Cultural and historic resources are held in the public trust by a range of cultural institutions that include, but are not limited to, libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, municipal offices, and historic and archeological sites and properties. These institutions hold the collective history of our communities, our states, and our nation. Ensuring that these institutions are prepared for emergencies and disasters contributes to a community’s resilience. When disaster strikes, the recovery of these institutions and their collections is essential for the successful recovery of the Whole Community.

Founded in 1995, HENTF was co-sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the private nonprofit Heritage Preservation until Heritage Preservation was dissolved in June 2015. During those two decades, under the leadership of Heritage Preservation, HENTF exemplified the very best in public-private partnerships to ensure that museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, and the public at large have the tools and resources to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

Today, HENTF is co-sponsored by FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, an original member of the Task Force. The partnership of 59 national service organizations and federal agencies continues to address cultural heritage concerns across all five FEMA mission areas – prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation.

Our Mission

HENTF’s mission is to protect cultural heritage in our nation’s states, tribes, territories, and local communities from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. HENTF:

Our Objectives

HENTF focuses on these five strategic objectives: