California Emergency Current Events and Announcements

Updated February 8, 2024 

In light of the recent flooding and heavy winds throughout areas of Northern and Southern California, we at CAM are hopeful that the entire California museum community is safe and now assessing what --if any-- impact the recent rains have had on their local organizations and team members. This CAM Emergency Resources page is updated during documented emergency events, and we welcome input and verified resources for possible inclusion in the event of a regional, statewide, or even national disaster which may impact our museums and museum workers. We also highly recommend that you bookmark this page for easy reference.

On February 5, 2024, CAM received a request for assistance from the nationwide FEMA/HENTF taskforce, as follows:


Dear California Colleagues,

I hope you and your loved ones are managing to stay safe from the excessive rainfall for portions of Southern California including Los Angeles and San Diego. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF), a public-private partnership between FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, is supporting California’s arts & culture sector – and the public. Please reach out to your members and constituents to help gather reports of damage, identify any unmet needs, and share the following resources:

  • Cultural institutions and arts organizations affected by the flooding can call the National Heritage Responders hotline: 202.661.8068. The National Heritage Responders, a team of trained conservators and collections care professionals administered by the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation, are available 24/7 to provide advice and guidance.
  • Members of the public who have questions about saving family heirlooms can email the National Heritage Responders at [email protected].
  • HENTF’s Save Your Family Treasures guidance is available at Save Your Family Treasures | Here you can find the downloadable FEMA fact sheets “After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures” and “Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Heirlooms,” available in multiple languages.

Please stay safe and I will stay in touch as disaster assistance evolves.

Thank you,


Nana Kaneko, Ph.D.
Coordinator (acting) | Heritage Emergency National Task Force
Office of Environmental Planning & Historic Preservation Resilience
Mobile: (202) 615-9414
[email protected] 
Federal Emergency Management Agency


With this in mind, CAM has created a submission form for reporting any damage, impact, or unmet needs during and after these storms. Your input will potentially benefit each contributing organization as well as the overall California museum, cultural, and historic resources fields.

First, for any urgent needs, CAM encourages you to make direct contact with the resources named in the email message (National Heritage Responders or for swift action steps to preserve structures or objects impacted by the storm.

Please reach out to CAM if there are any new emergency events or announcements in your region, or additional resources that should be included in the list below. Contact Michelle Rader at [email protected] or 831-471-9970 x1.

Emergency Response & Recovery Resources


Emergency Preparedness Grant Funding


Funded by the state of California, through the California State Library, Groundwork Grants is distributing over $1 million to institutions with collections in California to strengthen emergency preparedness. Maximum awards of $15,000 are available to institutions with historically and culturally significant collections, prioritizing those that document underrepresented communities. Options for emergency preparedness support include disaster planning development, training, supplies and equipment, and more. Visit to learn more.


Emergency Preparedness and Response, Ongoing Programs and Services

CalOES Governor's Office of Emergency Services
Access to state news, information and resources to help Californians impacted by various emergencies and disasters throughout the state.

CalOES Wildfire Recovery Resources
Statewide wildfire recovery resources

CalOES Planning & Preparedness
The Cal OES Planning and Preparedness Branch develops and maintains state-level emergency plans and planning guidance for state and local agencies.

"Ready — Or Not": Cultural Heritage Disaster Preparedness Project
NEDCC’s "Ready – Or Not" preservation consultants conduct free site visits for California organizations stewarding cultural resources and then deliver a report with their observations. Each report includes recommendations for mitigating risks, taking emergency preparedness actions, and completing a disaster plan, thereby providing each with tools to better protect their collections in an emergency, ensuring that California’s cultural heritage is preserved into the future.

American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Disaster Preparedness and Response Resources
In support of organizations that find themselves in the path of a potential disaster AAM has compiled a
list of resources to help prepare and recover.

“After the Fire: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures”
An article from the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FEMA)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Federal resources in preparation for and response to emergencies and disasters.

FEMA Fact Sheet on Art and Culture: Helping People Before, During, and After Disasters.
This fact sheet on the intersection of art, emergency management, and community resilience provides an overview on the role of emergency managers, art and cultural organizations, and artists in harnessing the strength of the arts to fortify communities, champion equity and build local community resilience.

Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative: Planning, Preparedness, and Mitigation Resources
The Smithsonian Institution, in partnership with the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF), information and resources for properly beginning, improving, and testing your disaster plan.

Smithsonian National Collections Program
Collections Emergency Management initiative through the Preparedness and Response in Collections Emergencies (PRICE).

Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative: HENTF Major Disasters Archives of Disaster Information
Past HENTF disaster information that was originally shared on the Current Disasters page.

Smithsonian Archives & Libraries: Ask a Conservator: Emergency Management
Recorded video discussion on preparation and response in emergencies, both within and outside of the Smithsonian Institution.

American Institute for Conservation (AIC) with the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC): Disaster Response and Recovery Guides
Provides emergency and disaster response and recovery guides and information, tip sheets, and additional publications.

American Institute for Conservation’s Emergency Response and Salvage Mobile App
The Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel has been used by museums, libraries, and archives around the world for salvaging artifacts after a disaster. 


Disaster Assistance/Response

California Preservation Program – Disaster Assistance
888-905-7737 (emergency response hotline)

American Institute for Conservation's National Heritage Responders
Balboa Art Conservation Center

Cleanup Services (water/smoke damage mitigation):
800-856-3333 (24/7 Emergency Hotline)
Hayward office: 510-785-3473 / 24/7 Emergency Number: 888-543-3473
Los Angeles office: 714-632-7685 / 24/7 Emergency Number: 800-421-4112
San Diego office: 858-847-9886 / 24/7 Emergency Number: 866-421-4144

800-I-CAN-DRY (422-6379)

Walk-in Freezer Rental (water damage mitigation):
Polar Leasing Company, Inc 
877-260-7903 (Sales)
877-428-2532 (Service)

Freeze Drying:
800-856-3333 (24/7 Emergency Hotline)
Hayward office: 510-785-3473 / 24/7 Emergency Number: 888-543-3473
Los Angeles office: 714-632-7685 / 24/7 Emergency Number: 800-421-4112
San Diego office: 858-847-9886 / 24/7 Emergency Number: 866-421-4144

Document Reprocessors
800-437-9464 (24 Hour Disaster Line)
650-401-7711 (West Coast Facility, Burlingame)

Mold/Bacteria Testing:
RestCon Environmental
888-617-3266 (toll-free)
916-736-1134 (Sacramento office)

Do you know of other resources that should be listed here? Contact Michelle Rader at [email protected] or 831-471-9970 x1.