Clarification: CREST – not just a toothpaste & *ACREN – not just a city in Ohio


While in Western North Carolina a few years ago, I heard an old Mountain idiom that went: “Yep – those directions was just about as clear as mud.”  I think that is what is happening with the new disaster recovery organization structure here at C2C.  So I am going to try to clear up the mud hole in regards to the structure and purpose of CREST and the related sub groups for emergency salvage of artifacts in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

CRESTCultural Resources Emergency Support Team

Breaking down the letters of CREST, acknowledges that the group originates here at the NCDCR.  The purpose of forming a statewide team is to be able to respond to any library, museum or historic site in North Carolina that has a disaster or crisis.  CREST participants would provide the manpower and the supplies to begin immediate salvage and recovery of artifacts and collections at the site.  It is an “all hands on deck” for the people who are signed up as part of the CREST team to respond as quickly as possible.  Here in Raleigh, we will maintain a cache of recovery supplies that might be needed. Supplies are stored here in large tubs ready and waiting for a call to respond. Examples of the supplies are soot sponges, wax and parchment paper, tarps, Tyvek tags and pens, drying racks for small and medium sized textiles, rope, close pins, clean water, fans, extension cords and numerous other items we can stockpile.  Should a call come to Raleigh of a crisis, we will deploy CREST persons with the tubs of supplies to that facility.  All CREST team members receive an individual “Go-Pack” of personal safety equipment and immediate triage supplies to get started.  Items in the go-pack include a safety helmet and vest, masks, gloves, flashlight, simple tools, and other items.  (See photo)

On the local level, there are regional groups that support the CREST team. The letters of the regional groups stand for Area Cultural Resource Emergency Network.  So far, there are three groups. They are in the Triangle, Mountain and Piedmont sections of North Carolina. Add the first letter of the region to *ACREN and you have TACREN, MACREN, and PACREN.  These regional groups are the first responders to their regional area that is experiencing the disaster. The CREST team will arrive as quickly as possible with trained personal and specialized supplies as backup.

Both CREST and *ACREN members have been trained in personal safety, recovery of artifacts and organizational procedures in a disaster.  Workshops and classes emphasize an immediate triage and joint effort to stabilize the condition of the collection.  The goal of quick response to a disaster is to prevent further long-term damages until the items are evaluated for future conservation and restoration by professionals.

Anyone who is trained in artifact recovery can be on either the regional *ACREN group or the statewide CREST team.  Actually, a participant can be on both because the training is the same.  The differences lie in the ability to respond.  A CREST member must be willing to respond anywhere in North Carolina.  (And of course in their region as well.) However, a member of one of the *ACREN groups only responds to help their colleagues in their geographic area.

We are striving, through workshops and training to empower library, museum and historic site staff in all regions of the state.  There are dreams of a CACREN, (Costal) WACREN (Wilmington) and OBX-AREN. (Outer Banks)

If your area is interested, we will be more than happy to provide training, workshops and burn recovery to collections.  We would love to have a long list of *ACREN groups ready and prepared to assist each other.  Hopefully, this clears up the muddy mess to at least a watery mess.  Stay safe and continue updating the inventory list.

Lyn Triplett

Disaster Preparedness Coordinator


Raleigh, N.C.


About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on October 29, 2013, in cleaning, collections care, collections management, conservation, disaster preparedness, fire, hurricanes, museums, storage, Uncategorized, workshops. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Yeah, CREST. It is a great start that will help all of NC Cultural Institutions.

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