The Kent Historical Society has been awarded a $4,999 grant to put the organization’s existing emergency and disaster plan on a sounder footing.

The grant was presented by the Connecticut Humanities.

“We had a good start on emergency and disaster planning,” said Curator Marge Smith. “Several years ago, we took part in a three-part disaster planning and response workshop presented by the Connecticut State Library and Conservation ConneCTion.”

“During the exercise on emergency response and collection triage a mock-flood event was staged,” she said. “As part of this workshop we received training and assistance in using ‘dPlan Lite’ from the Northeast Document Conservation Center.”

“We made excellent progress toward completing this plan, but found it difficult to update as often as is needed,” she said.

With the grant funding, the society hired professional risk assessment consultant, Kathy Craughwell-Varda, to lead the board and staff in a simplified multi-step process to assess the society’s holdings and create an emergency response plan.

Craughwell-Varda submitted a detailed report of the findings, which she then reviewed with the board and staff.

A paper Pocket Response Plan was created for the society’s first responders to carry with them at all times in case of a disaster such as tornado, fire or flood.

The report also detailed other such risks as staff time, collections storage space and smaller issues such as insufficient fire extinguishers and smoke alarms.

Completion of all the recommended steps and changes will take time, but the society is well on its way.

“We are, as always, grateful to Connecticut Humanities for their awareness of the needs of small heritage nonprofits, and their willingness to fund activities that meet those needs,” said Smith.

“They have been active partners in our forward progress since 2005 when they funded our first strategic plan,” she noted.

Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supports cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives.

For more information about the exhibit, call 860-927-4587.