Launch of the NW PA Network
The Northwest Pennsylvania Alliance for Response held its kickoff forum at the Raymond M. Blasco, M.D. Memorial Library in Erie, PA, on June 6, 2013. Despite flooding rainstorms throughout the afternoon of the meeting, about 35 people attended the session to learn about emergency preparedness and emergency resources in the Erie area.
The event Planning Committee felt that a good mix of institution types attended, including libraries, museums, archives, and arts/cultural/historical agencies. Attendees reported “some gain” in knowledge of the principles of disaster planning and response, available resources for disaster planning and mitigation, and special considerations of cultural institutions during emergencies. They reported “big gains” in knowledge of the structure and protocol of local emergency management, significance of local cultural resources, and cooperating with emergency responders and cultural institutions on disaster projects.
Potential topics for an initial Fall follow-up meeting, tentatively scheduled for November, include: a disaster plan writing and review clinic; touring a cultural heritage site with local emergency management, fire, and police representatives; and “Winterizing Your Building and Collections.”