The Texas Historical Commission is ready to help property owners, local officials and state and federal agencies in communities that may be impacted by weather events.
In Texas, both disaster preparedness and disaster relief are coordinated by the Division of Emergency Management (DEM). When the President declares a federal disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) becomes involved. The use of federal funds to assist communities after a disaster is subject to review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act when the clean-up and repair work impacts historic properties. In these situations DEM and FEMA consult with the Texas Historical Commission to ensure that the historic resources are protected.
The THC can advise owners of historic properties on the proper clean-up and rehabilitation techniques after disaster strikes. In Texas the most prevalent disaster threats are floods, hurricanes and tornados. Fire also poses a threat to individual historic buildings and can constitute a small-scale disaster for property owners.
The following websites provide useful information on appropriate treatment of historic properties and museum collections after a disaster:
- Heritage Preservation aims to preserve the nation’s heritage for future generations through innovative leadership, education, and programs. Heritage Preservation, Inc. will disband effective June 30, 2015. In the meantime, their website contains information on conservation for museums and libraries.
- The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works – Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC-CERT) responds to the needs of cultural institutions during emergencies and disasters. Additionally, many of Heritage Preservation's critical programs will transition to this organization.
- Repairing Your Flooded Home by the Red Cross and FEMA is a step-by-step guide from the immediate aftermath to repair and rebuilding after a flood.
- The Texas Department of Transportation has developed guidance for addressing flood damage to truss bridges.
Did your public or private nonprofit facility sustain damage during a disaster?
If so, you may be eligible for public assistance. State government agencies, local governments and special districts, private nonprofit organizations that are open to the general public (including museums) and federally recognized Indian tribes should register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for possible reimbursement. Please go to the Texas Division of Emergency Management website for information.
THC Disaster Relief Contacts
To reach the THC in the event of an emergency, call 512.463.6094 or send an email to Elizabeth Brummett.