The Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), an art and culture organization charged with overseeing government grants for the city’s creative community, has announced that it recently launched a new website to help arts organizations and individual artists combat the impacts of disasters.
The site is split into nine categories — “risk assessment, preparation for any and all hazards, calculating loss after a disaster, documenting inventory before a disaster, navigating insurance, cybersecurity, FEMA and local assistance, business continuity, and preservation” — to provide a step-by-step, how-to manual for those whose work is endangered or destroyed by disasters, both man-made and natural.
In addition to short videos introducing each topic the site covers, HAA’s Disaster Resilience website includes links to other resources, including webinars and grants that can help those affected. The organization also offers free consultations for Houston-based organizations with Ellen Korpar, a disaster-prep expert.
HAA’s board chair, Leigh Smith, notes how the organization felt a need to create a pool of resources for individuals and organizations after the damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey:
“One of our greatest takeaways from Hurricane Harvey was that many artists and arts organizations lacked the resources to prepare for, let alone recover from, a catastrophic event. The Disaster Resilience website will help artists and nonprofits protect themselves from future damage, rely less on public recovery assistance, and keep the $1.1 billion arts economy of Houston running, producing, and inspiring despite future disasters.”
Though the website was created with Houston in mind, its clear advice and guidance can be applied to artists and other organizations who are potentially in harm’s way elsewhere. As HAA’s CEO John Abodeely says of the website: “It’s built to be comprehensive, quick to consume, and easy to find the information you want.”
A year ago, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, another Houston organization, the Harvey Arts Recovery Fund, published its Arts & Culture Hurricane Preparedness Toolkit, which focuses on how artists and organizations can deal with damaging hurricanes. For more on that initiative, please go here.