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How to Prepare Your Organization for an Emergency


A Biloxi first responder coaches Arts Industry Director and ADA Coordinator in a CPR demo.

For an institution to respond safely and quickly in the event of an emergency, a plan must already be in place. There are numerous resources available online to aid cultural institutions small and large in developing a plan.

There are three key aspects to emergency preparedness to consider:

  • Preventing the event from occurring, or mitigating its effects if this is not possible.
  • Cohesive teamwork and collaboration;
  • Ensuring that the right people are kept informed and properly trained.

In order to establish a framework for assistance in the aftermath of an emergency, it is essential to develop strategic partnerships within various departments in large institutions, as well as with local first responders, neighboring institutions, preservation providers and other organizations nationally and internationally. This will contribute to good communication, training, and collaboration.

Here are five tips for emergency preparedness for cultural organizations:

  1. Emergency Plan for Collections in place.
  2. Administrative Personnel Registration with Mississippi Highway Patrol. Members of the administrative team will need to register with the State Department of Highway to be able to return after a disaster to inspect the properties and assess damage.
  3. Remember to have a card with staff and board members names and contact numbers and e-mail addresses.
  4. Communication Plan. Who, What, When and Where. (Communication with local first responders – fire, police military personnel, before evacuation)
  5. Emergency kit ready and up to date. CPR and First Aid

Find more information on emergency preparedness for arts organizations.

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