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State Historic Preservation Office

5. Conclusions

5.1 General

Disasters happen in Minnesota, and our historic buildings and sites are vulnerable to damage from these natural occurrences. Historic properties require special consideration and care before, during and after a disaster. The historic fabric of these properties is irreplaceable and special care should be taken to insure that they are not damaged or destroyed by efforts that could have been avoided or modified.

Personal and public safety are always the first concern when planning for natural disasters. Once these safety issues have been addressed, then concerns for property can be considered.

5.2 St. Peter Results

The results of the effort in St. Peter, Minnesota after the tornado shows how coordinated action by the local community, FEMA, SHPO and Minnesota AIA could quickly bring help to owners of historic properties. Identification of eligible historic properties as a part of disaster preparedness planning would be a great help for other communities when faced with a disaster. The results in St. Peter show that continuing education on how to treat historic properties is required.

5.3 Disaster Inspection Process

A number of other states including Kansas, Texas and California have developed damage assessment and inspection plans that jointly involve the state American Institute of Architects chapter working with Building Code Officials chapter in agreements coordinated by the state emergency management office to provide quick and effective assessment of disaster damage. A coordinated plan such as this in Minnesota with the SHPO as an added partner would be a great future benefit for our state. The National American Institute of Architects has also developed resources that could assist in this effort.