Who and What is TX-CERA?

Texas Cultural Emergency Response

Mission statement:

The Texas Cultural Emergency Response Alliance (TX-CERA) is an affiliation of institutions and persons interested in preserving the cultural heritage of Texas. Through education and advocacy TX-CERA hopes to serve as a resource for cultural institutions in order to mitigate loss of cultural and heritage collections due to disaster. The organization will develop a roster of heritage and collections professionals in the state to create a network of ready support in the event of an emergency or disaster.


TX-CERA is a revival of the State of Texas Alliance for Response Team (START), which has joined with with the Galveston – Houston Area Alliance for Response in an effort to organize an effective statewide organization. TX-CERA is part of the Heritage Preservation Heritage Emergency National Task Force that states, “Since 2003, Heritage Preservation has been promoting these connections through its innovative national program, Alliance for Response. The initiative begins with a one-day Forum for cultural leaders and emergency professionals and leads to new partnerships and local projects. Alliance for Response Forums foster cooperation among cultural and historic preservation organizations, improve local planning efforts, and enhance the protection of heritage resources.”

Who we are:


  • Art Conservators
  • Archivists
  • Librarians
  • Curators
  • Collection Managers
  • Preservation Specialists
  • Safety and Security Staff
  • First Responders/Emergency Management personnel

Our tasks:

  •  To train a team of first responders knowledgeable about the needs of special collections. Team members will be volunteers capable of working within an Incident Command System structure, with local OEM’s in order to reduce loss of cultural material threatened by disaster.
  • Part of this effort includes developing a Directory of TX-CERA members and expanding and updating the Directory of Conservators for Emergency Planning and Response hosted by the Ransom Center at http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/conservation/resources/emergency/
  • To represent the interests of the cultural community in state and local Emergency Management planning, resource allocation and response.
  • To increase awareness of the need for disaster planning and support for public collections compliant with NFPA 909: Code for the Protection of Cultural Resource Properties – Museum, Libraries and Places of Worship.*



NFPA 909: Code for the Protection of Cultural Resource Properties – Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship describes principles and practices of protection for cultural resource properties (museums, libraries, and places of worship) and their contents and collections from conditions or physical situations with the potential to cause damage or loss through a comprehensive protection program. Areas addressed include fire prevention; fire protection management; security; emergency preparedness; and inspection, testing, and maintenance of protection systems.

This important Code also covers ongoing operations and rehabilitation and acknowledges the need to preserve culturally significant and character-defining building features and sensitive, often irreplaceable, collections as well as to provide continuity of operations.


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