Heritage Emergency National Task Force

After a disaster strikes, many are at a loss as to how to save their cherished items or heirlooms.  Documents, photographs, and treasured objects damaged after fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods, in some cases, with patience, can be saved.  NCSHPO is one of the 42 organizations that established the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) which is cosponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Smithsonian Institution. Visit the HENTF website to find information how to salvage your cherished items.

Unified Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation Review

On January 29, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (SRIA) which amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act by adding Section 429, by directing the Administration to “establish an expedited and unified interagency review process to ensure compliance with environmental and historic requirements under federal law relating to disaster recovery projects, in order to expedite the recovery process, consistent with applicable law.” The process aims to coordinate environmental and historic preservation reviews to expedite planning and decision-making for disaster recovery projects. This can improve the federal government’s assistance to states, local and tribal governments, communities, families and individual citizens as they recover from future presidentially-declared disasters.

To establish the UFR Process, an interagency memorandum of understanding (UFR MOU) was executed by eleven departments and agencies on July 29, 2014, which committed them to providing staff and resources to support the UFR process; distributing and using the Tools and Mechanisms; and providing lessons learned and training to staff.  In addition, the MOU established an issue elevation process, to be followed as appropriate, to quickly resolve any issues or disputes that arise during the EHP review of a disaster recovery project.

To learn more about how federal agencies are required to coordinate on disaster response related to the review of environmental and cultural resources, please visit this website dedicated to Unified Federal Review.