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Kraft to Serve as State Disaster Preparedness Planning Co-Director

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) announced the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences awarded a grant of $40,000 to develop a statewide disaster preparedness and response plan for Iowa.

“Iowa is home to many unique cultural and historical treasures,” said Congressman Loebsack.  “I am pleased to announce funding that will establish an action plan that will work to save and protect artifacts in the event of another natural disaster, like the Floods of 2008.”

The grant funding will be used by the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium in partnership with the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Iowa Museum Association, and the State Library of Iowa to marshal resources to act as first responders for cultural entities in the event of disaster. Nancy E. Kraft, University of Iowa Libraries Preservation Librarian, and Jerome Thompson, State Curator at the State Historical Society of Iowa, will serve as co-project directors.

“We learned during the Floods of 2008 that a rapid response can save a significant portion of a collection. This grant will help us put a plan in place so cultural institutions anywhere in Iowa can get prompt assistance during a disaster,” stated Nancy E. Kraft.

Specifically, the grant will fund surveys of institutional preparedness, knowledge of resources, geo-referencing location of cultural repositories, raising awareness of the need for disaster response plans, developing a strategy for establishing first responders, and developing applicable disaster response planning tools. This will ensure that in the event of an emergency situation, Iowa’s cultural entities are able to quickly respond and provide safe conditions for collections.