Why is it important to define emergency teams for the rescue of cultural heritage?
14 November 2023

Often, in our profession, we find ourselves visiting museums, archives and libraries and investigating their ability to manage an emergency regarding cultural heritage. It is very rare to find institutions that have clearly and precisely identified a team responsible for the procedures for securing the cultural heritage preserved in the museum in the event of an emergency. Planning in peacetime, that is, in a moment of tranquillity away from an emergency, allows an institution to be able to act promptly and effectively in saving works of art affected by a disaster. Below we will analyze the reasons why defining the members of the emergency management team is fundamental and can have a huge impact on the success of rescue operations.

Definition of tasks and responsibilities

Identifying in advance the the emergency team members for the rescue of cultural heritage allows us to clearly define the tasks and responsibilities of each one, to avoid overlapping tasks and uncertainties in the execution of the procedures. Furthermore, establishing everyone’s responsibilities in advance allows you to be more open to collaboration and teamwork.

Act promptly

Identifying everyone’s tasks allows you to significantly reduce intervention times in the event of an emergency and avoid wasting time in defining procedures. Everyone knows exactly the operations that they must implement and, for this reason, is put in a position to act more decisively and effectively.

Keep calm

In emergencies, it is easy to panic and act on impulse. However, our impulse does not always push us to put into practice the most efficient actions for managing an emergency: this is why it is important to plan and have our actions for emergency management clear in advance. Furthermore, fear is a very strong emotion that affects other people and conditions their behaviour, pushing them to abandon logic.

Simplify collaboration between colleagues

If everyone’s responsibilities are clear to everyone, it will be easier for the team to collaborate and communicate. Better communication between people also allows us to guarantee greater flexibility in procedures, to deal with the elements of unpredictability that every emergency brings with it.

Simplify collaboration and communication with response teams

Efficient collaboration also guarantees better external communication with the national intervention teams, the companies in charge of emergency management and the volunteers involved, enabling them to work to the best of their ability.

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