Iowa Dept. of Cultural Affairs Requests Reports on Flood Damage to Cultural Resources

Report damage to cultural, historical, and art properties & assets

Posted by SHPO on June 17th, 2008 12:48 pm

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is urging Iowans to report recent flood, storm and tornado damage of cultural, historical and art properties and assets to a special email account and through a series of upcoming conference calls.

DCA is requesting reports about cultural, historical and art properties and assets that include – but are not limited to – art galleries, art museums, performance art centers, artist’s studios, historic buildings, cemeteries, archaeological sites, artifacts, museum collections and archives.

“We are receiving scattered reports already, but we are urging Iowans to contact us through the special email account and on the conference calls so we can develop a comprehensive report of the damage our cultural, historical and art properties and assets have suffered,” said Cyndi Pederson, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “This information will be critical in determining the financial assistance Iowans will need to recover and rebuild.”

Iowans can report damage to a special email account at (please note the “.” between “Resources” and “Flooding”). In the subject line, please identify the community and the cultural resource impacted by the flooding. Replies will not be issued from this email account.

Iowans can also report damage during a series of conference calls at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19; 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 24; and 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26. Iowans should call toll-free at 866-685-1580; the conference code is 5152816320#.

Iowans can also visit for technical assistance, disaster response and financial resource information. The information is directed primarily to cultural, historical and art organizations and historic property owners, but can also be applied to most dwellings and collections. Examples of information include:

– treating flood-damaged homes and properties
– working with contractors and architects
– salvaging water-damaged collections
– links to nearly two dozen organizations that offer a wide variety of technical assistance

The Web site also offers directions for applying for emergency Historic Resource Development Program grants.

“Water and loss of humidity and temperature control can cause enormous damage to historical documents, artifacts, historic buildings, archaeological sites, cemeteries, government records and art collections,” Pederson said. “A single flood can erase substantial portions of a community’s unique recorded history, and water distorts paper and causes ink and other media to run or even disappear. Wet records, artifacts and art pieces can grow mold within 48 hours, so even a small water disaster requires a prompt response.

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