Your family heritage and personal collections are precious to you and to future generations. The professional cultural heritage community at large and the BDC in particular want to help you preserve these mementos in the best way possible. This past Saturday we shared some basic preservation techniques with the participants in the “Caring for Your Family Treasures” workshop. Today, we’re expanding our outreach efforts to encourage you and your family to participate in MayDay 2013.
Every year the Heritage Preservation organization and its allies encourage libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and related preservation organizations to set aside May 1 to participate in MayDay. MayDay encourages cultural institutions to do one simple activity to promote emergency preparedness. By extension, we want to encourage our readers to make May 1 the day that you do just one thing to improve the status of your family treasures in case of an emergency event. Natural disasters can harm treasured possessions like photos and other keepsakes. Sometimes people discard family heirlooms that could have been saved or, lacking good advice, make the damage worse. This doesn't have to happen! Do something today to prepare your family treasures and essential documents to breeze through the upcoming hurricane season.
A great place to start is to learn all you can about preservation and risk mitigation from reliable organizations. Here are just a few recommended web resources to get your started on the path towards protecting your own family treasures:
- "Save Your Treasures the Right Way" by Heritage Preservation, provides advice on how to best cope with natural disasters. You can the brochure at https://www.heritagepreservation.org/PDFS/SaveYourTreasures.pdf to get started.
- The "Family Treasures" web pages at the Library of Congress provides simple instructions, as well as links to more comprehensive information for “Preparing, Protecting, Preserving” many types of family treasures. By applying the information today, you will be in a much better position to do the best you can to ensure that your treasures will be available for generations to come. The “Family Treasures” website begins at http://www.loc.gov/preservation/family/index.html.
- Many tools exist to help families decide what to carry with them when they evacuate during an emergency; but while most cover essentials such as food, water, and first aid materials, few discuss essential records, the records that protect your family’s health, identity, and financial resources. The Georgia State Archives has a checklist of “Essential Records for Families” that will help you organize important documents, papers, and family treasures before you have to evacuate. The direct link to the document is http://sos.georgia.gov/archives/InformationForGeneralPublic/care_for_your_family_records/Evacuation_records_rev4.pdf.
- To educate yourself about how to better prepare yourself and your family, FEMA offers a host of resources on their website at http://www.fema.gov/plan-prepare-mitigate. As there are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each type of hazard, start by identifying the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area (hurricanes, earthquakes, among others) and plan for the unique actions for each. Local Emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each. Be sure to share the hazard-specific information with family members and include pertinent materials in your family disaster plan.
For specific information about Beaufort County’s plans to protect life and property in the event of a man-made or natural disaster and to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response and building the capacity to recover, contact the Emergency Management department at (843) 255-4000 or visit them on the web at http://www.bcgov.net/departments/Public-Safety/emergency-management/index.php.