Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

Guidance on Navigating Federal Assistance After Irma

Posted on: September 26th, 2017 by Jessica Unger | Miami, FL

For institutions within Miami-Dade County, the Department of Cultural Affairs is coordinating the response and recovery of the community.  They are working with the Office of Emergency Management, the Beacon Council and the FIU Small Business Development Center and several other partners on representing your needs through the Recovery Support Function Economic.  If your institutions was impacted by Hurricane Irma please fill out their damage assessment form at:


Also as part of the Heritage Response Team training we have been sponsoring focused on fundraising for cultural institutions after a disaster.  The American Institute for Conservation has graciously made this available to all of our partners.  You can view it at:


Art and cultural institutions are eligible for several types of Federal assistance, this includes:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA)
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans
  • National Endowment of the Humanities Emergency Grants


If your institutions is affiliated with a government agency like Miami-Dade County or Florida International University you should be communicating with them your damage and any expenditures (overtime of personnel, purchases, etc) to protect your facilities.  The information below doesn’t necessary apply to your institutions since your expenditures will be included as part of your government agency.  If you are private non-profit organization unaffiliated with any government agency you can apply for either FEMA Public Assistance or SBA disaster loans.


Definition of Private Non-Profit Organization (PNP)

FEMA defines a PNP as either having the following:

  • A current ruling letter from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service granting tax exemption under sections 501(c), (d), or (e) of the Internal Revenue Code of
  • Documentation from the State substantiating it is a non-revenue producing, nonprofit entity organized or doing business under State law.


FEMA Public Assistance

Public Assistance (PA) is a grant program that reimburses eligible applicants for eligible work at eligible facilities at a reasonable cost.  The cost share of eligible cost is 75% Federal and 25% Non-Federal.  Eligible costs will be reduced by any insurance proceeds.


If your institution wishes to seek reimbursement through the FEMA’s Public Assistance Program please go to the following link ( and click on “APPLY NOW’ in the red Hurricane Irma Banner to submit your Request for Public Assistance (RPA).  Attached is a guide to navigate


Non-Critical PNPs must apply to the Small Business Administration for disaster assistance; if denied by SBA or if their costs exceed what SBA covers then the PNP should apply to FEMA PA.

Non-critical PNP are only eligible for Permanent Work which are:

  • Category C: Road Systems and Bridges (Page 116)
  • Category D: Water control facilities (Page 118)
  • Category E: Public buildings and contents (Page 119)
  • Category F: Public utilities (Page 124)
  • Category G: Parks, recreational and other items (Page 126)


The corresponding page number are where you can find additional guidance on eligible expenses for these different categories in the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide which is available:


Applicant Briefing

The Applicant Briefing provides a high-level overview of the Public Assistance (PA) Program.  The topics it normally discussed includes:

  • Application procedures
  • Project funding
  • Hazard mitigation
  • Administrative requirements
  • Procurement requirements
  • Environmental and historic preservation (EHP) compliance requirements
  • General eligibility criteria
  • Documentation requirements
  • Recordkeeping


Schedule for Miami-Dade and Broward County:


Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program


There are several types of loan programs available they include:

Types of Loans Borrowers Purpose Maximum Amount
Business Loans “Physical” Businesses and private
Repair or replace real estate, equipment, furniture, etc. $2 million
Economic Injury Loans Small businesses & private
Economic injury disaster loans or working capital loans $2 million
Home Loans Homeowners & Renters Repair or replace real property $200,000
Home Loans Homeowners & Renters Repair or replace personal property $40,000
Mitigation Businesses, private
nonprofits and homeowners.
Mitigate / prevent future loss to real property 20% of verified physical damage. Homeowners limited to $200,000.


Businesses can apply online at or you can call 1‐800‐659‐2955


National Endowment or the Humanities Emergency Grants

These emergency grants go up to $30,000 and can be used to preserve documents, books, photographs, art works, historical objects, sculptures, and structures damaged by the hurricane and subsequent flooding.


You can apply for these grants at:

Get Tips on Protecting Your Place of Business at a Free Webinar

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by Jessica Unger | AFR, SHEP

Hosted by SBA and Agility Recovery


WASHINGTON – Recent attacks in office buildings and other public places by assailants armed with deadly weapons have heightened the necessity for an increased focus on security as a vital aspect of business continuity.


A crisis unfolding at or near your workplace could put your staff, customers and passersby in danger. And there are many scenarios to consider as reminders of your vulnerability to physical threats. But with careful planning and well-orchestrated drills, your office can be prepared for emergencies by knowing where and how to take shelter inside your building or evacuate efficiently, quickly, and safely.


Join Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration Wednesday, August 10, for a live online discussion on how to develop both shelter-in place and evacuation plans. Tips will also be shared on how to conduct drills that will protect the safety of your staff, clients, and the community where you do business.


The SBA has partnered with Agility Recovery to offer business continuity strategies at its “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit to access past webinars and to download disaster preparedness checklists.


The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit



WHAT:          “Creating Evacuation & Shelter-In-Place Plans”   
A presentation followed by a question-and-answer session

WHEN:          Wednesday, August 10, 2016 — 2 to 2:30 p.m. ET

HOW:            Space is limited. Register at



TX-CERA Training To Be Held at MFA Houston Aug 1-2

Posted on: July 14th, 2016 by Jessica Unger | AFR, Texas

The MFAH will host an inaugural disaster response and recovery forum, led by Texas Cultural Emergency Response Alliance, on Monday, August 1 and Tuesday August 2. Library, archive, and museum professionals in Houston and the surrounding counties are invited to share expertise and resources in this unique partnership.

The 2-day workshop will focus on disaster response and recovery situations specific to the region, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and flash floods, and will show participants how to respond to such large-scale natural events to both protect and preserve the objects in their care and to connect to a larger network of national emergency management professionals. Day 1 will feature speakers from the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Belfor USA and others. Day 2 will focus on techniques and training for wet recovery salvage of heritage objects.


When: Monday and Tuesday, August 1-2, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.                     

Where: The American General Meeting Room / The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston / Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main Street / Houston, Texas 77005

Cost: $80.00, lunch provided. Free parking in MHAH parking lot.

Details: The MFAH is an experienced disaster management leader and advocate for protecting cultural heritage resources in the region.


The Texas Cultural Emergency Response Alliance (TX-CERA) is a statewide resource for cultural heritage and disaster management and part of the nationwide Alliance for Response program. Through a series of regional forums, it builds bridges between the cultural heritage and emergency response communities before disasters happen. Their programs lead to new partnerships, policies, and cooperative planning efforts.


Contacts: Steve Pine, Museum of Fine Arts, / Olivia Primanis, University of Texas, Austin, / Melanie Sanford, Textile Preservation Services of Texas –




County of San Diego Draft RSF Annex

Posted on: April 5th, 2016 by Jessica Unger | AFR, California

Click here to explore the draft Natural and Cultural Resources Recovery Support Function Annex for the County of San Diego.

“The goal of the San Diego Operational Area (OA) Natural and Cultural Resources (NCR) Recovery Support Function (RSF) is to provide guidance for coordinating disaster recovery and to connect members to available resources or programs that assist with the long-term recovery of damaged or destroyed NCR. RSF members work together to leverage existing NCR capabilities, build additional NCR capabilities, and identify potential funding and other resources to help address at-risk and affected NCR with long-term solutions. This goal is achieved by creating a systematic process that engages the whole community in the development of executable, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined recovery objectives.”


Artifact Salvage and Recovery Workshop

Posted on: September 1st, 2015 by Jessica Unger | Miami, FL

Staff of Florida museums, archives, zoos, library special collections, historic sites, and archaeology collections, are invited to the free Florida C2C Developing Emergency Plans: Artifact Salvage and Recovery Workshop. Registration closes on September 25, 2015!


Learn salvage and recovery procedures for all types of objects, learn what types of supplies you should purchase and hear case studies from other institutions on October 2. Go home with clear instructions on how to develop your museum’s response. Come back on December 11 to refine it with peers, and participate in a hands-on artifact salvage activity to enhance your learning.


Both workshops are held in 3 different cities so no one has to travel far and so you can network with peers in your region:

  • Frost Art Museum, FIU – Miami
  • Florida Museum of Natural History, UF – Gainesville
  • Ringling Museum of Art, FSU – Sarasota


Deadline for Registration: September 25, 2015

Cost: Free


Join us to improve or create a new plan; register as a mentee. OR join us to mentor colleagues.  Registration and more info:


Questions: Robin Bauer Kilgo, Project Associate, Florida Connecting to Collections at


New Monetary Thresholds for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program

Posted on: February 26th, 2014 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (SRIA) of 2013 directs FEMA to implement changes to the Simplified Procedures thresholds for eligibility under the Public Assistance (PA) grant program. FEMA’s PA program provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and certain types of private nonprofit organizations for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities.

FEMA determined that a change in the thresholds for Simplified Procedures would benefit grantees and sub-grantees, specifically raising the Simplified Procedures maximum threshold to $120,000 (from $68,5000) and raising the minimum threshold for project eligibility to $3,000 (from $1,000), thereby eliminating much of the administrative burden placed on larger projects. Both threshold amounts will be revised annually to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI) published by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Final Rule is effective February 26, 2014.

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.

“When Disaster Strikes” Presentation

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

On May 2, 2013, Polygon Specialist Summer Street gave a presentation entitled “When Disaster Strikes.” This presentation utilized two case studies to outline the proper protocol surrounding emergency response procedures for documents and books. The cases focused on massive floodwater intrusion in a records management facility and a library. Summer discussed the basics of document drying and restoration, techniques, and best practices for successful recovery. The annual meeting followed with a discussion of dPlan and roundtable reporting/discussion of each institution’s disaster planning progress.

FEMA Announces Release of Updated National Planning Frameworks and Frameworks Virtual Roundtables

Posted on: May 24th, 2013 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

On May 6, 2013, FEMA and its partners released three of the five National Planning Frameworks. There is one Framework for each of the five preparedness mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. The National Planning Frameworks describe how the whole community works together to build, sustain, and deliver the core capabilities needed to achieve the National Preparedness Goal:

A secure and resilient nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.

FEMA will be hosting a series of virtual roundtables that will provide an overview of the Frameworks. These 60-minute roundtables will introduce the Frameworks and discuss ways to apply the concepts in your community. These virtual roundtables will be held:

  • Monday, June 10, at 2 p.m. EDT
  • Friday, June 14, at 10 a.m. EDT
  • Wednesday, June 19, at 6 p.m. EDT

Advanced registration is required, and is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for one of the roundtables, visit To read more about the Frameworks and to prepare for the roundtable, visit

Tornado Conference Call

Posted on: June 18th, 2011 by Jessica Unger | Boston, MA

Several historic properties were severely damaged in the tornadoes that swept across western Massachusetts. On June 16, 2011, COSTEP MA hosted a conference call to address damage assessments, available funding, and other recovery issues for these structures. Click here to read the call summary.