Disaster Management Resources 

 If you have valuable Disaster Management information for the field-at-large that is not currently on TCG's website and/or have suggestions of additional resource categories please contact Corinna Schulenburg

    Federal Disaster Support for Theatres


    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    FEMA is a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security dedicated to supporting citizens and first responders in preparing for, protecting against, responding to, recovering from, and mitigating all hazards.

    Before and After Disasters: Federal Funding for Cultural Institutions
    FEMA 533/September 2005
    This handbook contains summary descriptions and contact information for 15 federal grant and loan programs for both preparedness and mitigation and for response and recovery. It also includes: disaster management definitions, disaster response tips, explains how the federal emergency assistance system works and gives extensive online resources. This is the most recent federal manual. Some of the eligibility requirements, have since changed, for example, two years after this report was published performing arts facilities became eligible for federal relief. Contact the funder directly, if in doubt whether your theatre qualifies for a certain grant or loan program. - Access to Disaster Help and Resources consolidates information about federally funded government assistance from 17 different government agencies to disaster survivors. For instance, you can apply for FEMA individual assistance and Small Business Administration loans through a single online application. There is a questionnaire on their website which helps determine applicant eligibility. You can browse online by category or federal agency for disaster assistance, and there is an option to bookmark your search results. For the “Disaster Relief” category there are 30 different types of federal assistance available. This website also contains breaking natural disaster news, along with the ability to search for federal disaster recovery centers near a current address, renting options and federal student loan information.


    U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
    A government agency, the Small Business Administration, provides loans for not-for-profits in presidentially declared disaster areas. The SBA gives up to $2 million to qualified applicants. The Business Physical Disaster Loan may be used to repair or replace real property, machinery, equipment, fixtures, inventory and leasehold improvements.

    Guide to Navigating Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration Disaster Aid for Cultural Institutions
    This publication is an easy-to-follow guide for arts organizations seeking federal funding in times of disaster. It includes: FEMA and SBA application instructions and forms, a listing of state emergency management agencies and FEMA disaster assistance policies. This manual was originally published in July, 2008 and updated in January, 2009. Please visit American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works for future updates.

    Heritage Preservation

    Heritage Emergency National Task Force
    The Heritage Emergency National Task Force is a partnership of 41 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. This organization primarily works with libraries, archives and museums; however, their website contains disaster planning and response resources that theatres could utilize.

    Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel
    Offered through the Heritage Preservation Bookstore, the Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel is a quick reference tool outlining critical disaster action and salvage tips.

    Theatre Readiness/Disaster Assistance Organizations

    dPlan|ArtsReady is an online emergency preparedness and response tool for arts and cultural organizations, regardless of size, scope, or discipline.

    dPlan|ArtsReady is currently offering arts organizations a fee waiver to get their dPlan/ArtsReady membership going—learn more here.

    NYFA/New York Foundation for the Arts
    NYFA maintains a list of artist emergency resources which is regularly updated. 

    Grantmakers in the Arts - Supporting a Creative America
    The Coalition for Artists’ Preparedness and Emergency Response is a cross-disciplinary, voluntary national task force formed in 2006, involving over 20 arts organizations (artist/art-focused organizations, arts agencies, and arts funders) and individual artists, spearheaded by Craft Emergency Relief Fund/Artists’ Emergency Resources (CERF+). Coalition participants are committed to a combined strategy of resource development, educational empowerment and public policy advocacy designed to ensure that there is an organized, nationwide safety net for artists and the arts organizations that serve them before, during and after disasters. This website contains: sample disaster plans, emergency funding reports and emergency actor resources.

    Studio Protector
    The Artist's Guide to Emergencies

    Developed by CERF+, the Studio Protector is a self-help information toolkit geared for artists at all levels. Working artists have been involved in every step of the design and testing of the toolkit. There are wall guides which are a calendar-sized reference tool with checklists containing the most essential information for emergency preparedness and response for a small fee and free online guides including a wealth of information such as: getting the right insurance coverage, resources for business emergency continuity plans and tips on how to assess and report damage.

    Important Information from Museum & Library Disaster Resources

    AIC - CERT
    American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works – Collections Emergency Response Team

    With highly-trained responder teams (100), AIC-CERT helps cultural institutions prepare and respond to disasters. This organization provides assistance by phone, email and in-person to collecting institutions affected by everything from leaking pipes to roof damage. They have a 24-hour assistance hotline (202) 661-8068. They have not yet worked with theatre companies; however, they are more than willing to launch into the theatre field. They charge a fee for deployment and assessment but will provide free preparation guidance.

    Building an Emergency Plan: A Guide for Museums and Other Cultural Institutions

    The Getty Conservation Institute
    This is a thorough manual detailing how to develop an emergency preparedness and response plan tailored to your specific organization. This handbook includes: questions to consider, case studies, worksheets, suggested staff exercises, terminology, emergency supply lists, daily/periodic check lists and crisis job descriptions. This guide was written from a museum perspective, but offers a wealth of information also valuable for theatres.

    Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts
    CCAHA’s website includes: a beginner’s guide to developing a disaster plan, technical bulletins on salvaging books, photographs, and art on paper and the Mid-Atlantic Resource Guide for Disaster Preparedness, a comprehensive contact list for emergency response service providers and emergency supply and equipment vendors.

    Coordinated Statewide Emergency Preparedness
    A Handbook for the Cultural Community

    This guide would benefit theatre companies who want to collaboratively work on a disaster plan. It contains information on how to set up and manage the group, preparedness checklists, acronyms, standard emergency management terms and resources. It also provides information on federal funding available for disaster response and recovery. This organization is geared toward libraries; however, a lot of this research could be valuable for partnering theatre companies.

    National Archives Preservation and Archives Professionals Records Emergency Information
    This website has a wealth of information on how to prepare, respond and recover paper and electronic records along with a list of vendors that provide record recovery and salvage services.

    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    This organization’s mission is to preserve historic landmarks and parks; however, their “Preparation & Response for Cultural Institutions” web page contains rich resources valuable for any theatre in crisis ranging from preparedness to response.

    Northeast Documentation Conservation Center
    As part of its Preservation Services program, this organization offers an emergency assistance program for institutions and individuals with damaged paper-based collections. You can call their Disaster Assistance Hotline (978) 470-1010 any time for free advice. Information provided includes advice on drying wet collections and dealing with damage from fire, pests or mold. This website also provides a template for writing disaster plans along with additional resources such as risk assessment webinar recordings and preservation leaflets.

    Disaster Guidance from the For-Profit Community

    Disaster Recovery Journal
    While the tools provided on this website focus on for-profit businesses, some of the information is useful for the not-for-profit theatre community including: free monthly webinars on diverse disaster topics, sample recovery plans and a comprehensive crisis vendor list.

    Individual Theatre Artist Disaster Aid

    Fractured Atlas
    Fractured Atlas is a not-for-profit organization that serves a national community of artists and arts organizations. They provide a unique arts insurance program providing liability, property and casualty insurance for both individual theatre artists and organizations. (You must be a Fractured Atlas member in order to apply.) They also give artists and theatres guidance in finding the right health care plan.

    New York Foundation for the Arts maintains an extensive resource list of emergency grants for individual artists. There is a "theater" specific section. There is some grant crossover, however, so it is worth taking the time to skim the other emergency grant art categories.

    The Actors Fund, for everyone in entertainment
    The Actors Fund is a nationwide human services organization that helps all professionals in the performing arts. The Fund is a safety net, providing programs and services for those who are in need, crisis or transition. Individual emergency resources available include: social services, financial assistance, mental health counseling and affordable housing. This website also contains a thorough database of emergency resources searchable by state.

    Disaster Philanthropy

    Center for Disaster Philanthropy
    For those interested in donating to disaster relief efforts, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy is a wonderful place to start. The website includes: basic tips for disaster giving, best practices in disaster management and reliable updates on recent disasters. This organization also administers The Disaster Recovery Fund, a full-service grantmaking tool with an emphasis on the entire landscape of disaster preparedness, disaster response and disaster recovery. They offer one-on-one strategic philanthropic advice.

    Resources for Foundations

    Council on Foundations
    This website contains up-to-date information on how foundations are responding to Hurricane Sandy as well as a thorough foundation-based resource list including: "Providing Relief in Times of Disaster," "We Were There: The Role of Philanthropy in National Disasters" and "Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan for Community Foundations."