*No collections objects were harmed in the making of this training. In March, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative team hosted training in Puerto Rico that focused on protecting the area's heritage for the future.
Participants got hands-on practice with an "emergency" at the fake “State Museum of Smithsonia." They evaluated the situation, and documented, packed and eventually evacuated the collection to a safer location.
In emergency planning, it’s critical to think about what resources you'll have and how to use them. Participants analyzed waterlogged photos and paintings, peeling away soaked paper-based mounting, and dabbed moisture out of a fragile textile with a standard kitchen sponge.
After a disaster, humanitarian response is the top priority. But there is also a critical period to salvage and save a culture’s identity and history—the objects and architecture that help make up cultural heritage. Learn more about the Smithsonian's work at culturalrescue.si.edu.