Coming soon: ‘Museums and Disaster Risk Reduction: building resilience in museums, society and nature’

I’ve written a guide for museums and their partners, on how they can draw on Disaster Risk Reduction approaches to strengthen resilience – of museums themselves, society and nature. Disaster Risk Reduction is the source of the often-repeated phrase ‘build back better‘. But what does it mean, better for whom and for what? This Guide explores this question.

Disasters – crises, emergencies, damaging situations – come in many shapes and sizes. COVID-19 is the obvious, and all-pervasive challenge, but it is not the only challenge facing society, or museums. Reducing the occurrence and impact of disasters is a key part of good management, and securing a future that is better than the present. Disaster Risk Reduction is not just about surviving disasters, but working to reduce the likelihood of disasters happening in the first place, being prepared for them when they hit, recovering from them as best you can, and coming out the other side stronger. Everyone can benefit from Disaster Risk Reduction approaches, and everyone can use them, in their own lives and in their work.

Many museums already consider disaster risk in terms of protecting their own buildings and collections. This Guide takes a broader perspective, that museums can play a key role in supporting people, communities, the whole of society and nature, to prevent or mitigate disasters in the wider world. Making a difference in the world is, arguably, the best way for museums to be resilient as organisations.

‘Museums and Disaster Risk Reduction’ will be released on 18th July.

Time to develop the content of the guide was partly supported by COVID Emergency Support funding from Arts Council England.

The Guide is similar to another Guide, ‘Museums and the Sustainable Development Goals: a how-to guide for museums, galleries, the cultural sector and their partners‘, and the two Guides can be used together. Museums and the Sustainable Development Goals is already available, and can be downloaded here:

These Guides are provided free, to help support their take-up, but that does not mean they are free to produce. If you have found Curating Tomorrow resources useful, you can make a donation to show your appreciation, and support the development of existing and new resources here:

Published by Henry McGhie

I have set up Curating Tomorrow as a new business. I know that lots of people, organisations and networks care about the communities they are based in, broader social issues and the natural environment. Curating Tomorrow takes museum-based skills of curating, and applies them to the wider world. It is about helping people and organisations move farther, faster, together to build a better world.

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