Wednesday, September 20, 2017

We learned a lot last year after Hurricane Matthew hit. We had just started Heritage Monitoring Scouts (HMS Florida) and were ready to hit the ground running with site assessments in the storm's wake. This year, while we do feel a bit more prepared, we also have a lot more ground to cover after Irma's impact on the whole peninsula of Florida.

Hurricane Irma, as seen from NASA's Space Observatory. (Photo Credit: NASA)
But we know our Scouts are ready and willing to help. Here's 5 things to do to help cultural resources in Irma's wake:

1. Stay safe!
You are more important than any information on an archaeological site or cemetery. Please be
mindful of hazards from storm damage, including downed trees, hanging limbs, downed power lines, standing water, debris and more. If you are unsure if the area is safe, do not enter it. Take a photo from outside of cemeteries or from the perimeter of archaeological sites. Many managed areas like State and National Parks are still in the process of clean up and have not reopened. Be patient - we'll be able to get to all of these places in due time.

2. Get Ready!
If you're not a scout, click here sign up today! Check out our blog series on how to monitor sites. Read about your local sites. Brush up on your artifact identification with our handy guides. Practice your mapping skills. Make a list of sites that were potentially impacted. Get ready to hit the field for more monitoring! Many managed areas like State and National Parks are still in the process of clean up and have not reopened. Be patient - we'll be able to get to all of these places in due time.





3. Check on a historic cemetery.
 Historic cemeteries took a lot of damage last year Historic Cemetery map to find a few nearby.
from downed vegetation - and with stronger winds in Irma, the impacts could be even greater. You can cruise by your local historic cemetery or use our


4. Revisit sites you have monitored before.
Part of monitoring is tracking changes over time and understanding how things like storm events affect sites. We encourage you to back to sites you've previously monitored to see what impacts they experience. Even if the site looks the same, it's still important to document no changes. So don't forget to snap those photos! If you're unsure of which sites you've monitored, send us an email and we can give you that information: hmsflorida@fpan.us.


5. Stay tuned in.
Clean up takes time. Some impacts won't be noticed for weeks or even months still. We're still checking in with partners and will be sending updates and calls-for-action as they're needed. So keep an eye out for Scout emails, visit EnvArch for opportunities to help or follow your favorite parks or museums on social media to track their recovery process.



We'll be posting weekly updates from the field as we check on sites in northeast and central Florida. Visit the blog to see some of the sites we visit, or drop us a note about a site you monitor to be included.

Words by Emily Jane Murray, images by Emily Jane, Robbie Boggs and Sarah Miller, FPAN Staff, unless otherwise noted.

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