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, May 2012


Allied Organizations


Prepare for MayDay 2012

Libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and preservation 

organizations across the country will set aside May 31, 2012, to 

participate in MayDay, a national—and international—effort to 

prepare for disasters. 

Any organization can participate in MayDay. In the past, partic-

ipants have held fire safety sessions, stockpiled emergency supplies, 

and began or updated disaster plans. Heritage Preservation is 

collecting examples of creative but practical measures such as 

these to share online. Any cultural institution submitting a brief 

description of 2012 MayDay plans or accomplishments by May 

31, 2012, will be entered in a drawing for disaster supplies donated 

by Gaylord Brothers. 

Heritage Preservation will also offer its award-winning Field 

Guide to Emergency Response and Emergency Response and Salvage 

Wheel at special MayDay prices from April 1 through May 31. 


html to access the sale, MayDay project ideas, prize drawing rules, 

and the MayDay logo. 

Activities hosted by Heritage Preservation for MayDay 2012 

are sponsored by Rapid Refile, offering document recovery and 

emergency planning services throughout the nation.  

The Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel Is 

Now an App!

Heritage Preservation’s Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel is 

now available free of charge on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad 

as the “ERS: Emergency Response and Salvage” app.

Long known as the authoritative resource for salvaging artifacts 

after a disaster, the Wheel has been used by museums, libraries, and 

archives around the world. This new app makes the Wheel’s invalu-

able guidance accessible to anyone who is in need of practical advice 

for saving collections in the first 48 hours after disaster strikes.

Apple users can download this free app from the App Store. 

Simply search for “ERS: Emergency Response and Salvage.” To 

download, your device must run iOS 5.1 or later. Complete tech-

nical requirements are available on the ERS page at the App Store. 

ERS provides the same reliable content found in the original 

Wheel. The app outlines critical stages of disaster response and 

provides practical salvage tips for nine types of collections, from 

photographs to natural history specimens. ERS can help users 

protect precious collections and significant records, access reliable 

information instantly, and save damaged objects. The app was 

created in partnership with the National Center for Preservation 

Technology and Training (NCPTT). 

The original slide-chart Wheel has been translated into more 

than five languages and distributed internationally in more than 

40 countries. Sponsored by BELFOR, it is still available for 

purchase. Visit the Bookstore at  



, May 2012




Cultural Heritage Represented at FEMA Events

From November 2011 through March 2012, FEMA hosted 

stakeholder events in all 10 FEMA regions to describe the 

National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) and explain 

how its principles and concepts could be used in communities. 

Representatives from organizations affiliated with Heritage 

Preservation, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, and 

local cultural communities attended nearly all of these events, 

ensuring continued representation in ongoing discussions. 

The NDRF was released in September 2011. This frame-

work provides guidance for leadership and coordination among 

different levels of government and various agencies following 

a major disaster. Key to successful long-term disaster recovery 

is involvement by the whole community, which includes 

nonprofits and the private sector, along with local, state, tribal, 

and federal governments. For the first time in a federal frame-

work, natural and cultural resources have an identified role in one 

of six Recovery Support Function (RSF) Annexes to the NDRF.

Sustainable Conservation Practice

Survey Results

The AIC Committee on Sustainable Conservation Practice 

(CSCP) put out a survey to its members in Fall 2011, which 

inquired how, or if, conservators are going green and working 

sustainably by changing their work habits and adapting 

their workplaces to reduce energy consumption. The survey 

was a follow up to the 2008 AIC Green Task Force “Green 

Conservation Practices” survey sent to AIC members and select 

members of the American Association of Museums (AAM). 

The 2011 survey included questions asked in the 2008 survey 

to gauge how practices have changed as well as additional ques-

tions to help CSCP learn about new areas of interest. In total, 

107 people or, about 3% of the AIC membership responded 

to the survey. Although this is a low rate of response compared 

to the 2008 survey (about 15%), we hope that it represents 

nothing more than survey fatigue. The many new publications, 

conferences, and online courses on sustainability in conservation 

are clear indications that many conservators are interested in 

the topic. The 2011 survey supports this observation as 81% of 

respondents indicated that they try to reduce their carbon foot-

print and waste when designing conservation treatments.

To gather more detailed information on how conservators are 

moving towards sustainable practices, we divided the 

2011 survey into eight categories, which include 

the headings below. We offer a brief summary of 

key points here, as well as topics that the CSCP has 

identified for future research. Complete results of 

the survey can be found on our page on AIC’s wiki


Although only one-third of the survey participants 

answered the series of questions related to envi-

ronmental parameters, just as many requested more 

information on these topics. Changes in parameters 

for temperature and relative humidity were cited as 

solutions to save energy and money (figure 1). For 

example, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation 

saved on energy costs by using HVAC shutdowns in 

some of their buildings. A discussion of their experi-

ence will be included in the upcoming tips session 

at the CSCP annual meeting luncheon.

Slightly more facilities changed environmental parameters 

than utilized an alternative energy source (figure 2). However 

many more reported modifying lighting systems for energy 

savings. Although less than 10% of our respondents have worked 

in a facility that changed parameters for temperature and rela-

tive humidity, the research supporting these initiatives and the 

resultant cost savings will undoubtedly make it a growing trend 

in the future.

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