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Emergency Preparedness: Resources


Many states and counties have emergency preparedness guides please research those specific to your area. These guides can help plan for an emergency and provide emergency resources beyond FEMA to assist you.


For over a year, IABD has been unknowingly ahead of the curve, trying to spread needed awareness around Emergency Preparedness. We have attended training, provided presentations, workshops, consultations, risks assessments, and developed a much needed comprehensive Emergency Plan template for the arts community. This plan is in its first iteration and a working document; still, it is a clear guide for dance and arts organizations. We are eternally grateful for our partnership with the Performing Arts Readiness Project and the new skill set it provided the IABD organization. 


Even as prepared as we thought we were--the Coronavirus pandemic presents challenges no one expected or planned for. Now a simple thing like having a closet full of toilet paper brings us solace and comfort. With the possibility of being shuttered for weeks, maybe months, what can we do and where do we go from here. Fortunately, we can provide some guidance that can be applied immediately as well as long term. 


Here is a quick checklist of some specifics that might assist you. 


  1. The Coronavirus / COVID-19 ...Be knowledgeable!
Utilize best practices for safety and protection


  1. Protective Measures - self & family, staff, dancers, students, teaching staff, parents, etc.
Consider crisis communication and business continuity planning. Work remotely, and keep everyone informed communicate, communicate communicate.


  1. Staying OPEN - The show must go on but it can’t!
If you consider opening (on the down-low), you are taking unnecessary risks. Please understand you open your business, self, etc. to a lawsuit, and your liability insurance will not cover it.


  1. The Pillars of Emergency Management 
Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, Recovery - This is the time to plan. The formula I advise is also suggested by leading Nonprofit resources such as the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Scenario planning For COVID-19, what are your Plans A, B, C? There are many templates out there for crisis communication and business continuity plans --however (commercial), if you are an IABD member, we’ve done the leg work and can assist you right now. 


  1. How will the closures impact your livelihood?
Loss of income - we need immediate solutions / short term / long term -- Be Creative there is an overwhelming list of resources to wade through. I’m still researching and hope to be able to pinpoint the most critical ones for the dance studio school community. *Give parents and students a minute.


Do you have loss of income insurance? Perhaps this is an excellent time to go to the PAR website, utilize the webinars, and the loss of income calculator, so when you have to ask for assistance, you will have reliable figures. 


  1. Most importantly, what is your recovery strategy?
Start strategizing now for recovery and what that will mean for your self, company, studio, and organization. Be vigilant--new information is coming out everyday--stay informed. You have contracts and contractual agreements that will need to be renegotiated. Costumes have been ordered, venues selected possibly paid for, guest choreographers and artists secured, performance tours, and more. Take this time to work through everything that’s in play and come up with a solid plan of action. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.


  1. RESOURCES --- Highlight a couple of resources
Please visit our website as well as others for a lengthy list of resources. Also, if you don’t want to go down the rabbit hole, use the almighty GOOGLE, which knows all, but you must be specific. I found the Chronicle for Philanthropy article Responding to the Coronavirus very useful also Dance Magazine’s article on  How Dancers and Dance Organizations [and other performing arts] Can Prepare for the Financial Fallout of COVID-19


Contact Carol Foster, Special Program Assistant, PAR Circuit Rider, for more information regarding Emergency Preparedness.



There are approximately 30 networks across the country that bring together cultural institutions and local emergency responders.  Alliance for Response has been effective on many levels: encouraging institutions to complete disaster plans and train for emergencies; creating cooperative disaster assistance networks among museums, libraries, archives, and historical properties and sites; raising awareness of the importance of cultural heritage in communities; and influencing official emergency policies and plans.



ArtsReady is a web-based emergency preparedness platform designed to provide arts and cultural organizations with customized business continuity plans. An initiative of South Arts, the program has different levels of membership to help organizations get started and become informed on the steps to take in case of an emergency. Basic membership offers organizations the following:  ArtsReady newsletter

Updates from ArtsReady on response, recovery, and readiness:  Access the ArtsReady Library


For more information:

This program is funded through a grant by Lyrasis with financial supported from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.