FAIC has been an important resource for many institutions in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season. Following deployment of a National Heritage Responder (NHR) team in Texas and site visits in Florida, this past week, a team of NHR members were able to provide assessments and training to institutions in Puerto Rico. Due to the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Maria, response from a NHR team was necessarily delayed so resources could be directed to life and safety issues. While there are still significant infrastructure challenges facing residents, the recovery process now includes assessment and salvage of cultural heritage. FAIC had also provided remote support prior to this trip and will continue to work closely with national and local organizations throughout the recovery process.
Last week, our NHR team visited institutions across the library, archives, and museum field in Puerto Rico. Water damage and resulting mold growth were intensified by power outages and lack of air conditioning, and are the primary concerns at many institutions, less so structural damage due to wind. Mold is a health and safety issue, and NHR members helped provide instruction on proper handling of affected materials and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). In the image above, NHR members evaluate a collection of Puerto Rican artists’ catalogs.
FAIC will continue to provide assistance and support recovery efforts. For more information on our emergency programs, visit our website, http://bit.ly/2okwlX1, and see previous updates on recent emergencies here: http://bit.ly/2AErjb5. We will also continue to provide updates via our social media and member publications.
Even as we continue to respond to Hurricane Maria, we are also monitoring the devastating wildfires in California. Institutions can reach NHR members via phone (202.661.8068) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org).