Each year, the Heritage Emergency and Response Training (HEART) DC program accepts and brings 25 heritage and emergency management professionals from across the country to participate in a five-day in-person training. Over the course of the program, participants are taught by staff from the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (SCRI), Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) representatives, as well as multiple subject matter experts from across the Smithsonian Institution. They participate in practical exercises and visit and engage with other local heritage professionals. There is no fee to participate in the training and with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, participant accommodation and partial travel costs are provided in an effort to make the training as accessible as possible.
HEART DC consists of three parts. Accepted applicants are required, before the start of the program, to complete FEMA’s online course “Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS 100)” so that participants have a foundational understanding of emergency management coordination, which will be built upon during the in-person part of the training. Participants then travel to Washington, DC, for a week of hands-on training at the Smithsonian Institution. Sessions provide realistic training in damage assessment, rapid documentation, emergency evacuation and salvage, rehousing and storage, crisis communication, team building, and more. At the conclusion of the training, participants are invited to attend a HEART webinar series that builds upon the in-person training and reinforces concepts covered in previous trainings.
At the end of the training, participants are be able to:
- Assess and manage risks to cultural heritage in emergency situations
- Explore the definition of cultural heritage and the impact that disasters (natural and man-made) have on heritage
- Improve existing disaster plans at their organization or agency, or on behalf of other organizations or agencies
- Take preventive actions to reduce disaster risk and improve response
- Manage a response team to implement effective actions during crises that affect cultural heritage
- Communicate successfully with the various actors, including the media, involved in an emergency response
- Identify relevant programs and services that can assist cultural heritage organizations in the event of a disaster
- Understand how first aid for cultural heritage supports recovery in affected communities and how it fits into the National Planning Frameworks
HEART Graduates in the News
Selected online news coverage of some of our past participants:
HEART Graduate: Colleen Grant
HEART Graduate: Jared Yax
HEART Graduate: Tracy Bidwell