Heritage Preservation (HP) began focusing on emergency preparedness and response in the late nineteen eighties. Attendees of the 1989 annual meeting heard reports from responders to the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California and Hurricane Hugo in Charleston, South Carolina The next year’s annual meeting took place on the one-year anniversary of Loma Prieta. It was focused fully on emergency preparedness and response.
The Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel was published in June of 1997. With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, The St. Paul Companies, and an anonymous foundation, 45,000 copies of the wheel were distributed to libraries, museums, and archives free of charge during that first printing. “The Wheel”, as it has become affectionately known, has been translated into ten languages, distributed internationally in more than forty countries, and has been formatted into an app (which is unfortunately not compatible with most up-to-date operating systems).
The wheel is an iconic Heritage Preservation project. Present in collections throughout the world, the wheel represents Heritage Preservation’s ability to create meaningful and creative partnerships, and to produce resources that reach huge audiences. English and Spanish versions of the wheel are still available for purchase on AIC’s website.