014 Capstone disaster exercise.

  • Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), in collaboration with Oregon cultural organizations, created the OEM web page “Emergency Management for Natural, Cultural and Historic Resources: An Oregon Resource Dashboard.” This site provides emergency managers with a primer on cultural resources and directs cultural stewards to training opportunities in the structure and concepts of emergency management. Washington and Massachusetts are following suit to create their own versions of this valuable resource.

  • New Jersey’s Connecting to Collections (C2C) planning and implementation grant partners began collaborating following a C2C summit to establish a state-level emergency partnership. The result: the New Jersey Cultural Alliance for Response (NJCAR). NJCAR has already developed governance policies, including by-laws, to provide a structure and a means to ensure the partnership continues even if individual members do not.