Collections Soaked? Roof Failing? Tornado or Hurricane Damage? It’s an Emergency… CAP


Association News: Committee Reports
Emergency Committee

Collections Soaked? Roof Failing? Tornado or Hurricane Damage? It’s an Emergency… CAP

What? You may already be familiar with the Emergency Collections Assessment for Preservation (Emergency CAP) program, an FAIC program supported under a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) aimed at supporting museums impacted by disasters. As of this year, the Emergency CAP program has been expanded to include any museum whose collections have been impacted by an emergency event. This means institutions affected by local or regional disasters now qualify. 

Why? The goal of a CAP is to improve the care of collections for museums with limited resources. Two assessors, a collections care/conservation specialist and a building specialist, are selected by the affected museums. The assessors will provide specific guidance on prioritizing what actions will have the greatest impact for collections care.

Where a general CAP looks at the entire institution and provides holistic guidance for improving collections care in every aspect of a museum, the Emergency CAP focuses more on providing recommendations for assessing risk, improving impact­ed facilities, and other recovery strategies to help care for collections affected by an emergency incident.

Top left: Houses flooded in Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic during June 2013 floods, Petr Kratochvil, public domain image.
Top right: Building with fire damage, Paul Brennan via Pixabay.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and the assessments are completed on a timeline established by the requesting museum. Over a two-day site visit, the two assessors will evaluate what are the most immediate collections threats and later provide a report to the institution with their recommendations for moving forward. Institutions should apply as soon as they are able. For more immediate recovery assistance, contact the National Heritage Responders ( 

Who? This program is available for US/Tribal/Territory museums of any size with at least one full time staff member or volunteer(s) totaling 40 hours per week. Collections must be made available to the public through exhibitions or research regularly. Larger institutions will receive a more narrowly focused report due to the amount of information that can be gathered during a two-day site visit.

How? Museums interested in applying for an Emergency CAP should contact program staff at or 202.750.3346.

--Ingrid Newman, AIC Emergency Committee