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Friday, October 2, 2015

Be Arts Ready: Don't chance it - Get Prepared for Hurricane Joaquin!

Image courtesy of Weatehr.com
A hurricane does not need to be a direct hit to cause devastation. Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are expected to encounter extreme, historic, life-threatening, flash flooding from the coasts to well inland. The entire Atlantic region is also forecasted to receive heavy rains and winds - having devastating impacts in many of those areas.

We want to make certain our Member arts organizations in the threatened areas are aware and prepared.

Here are things to bear in mind and tips to prepare your arts organization for the severe weather coming over the next week:

1. Do you have a process in place to decide if any events you're hosting will go forward, get cancelled, or rescheduled?  Do all of your staff, crew, volunteers, and artists know what that process is and how it will be communicated?  How will you reach out to ticketholders and the public with that information? Here's an example of an Event Cancellation Policy.

2. Flooding and storm surge is always an issue during these weather systems.  Elevate or evacuate valuable artwork, equipment, props or costumes, and technology located in your facility. For more storm surge and flood safety tips visit Ready.gov. The American Red Cross also has tips on preparing for Joaquin.

3. Make sure virtual and/or hard copies of your insurance and financial information are located in a cloud-based storage and/or offsite location, so you can access your accounts and policies at any time.  To learn more about flooding risk and protecting your property from flood damage visit Floodsmart.gov. 

4. Make sure your staff, board, and volunteer contact lists are up-to-date and accessible offsite. The contact lists should include a personal or alternate email address and phone number in case your organization's usual communication system is unavailable. 

5. Lastly, refer individual artists in your area to CERF+ and the Studio Protector, so artists know about the resources available to them in advance of the weather event.

As always, your individual safety and that of those around you comes first.  Listen for evacuation alerts in your area.  Tune into radio and social media channels to stay up to date with the status of the storm in your area.  NOAA's Hurricane Center will keep you posted.  Also download free emergency alerts to your mobile phone via American Red Cross, FEMA, or NOAA.

Stay safe!
Team ArtsReady

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