Community Meetings

Community meeting at Lexington

Community meeting at Lexington, MA
Courtesy Massachusetts Archives/Jennifer Fauxsmith

The devastation of recent hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes dramatizes the need for a coordinated response by the cultural community to area-wide disasters. But all disasters must first be addressed at the local level. It is crucial, therefore, that communities mobilize to build and maintain the vital relationship among cultural heritage stewards, emergency managers, municipal planners, and town officials. In 2012, thanks to a Hazard Mitigation Grant awarded by FEMA and MEMA to COSTEP MA and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, COSTEP MA has begun mobilizing communities around the Commonwealth.

One of the most important lessons we’ve learned from disasters is that cooperation, collaboration, and communication are of vital importance to saving cultural resources. A meeting in your community will provide:

  • An opportunity for the local cultural stewards and emergency managers to meet, perhaps for the first time
  • Recommendations on how to foster these vital relationships
  • Resources to help cultural institutions respond to an emergency or disaster
  • Resources to help emergency managers respond to emergencies at cultural institutions
  • Information on completing an institutional disaster plan
  • A preview of additional training opportunities made possible by the Hazard Mitigation Grant

The time to exchange business cards is before an emergency, not after one. Let COSTEP MA help you develop the relationships and put the tools in place that will help you weather an emergency.

For more information on setting up a Community Meeting in your town or city, click here.