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News Release
Value of Heritage Resources in Disaster Resilience Report and Messaging Guide now available - 12/02/21

SALEM, Oregon –

Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department that includes the Oregon Heritage Commission and the State Historic Preservation Office, recently released the Value of Heritage Resources in Disaster Recovery Report and Messaging Guide, commissioned by the Oregon Heritage Commission. 

The Value of Heritage Resources in Disaster Resilience Report and Messaging Guide is the most recent effort in the Oregon Heritage Commission’s long-term initiative to help heritage organizations and communities prepare their heritage resources for natural and man-made disasters. The specific goal of this report and accompanying messaging guide is to help heritage groups articulate why historic places and cultural resources should be included in local emergency plans so that emergency managers and decision makers in the community include those assets in both disaster planning and community recovery. 

Kuri Gill grants and outreach coordinator for Oregon Heritage said, “Heritage resources help create a unique sense of identity for communities, support our local economies and strengthen social bonds. The loss of such resources can be devastating to a community. And if preserved, in the aftermath of a disaster, they can be an anchor for community recovery. Articulating the importance of these resources is important in gaining local support for their inclusion in local disaster planning. The report and messaging tool arm heritage groups with the language and knowledge to share this message with decision makers and their community in order to ensure the long-term preservation of Oregon’s heritage.”

The elements of the report and messaging guide are as follows:

Value of Heritage in Disaster Resilience Report:  Includes case studies in heritage and disaster, risk communication techniques, and outlines the methodology that gathered input from a team of stakeholders to survey heritage leaders statewide for the creation of the messaging guide. 

The Messaging Guide: Shares guidance on creating an opening, impact, and approach message along with samples statements to modify.

          Sample Talking Points: Provides cut and paste messages to tailor to various audiences.

  Sample Opinion: Shares a sample editorial on disaster planning.

          Tips for Communicating: Summarizes FEMA’s top 4 tips in disaster risk communication.

These tools are intended to aid groups or communities in defining why heritage resources matter to their local identity and then sharing that message with the public and decision makers to enhance disaster planning for the community’s historic buildings, landmarks, museum collections, and cemeteries. These tools can also be used in conjunction with the Community Disaster Resilience Planning for Heritage Resources Guidebook to kick-start a community-wide disaster planning effort focused on heritage resources.

This report and accompanying tools also support the Oregon Heritage Commission’s strategic priority of promoting the value of heritage. Find this and additional tools in the Sharing the Value of Heritage Toolkit on Oregon Heritage’s website, www.oregonheritage.org. 

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