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Between Two Earthquakes: Cultural Property in Seismic Zones

“Earthquakes - the shifting of the earth's crust - can result in devastating destruction. Organizations responsible for the care of cultural property are referred to as the Administration in this handbook, and their directors, as Administrators. It is these Administrations that can - indeed, that must - take major steps to organize disaster preparedness in order to save lives and the irreplaceable cultural heritage. Earthquake preparedness must incorporate planning for contingencies common to most other types of disasters-especially fire, flood, and looting. By planning ahead, vital time can be saved after the disaster has struck. Fortunately, the conservation of cultural property utilizes different skills, techniques, and materials from those required to save lives and reconstruct modern buildings. As a result, conserving our cultural heritage does not necessarily compete with other recovery operations for scarce resources in the post-disaster situation... Thus, this handbook addresses three areas of concern for the Administrator: what to do before the earthquake strikes, what to do immediately after, and what long-term actions remain to be taken.”