FAC handbook & toolkit

A wealth of experience and knowledge on cultural relief has accumulated and been documented over the last 15 years, and since 2010, we’ve been working with ICCROM and the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (SCRI) to standardise this knowledge for instructional use. The result is a handbook and toolkit.

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC) is a two-part publication created for the various actors involved in an emergency. It provides a practical method and a set of ready-to-use tools for securing endangered cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. Its user-friendly workflows help readers plan and implement coordinated cultural rescue and risk reduction operations that involve local communities, heritage custodians, emergency responders and humanitarians.

Written with the key guiding philosophy of ensuring an inclusive attitude and respect for diversity while at the same time interlocking humanitarian assistance with cultural heritage first aid, this handbook provides an essential, ethical framework for attaining successful outcomes.

The handbook has multiple uses: it will help to improve emergency preparedness within cultural heritage institutions, serve as a training reference, and act as a guide for planning and implementing coordinated heritage first aid responses.

Who's it for:

  • Cultural heritage professionals and institutions that would like to develop coordinated emergency plans.
  • Community-based organizations and humanitarian aid professionals who are working to enhance disaster resilience in risk-prone regions of the world.
  • Civil protection, civil defence and military personnel, firefighters, and others in charge of protecting communities and their assets during disasters and conflicts.


The handbook is intended to codify the First Aid processes and further stimulate research, activity and awareness.

Download the full handbook here


The toolkit is intended to provide practical skills for coordinated emergency preparedness and response to secure tangible and intangible heritage such as instructions on how to conduct on-site damage and risk assessments or tips on how to package and evacuate cultural heritage.

Download the full toolkit here

Aparna Tandon

*Available in English, French, Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, Dari, and Georgian.