Are you ArtsReady?
Hurricane Florence is approaching the East Coast and will likely have landfall Thursday or Friday. Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency. Coastal S.C. counties are to begin evacuating at noon Tuesday, and schools as far inland as Lexington County are closing to provide shelters and buses to assist in evacuation procedures. Read more here. While Florence's path remains difficult to predict, artists and arts organizations in South Carolina should anticipate impact and prepare accordingly.
Bonus content: South Carolina Emergency Management DivisionIf you have an ArtsReady/readiness plan, we hope that triggering it into action provides you with the ability to prepare for the storm. If not, we encourage you to take a few basic steps to prepare your office/venue/studio for the potential impact before departing for your personal preparation - unless you are under an evacuation order, in which case you should follow the instructions of local/state officials immediately. If you aren’t in the hurricane’s path, please use this time to take a look at your own readiness planning in the event of a future emergency. Visit ArtsReady to start or build upon your readiness plan; sign up for free webinars on a variety of readiness and disaster planning offered through the Performing Arts Readiness project; and sign up to get regular information on grants, trainings and programs to improve your organization’s readiness and resiliency (much of this project’s content is relevant to arts organizations and artists of all disciplines).
Be prepared!Please use and share the following resources to ensure you are ready: HENFT Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Cultural Institutions Cerf+'s Resources for Artists:
- Assign a readiness/emergency leader for your organization through whom all communications and information should be relayed. Decide who makes the decision about suspending operations/events, and how those decisions are communicated.
- Ensure you can carry out banking activity remotely, and that staff can work remotely if your offices/facility are inaccessible.
- If practical, de-install exhibits that may be threatened by weather or water and remove to a safer location.
- Secure outdoor sculptures, furniture, bike racks, signage, etc. – anything that can become a projectile in strong winds.
- Move costumes, scenery, instruments, valuable equipment and collections that are in areas vulnerable to flooding (i.e., the floor, the basement) or susceptible to rain (near windows or under roofs) out of harm’s way.
- Hurricane Preparedness Checklist - AgilityRecovery walks through the safe closure of your facility, as well as critical steps during and after the storm.
- FEMA’s ready.gov website has check lists and resources for before, during and after a hurricane as well as a disaster preparedness and response mobile app.
- The American Red Cross has a suite of well-designed apps to cover a wide range of emergencies, including hurricanes. Each app covers what to do if you are in the middle of an emergency, next steps, and preparedness tips.
Thanks to our colleagues at South Arts for much of the content above.