Hurricane Harvey: On August 30, 2017 the NEH announced it was committed to supporting cultural heritage resources damaged by the storm. TX-CERA was chosen as one of the lead organizations to provide immediate support to mitigate damage and begin recovery. WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 30, 2017) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will award up to $1 million in emergency grants to preserve humanities collections and help restore operations at libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and other cultural and historical institutions in the areas of Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey, Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede announced today. “NEH has designated these funds to support the people in Texas and Louisiana in their efforts to protect the historic materials that document their invaluable contributions to American culture,” said Peede. “We are proud to partner with Humanities Texas and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and their dedicated staffs in a coordinated federal-state response.” NEH is providing approximately $250,000 in initial funding to the two state humanities councils to be re-granted according to their assessments of local needs. The Texas Cultural Emergency Response Alliance and the Heritage Emergency National Task Force also will receive NEH funding to conduct outreach and assess damage. “We at Humanities Texas deeply appreciate NEH’s strong support of our state’s educational and cultural institutions that have been devastated by the hurricane. We will work with the affected communities to ensure that NEH’s funding goes as far as possible,” said Michael Gillette, executive director of Humanities Texas. In addition, cultural institutions in FEMA-designated disaster areas will be able to apply directly to NEH for streamlined emergency grants of up to $30,000, beginning on September 8, through the agency’s website, This special Chairman’s Grant opportunity will be open until December 31, 2017. All current NEH grantees impacted by Hurricane Harvey may apply to change the scope of their grants to repurpose the agency’s funding to focus on critical needs. These grantees should contact the appropriate NEH division for further instructions. ### ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: MEDIA CONTACTS: PAULA WASLEY AT (202) 606-8424 OR PWASLEY@NEH.GOV

Tropical Depression Harvey: information from the Heritage Emergency National Task Force


The Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) has distributed the following information to its members, LA and TX state cultural agencies, state and regional museum/library/archives associations, and the two state emergency management agencies. This is especially meant for those of you in LA and TX, but all of us need to be aware of what could potentially become a significant event.

Please share the following information with your constituents in Louisiana and Texas, and ask them to pass it along:

According to the National Hurricane Center, tropical storm Harvey’s remnant is forecast to regain tropical cyclone strength in the next day or two. Once Harvey starts affecting the Texas coast, up to ten inches of rain will be possible over the next week. The system is expected to bring prolonged periods of heavy rainfall and flooding across portions of Texas and southwest Louisiana. There is the potential for storm surge and tropical-storm or hurricane-force winds across portions of the Texas coast from Friday through the weekend.

Be Prepared!

As Harvey approaches Texas and Louisiana, it’s important that individuals and cultural institutions in these states prepare:

· Track the storm via the National Hurricane Center,

· Gather your staff and review your disaster plan today. No disaster plan? Put that at the top of the to-do list once the storm passes (and hope you didn’t need it this time).

· If you have a disaster plan, make sure everyone has a printed copy to take home. An electronic version may be useless if you lose power.

· Make sure staff, volunteer, and board contact lists are up to date. Determine how you will communicate with one another before, during, and after the storm.

· Make sure your insurance and disaster recovery vendor contact information is readily available.

· Back up electronic records and store the back-ups off-site or in the cloud.

· Secure outdoor furniture, bike racks, book drops, signage, etc. – anything that can become a projectile in strong winds.

· Move collections that are in areas vulnerable to flooding (i.e., the floor, the basement) or susceptible to rain (near windows or under roofs) out of harm’s way.

· If you have time, cut lengths of plastic sheeting to be able to throw them over shelves, cabinets, or equipment should the building envelope be compromised.

· Know the location and shut-off procedures for water, electricity, and gas.

· Review individual or family plans. You’ll feel better attending to your organization knowing that your loved ones are safe.

· Download the FEMA mobile app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. The app (available in English and Spanish) provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.

· Download the free ERS: Emergency Response and Salvage app, based on the Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel,

· For tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane, go to

· Keep this 24/7 hotline number handy: 202.661.8068. The National Heritage Responders, a team of trained conservators and collections care professionals administered by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, are available 24/7 to provide advice.

· Download FEMA’s “After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures” fact sheet, with tips and resources for individuals and institutions,

· Familiarize yourself with the disaster declaration process in case one is declared for your state,

· For Texans, visit the Hurricane Awareness page of the Texas Department of Public Safety,…/ThreatAw…/hurricaneAwareness.htm.

· For Louisianans, visit the Emergency Event: Tropical Storm Harvey page,

All the best,

Lori Foley
Administrator, Heritage Emergency National Task Force
Office of Environmental Planning & Historic Preservation
Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration
O: 781.259.8652
M: 202.826.6303



TXCERA will host this 1-day workshop on Monday, July 24th at the MFAH in Houston, Texas to instruct Cultural Heritage professionals in safely responding to disasters such as fire and floods that threaten collections and historic sites. Expert trainers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health and the UTHealth Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management Program will team up with members of TXCERA to conduct this intensive one-day workshop on the topic.

You can reserve your spot through Eventbrite at this link

Thank You,

TXCERA Steering Committee
**TXCERA Gmail
** TXCERA Facebook

Free Webinar: Introduction to Emergency Preparedness for Performing Arts Organizations

Introduction to Emergency Preparedness for Performing Arts Organizations

Date & Time: 6/29/17 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM ET

Price: Free

Registration Link:

Webinar Description:

Localized emergencies, regional disasters, and catastrophic events can have a devastating impact on performing arts organizations where even a brief loss of business can threaten sustainability. This free 90 minute webinar will provide an introduction to why emergency preparedness is critical to protect your organization from external risks and internal vulnerabilities. These include human caused and natural crises. You will learn the typical process and contents of a plan, and receive information about resources to help with planning.

Recommended Audience:

This webinar is appropriate for attendees representing large and small performing arts organizations as well as those with and without their own performance facilities. Executive and management staff will find this webinar useful, as well as H.R., finance, communications, marketing, technical, and front-of-house staff.

Instructor: Tom Clareson

Tom Clareson is Project Director of the PAR project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help performing arts organizations nationwide learn how to protect their assets, sustain operations, and be prepared for emergencies.  He also serves as Senior Consultant for Digital & Preservation Services at LYRASIS, consulting and teaching on preservation, disaster preparedness, digitization, digital preservation, special collections/archives, remote storage, funding, strategic planning, and advocacy for libraries, archives, and museums.

Instructor: Steve Eberhardt

Steve Eberhardt is the Project Coordinator of the PAR project. Steve has coordinated collaborative grant-funded projects at LYRASIS for 20 years, including a 2006-2008 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded grant that assisted academic libraries in their recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. His most recent project provided training, grants, and consultations to preserve photographic and audiovisual collections at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

This session is the first in series presented by the PAR project. Other topics in this series will include Risk Assessment, Business Continuity Planning, Disaster Networks, and Venue Safety.

The PAR project is funded through a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Steve Eberhardt
Project Coordinator
Performing Arts Readiness project

Now available online. The recordings from the six-part Alliance for Response webinar series can be viewed on the AIC’s YouTube Channel . Explore the recorded sessions on these important topics:

  1. Setting Up Governance Structures and Creating Mutual Aid Agreements
  2. Working with Volunteers
  3. Navigating Public Assistance After a Disaster
  4. Exercise without Leaving Your Seat: Practicing the Incident Command System at the Institutional Level
  5. Crisis Communications
  6. Best Practices for Seeking Funding

Connect using this link:

Another TX-CERA sponsored disaster recovery training opportunity comes to Houston August 1-2 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.



What: 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

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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. For more information, visit:

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