Mission statement:
The Texas Collections Emergency Resource Alliance (TX-CERA) is an affiliation of institutions and professionals that support and advocate for the preservation of Texas cultural heritage. TX-CERA promotes emergency planning followed by training in response and recovery efforts and techniques. TX-CERA helps to mitigate the loss of collections due to disaster by offering professional development workshops, consultations, and institutional networking statewide. TX-CERA is classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

TX-CERA is a revival of the State of Texas Alliance for Response Team (START), which has joined with the Galveston – Houston Area Alliance for Response in an effort to organize an effective statewide organization. TX-CERA is part of the Alliance for Response and National Heritage Responders. Our organization is made up of conservators, archivists, librarians, curators, collection managers, first responders, and safety and security staff who volunteer their time to educate about and organize emergency response for cultural heritage.

Who we are:

TX-CERA Board Officers

President: Melanie Sanford, conservator, Dallas, TX

Vice President: Olivia Primanis, conservator, Austin, TX

Treasurer: Cristiana Ginatta, conservator, Dallas, TX


Members at Large

Karen Martindale, conservator, College Station, TX

Ian Muise, preservation librarian, College Station, TX

Steve Pine, conservator, Houston, TX

Amanda Vance, curator, Houston, TX

Regional Coordinators

Nikkie Markle, artist, Region 2 Coordinator, Houston, TX

Devon Nowlin, collection manager, Region 1 Coordinator, Dallas, TX

Advisory Committee

Mary Striegel, conservator, Natchitoches, LA

Anthony Ross, emergency responder, Corpus Christi, TX

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 and local OEM’s in order to reduce loss of cultural material threatened by disaster.
  • To develop a Roster of TX-CERA members that includes administrators and curators in cultural institutions and conservation specialists. A Directory of Conservators and Specialists who are available to help public institutions with Emergency Planning and Response, which is currently hosted by the Ransom Center at http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/conservation/resources/emergency/ will be updated and expanded.
  • 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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