In 2004 the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) began a collaboration with ICOM and ICCROM to develop a course to assist museum personnel in safeguarding their collections from the effects of natural and human-made emergencies called Teamwork for Integrated Emergency Management (TIEM). This project was carried out within the broader framework of ICOM's Museums Emergency Program (MEP), designed to make information and other resources on emergency preparedness and response more readily available to museums.

Components of the project included:

Goal and Objectives
The goal of the GCI-ICOM-ICCROM collaboration was the increased capacity of museum professionals in integrated emergency management, a term that encompasses risk assessment and mitigation, and emergency preparedness and response. Integrated emergency management requires the knowledge, skills, and experience of a broad range of professionals, including those from the security, risk mitigation, and disaster preparedness fields. The project guides museums in adapting strategies from these fields to their own institutions, taking into account local resources.

The specific objectives of the GCI-ICOM-ICCROM collaboration were to:

  • develop a curriculum and learning strategies to increase understanding and skill in the theoretical and practical aspects of integrated emergency management;
  • develop groups of regional advisors, instructors, and mentors;
  • offer regional courses for museum professionals;
  • compile a bibliography of recent literature and didactic resources related to integrated emergency management;
  • create alliances with international, regional, and local organizations dedicated to conservation and to risk mitigation and response in order to promote interdisciplinarity and the long term sustainability of MEP's education efforts.

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Project Summary
ICOM's Museums Emergency Program (MEP) was a strategic, multi-year project that aimed to assist museum and other heritage professionals to assess, prepare for, and respond to natural and human-made threats. Education played a vital role within MEP's overall strategy of enhancing the emergency preparedness and response capabilities of museum personnel.

The design of Teamwork for Integrated Emergency Management reflected the belief that acquiring expertise in emergency management is a long-term process, requiring more training and experience than can normally be obtained through short courses or workshops alone. While short-term training can be helpful in providing basic information and skills, changes of institutional policies and practices demand a more sustained effort in capacity-building.

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For this reason, the GCI and its partners developed an education strategy that combines classroom-based learning with mentored practical work carried out by participants in their own institutions over a period of several months. The period of practical work was integral to the course design and gave participants the chance to adapt, put into practice, and test within their own museums the ideas and information presented during classroom training. During this phase of the course, participants remained in contact with course instructors who guided them, as necessary, through the processes and decision-making associated with integrated emergency management.

Page updated: July 2012

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