Facilitated Disaster Planning Project

photo dryingThe two biggest obstacles to creating a disaster plan faced by cultural organizations are the need for more information and manpower.

CERC is here to help, by introducing a one-year program to facilitate disaster planning at cultural organizations all over Maine. A team of trained facilitators  will work directly with a broad range of museums, libraries, archives and town offices, helping them develop a plan appropriate for their specific circumstances.  FEMA is working with CERC to commit a FEMA Corps team to this project, which is possible in large part because of a grant to the Maine State Museum from Jane’s Trust.


How it will work:

  • There will be two rounds of facilitated planning – one in the fall, from September – December, and one in the spring, from February – May. Organizations must apply to participate: those interested in the fall round may apply now; applications for the spring round will be open in November.
  • Participant organizations will be selected to represent a broad range of institutional sizes, geographical locations, collections types, and building construction. However, the most important qualification will be the organization’s demonstration that all the stakeholders (whether paid or volunteer staff, board members, or other governing authority members) are committed to devoting the time and resources to completing a disaster plan.
  • CERC will work with participants to determine the appropriate benchmarks for the organization to achieve, based on the benchmarks identified in the Essential, Enhanced and Advanced levels of disaster planning on the CERC web site. CERC will schedule 4-8 meetings with the organization to achieve the benchmarks (the number of meetings being dependent on the benchmarks to be achieved) and “homework” will be assigned to the organization between each meeting.  Please note that this process will require the participation of several stakeholders from within the organization – an effective disaster plan can not be the work of only one or two people.
  • Facilitators will run each meeting, take notes, then compile the results into a final disaster plan for the organization. Where appropriate, the facilitators may also help make connections to local first responders or other relevant contacts.
  • The organization’s experience will be turned into a case study, so that other similar organizations can get a sense of what some of the successful strategies and unexpected challenges in developing a disaster plan may be.document drying

Is your organization ready to get planning this fall? The next step is to fill out the online application.

Have questions? Please contact Ellen Dyer, CERC Coordinator, at CERC.Maine@gmail.com or (207) 287-6696.

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