top of page

September National Preparedness Month

So far, 2023 has given us many reasons to consider being prepared for a crisis. Arts organizations and artists have had their operations and practice interrupted by a series of emergencies, including historic heat waves, non-seasonal flooding in Vermont, wildfires in Hawai’i, hurricane winds and flooding in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, heavy rain at the Burning Man site in Nevada, and an active shooter alert in the Kentucky Arts Council building. When invited, NCAPER has responded and provided information and support following these crises. We know there have also been many more individual and mostly invisible crises. Database hacks, building fires, and studio thefts are just a few.

What is readiness? Being in a posture to be resilient and prepared for whatever crisis or emergency may arise.

📋What is a readiness plan? The results of an intentional decision-making process about what you’ll do and who will do it.

At NCAPER, we know that the best defense is a good offense. Having a readiness plan means that you are more likely to withstand many types of emergencies and be able to return to operations. This September is National Preparedness Month, and we hope you will take time to improve your readiness. Below are some readiness actions that can provide big-time protection with a relatively small investment.

For any type of arts organization:

If you don’t know how to get started on a readiness plan for your organization, the

dPlan/ArtsReady online planning tool was designed for you! Gather your key team members for a guided Risk Assessment session to determine where you’re ready and where you need to take action, then use the tool to manage your plan’s progress. Learn more here.

webinar recording connects you to the network of organizations nationwide that support readiness and response and introduces you to who to call when disasters strike.

Don’t risk a leadership vacuum! Scrambling when a key executive or board leader is suddenly

absent, even temporarily, wastes time, creates anxiety, and can put key relationships and

obligations at risk. The solution is an Emergency Succession Plan developed by the Board and staff to ensure a smooth process.

If you work in an arts/cultural facility:

Conduct an annual Facility Safety Walkthrough to assess any risks, make sure equipment is in order, and your space is safe for visitors, artists, and staff.

Take a free webinar class in Event Preparedness: Active Shooters and Hostile Activity at your Venue, Cybersecurity, or Fire Safety and Preparedness – gather your operations staff for a lunch-and-learn!

If you’re a service organization:

When a crisis hits any part of your community, you must be ready to respond, listen to what’s needed, and guide constituents to resources as quickly as possible. Make sure you’re up to

speed on how to help craft artists in your constituency. This free webinar from the Kentucky Arts Council features the Craft Emergency Relief Fund: A Support System for Artists. Another KAC webinar, Disaster Declared: Resources for Arts and Cultural Institutions after Large-Scale Disaster Events, introduces the world of FEMA resources and available conservation assistance to your community. And coming up on September 14, three State Arts Agencies will relate their experiences responding to disaster and share information that will help to ensure you and your constituents are not caught off-guard when tragedy

NCAPER works at all points of the emergency management cycle; we’re positioned to enhance arts resilience, from mitigation (applying lessons learned to reduce your future risk), to readiness (building your practice or organization’s resilience muscles to be better able to withstand a crisis), to recovery (assisting when an unavoidable crisis and damage occurs). NCAPER works with partners in many specific arts disciplines and physical locales and is the only all-discipline, national arts organization connecting them all.

Learn more about our resources at, and be in touch with us about what you

Next in our blog series: Emergency Preparedness: A 4-Step Action Plan for Artists

Join us in strengthening this safety net for the arts. Your tax-deductible contribution makes a tangible difference in our arts community’s future.



bottom of page