Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
Disaster Response Resources


Updated: September 14, 2018


Governor Ralph Northam lifted the mandatory evacuation of residents in Zone A of Hampton Roads, the eastern Shore, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula at 10:45am today following the National Hurricane Center lifting the tropical storm warning for coastal Virginia. Citizens should use caution when returning home, and check road conditions before they travel by logging on to or call 511.


The state is now shifting focus to Southwest Virginia as Florence turns north this weekend. Citizens in Southwest Virginia should prepare for flooding and can find out how at




Updated: September 11, 2018

Governor Ralph Northam issued a mandatory evacuation order on September 10, 2018 for coastal Virginia residents in Zone A in advance of Hurricane Florence, including low-lying areas of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. 
Our thoughts are with our colleagues in these areas most likely to be impacted, but we encourage everyone across the state to prepare now for hazardous weather. Some simple tasks like making sure your contact list is updated and distributed and that items are off the floor and collections cases are covered with plastic can go a long way in saving your institution's treasures.
  • Find useful disaster planning resources here including dPlan online disaster-planning template prepared by the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and the Pocket Response Plan created by the Council for State Archivists.

  • Museums may find they need assistance from colleagues in the event of storm damage, and if we get such a call, we will let our members know.  Keep in mind that while we all want to help right away, oftentimes it is a week or more after a disaster before a site can evaluate the damage, get an all-clear from emergency crews, and be able to even ask for volunteer assistance. In the event you are able to assist sites in need, or are a site in need, contact VAM at 804.358.3170. We will help coordinate connections where possible.

Read below for helpful tips from The Heritage Emergency National Task Force:

Hurricane Florence is threatening to intensify into a major hurricane later this week. It’s important that all individuals and cultural institutions prepare for sustained winds, heavy rain, and potential flooding:
Track the storm via National Hurricane Center:

Monitor information via your state’s Emergency Management Agency:

Gather your staff and review your disaster plan today. No disaster plan? Put that at the top of the to-do list once the hurricane 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.

If you don’t already have up-to-date images (photographic/video) of your facility’s exterior and interior, including storage areas, now’s the time to take them. Being able to illustrate how your building and collections looked before damage will be helpful if the need arises to pursue recovery financing. 

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

Secure outdoor furniture, bike racks, book drops, 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.

Cut lengths of plastic sheeting to be able to throw them over shelves 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.

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, are available 24/7 to provide advice.

Download FEMA fact sheets “After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures” and “Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Heirlooms,” available at

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



Take Steps to Protect Your Historic Property - Tips from Preservation Virginia

The forecast is calling for significant rainfall, wind and potential flooding for all of Virginia. Regarding disaster planning in the short term, here are some words of advice:

Check your insurance. Make sure everything is as you want it, including the amount of the deductible and the coverage. If you have any questions, call your agent ASAP.

Look at your property - take photos of the buildings from all sides. This can be helpful if you have damage and need to remember or document how something looked prior to the storm.

Take a video of the interior of your home to document your personal property. If you have damage it will help you recreate what you had in each room.

Find or print a copy of your insurance policy and all important contacts.

Walk around the property and secure all lawn furniture, grills, etc.

Here are several helpful links you should keep handy:


Useful Links

VAM's Toolkit on Disaster Preparedness is a good place to start, to make sure your site is prepared BEFORE the storm.


American Alliance of Museums has a great collection of disaster resources.


American Institute for Conservation (AIC) has disaster and recovery resources.


National Heritage Responders is a highly skilled team of conservators and other collections care professionals with expertise in emergency response for cultural heritage collections. The team responds to the needs of cultural institutions during emergencies and disasters through coordinated efforts with first responders, state agencies, vendors, and the public. You can call their hotline for help at 202-661-8068, or email




Thank You Conference 2018 Sponsors

Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal