Following a disaster, local jurisdictions will assess area damage, identify hazardous buildings, and act accordingly to protect the public welfare. Proactive preservation response is crucial to prevent any damage or further loss of historic resources through well meaning intentions or actions taken to lessen or eliminate the threat of damage to property or to lives, and the public health and safety. A variety of public and private emergency actions that have protected historic properties in the past include the appointment of a city seismic task force that quickly reviewed damaged URMs (unreinforced masonry buildings) and finding no major problems prevented potential demolition, local preservationists concerned over hasty demolitions taking their concern to City Council and getting a resolution immediately ceasing unwarranted demolition, and planning director measures ensuring that adequate consideration would be given to historic buildings prior to any emergency demolition.
It is imperative that historic preservation is given a strong and visible presence at the beginning of the response process. Implementing the strategies below will promote effective and appropriate response and protect at-risk historic resources.
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