Emergency Responders play one of the most important roles in mitigating risks to persons, properties, and collections. Establishing and maintaining relationships between your organization and Responders has many positive results for both parties.

For many years, COSTEP MA has worked to enhance the partnerships among these communities, through workshops, networking, advocacy, and developing materials.


Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. The range of FEMA’s activities is broad and spans the life cycle of disasters. Resources include: Ready.gov; Disasters and Maps of Federally Declared Disasters; Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Program; HENTF. Before and After Disasters: Federal Funding for Cultural Institutions FEMA-533, 2005

Massachusetts is a part of FEMA’s Region I.

The National Weather Service (NWS) provides warnings (Advisory, Warning, and Watch) for extreme weather conditions through their Boston area (BOX) operations.


The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) provides a great deal of guidance and resources for persons and institutions of the Commonwealth. Public Assistance Information; State Hazard Mitigation Plan; Emergency Management Directors Listings (on the MEMA homepage); Protection of Cultural and Historical Resources Annex.

MEMA is the state agency with primary responsibility for ensuring the state’s resilience to disasters. MEMA’s staff of professional planners, communications specialists, operations managers, and support personnel is committed to an all-hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state, and local government agencies and with the private sector—individuals, families, non-profits and businesses—MEMA ensures the Commonwealth’s ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and building the capacity to recover.


Between 2017 and 2018, Finding Common Ground: Collaborative Training for the Cultural Heritage and Emergency Response Communities, was devel­oped by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Massachusetts State Archives, and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services. Explore the Finding Common Ground website for extensive and thorough resources to help in planning many aspects of your emergency response program.

Local emergency management directors are required throughout the state. In any response, Incident Command Systems are the national standard method of communication and organization.

You don’t want to be exchanging business cards with your city or town’s Emergency Management Director (EMD) during an emergency. Not sure who your EMD is? Check out the Emergency Management Director directory available on the homepage of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Then contact your EMD. You’ll both be glad you did.

COSTEP MA published Cultural Resources Inventory Forms for use by cultural heritage collections, including municipal repositories, and to be shared with local Emergency Management Directors (EMDs), who can incorporate the information into the local emergency plan.

Training Materials in Cultural Heritage Response & Recovery

LAST UPDATED: April 4, 2019