Before and After Disasters: Guidance for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Leaders on Working with FEMA, NPS, and Other Federal Agencies

Frame house partially collapsed with tree coming from window
Home in the 9th Ward of New Orleans with damage from Hurricane Katrina


The National Park Service along with several partner agencies and preservation nonprofits has developed guidance and tools for State, Tribal, and Local governments working with the federal government before and after a disaster. Asking the right person the right questions at the right time can help speed the distribution of resources and technical assistance to disaster-impacted communities.

Guidance Document & Checklists

This project produced a document with four parts under the overall title Before and After Disasters: Guidance for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Leaders on Working with FEMA, NPS, and Other Federal Agencies.

These parts are:
  • Guide - this is a narrative description of preparedness, response, recovery, funding opportunities, and resources for disasters.
  • Checklist - this is graduated list of preparedness and response strategies and suggestions. The list is graduated into essential, enhanced, and advanced strategies.
  • Glossary - this is an alphabetical listing of specific terms with additional descriptive information.
  • Acronyms - this is a list of abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms used throughout the other documents.

Comments and Feedback Welcome

Comments and feedback on the documents are welcome, but we can't guarantee that comments received after March 2022 will be able to be incorporated or addressed in revisions. Please send comments by email.

Next Steps

This document will be made available in both electronic and print formats. The electronic version is available now as a PDF. Print production is tentatively scheduled for late 2022 or early 2023.


This guidance was produced by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and the Colorado Office of Archeology & Historic Preservation.

National Park Service Historic Preservation Disaster Resources

The National Park Service offers technical assistance to disaster-impacted communities. When funding is available from Congress, Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund grants provide financial assistance, too. Currently this grant program supports disaster recovery for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence, and Michael as well as Typhoon Yutu. Other programs across the National Park Service support disaster response and recovery for historic buildings and collections.

Last updated: November 15, 2022