Museums tackle disaster planning
With hurricanes and floods having had devastating impacts on Caribbean states, museum operators have turned their attention to disaster planning and management.
The issue is among several dominating discussions during the International Museums Conference at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, Cave Hill.
President of the Museums Association of the Caribbean and director of the national gallery of the Cayman Islands, Natalie Urquhart, has had firsthand experience with hurricanes.
“The Cayman Islands was decimated in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan, so we’ve all been touched by climate change and it’s becoming increasingly urgent to have these discussion. Many of us, like myself, are trained in disaster management but we need more knowledge, we need more resources. A key part of these workshops is actually having new contacts that we can connect to in a disaster,” she said.
During the three-day conference that will host several plenary sessions and workshops, the close to 100 delegates will examine post-disaster needs assessment of culture and natural disasters and community resilience.
The conference is also being used as a major networking opportunity for the regional and international participants, a large number of whom are from the United States and Scotland.
Last evening, the conference was addressed by Principal of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, Professor Eudine Barriteau.
In an earlier message to the delegates, she noted the significant role played by heritage and its conservation in the promotion of national identity and the creation of effective nation building.
Director of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society Alissandra Cummins, president of the Museums Association of the Caribbean Natalie Urquhart and project coordinator of EU-LAC Museums Karen Brown.