think disaster (in order to prepare for it)

Hello and welcome, I’m Scott Reuter and I’ve been thinking about (and preparing for) disasters for over 30 years. My work includes:

Earthquake damage mitigation consulting end implementation for museums, galleries, art collectors and art insurance companies.

Comprehensive disaster preparedness, response and recovery planning for museums and cultural institutions.

Practical hands-on knowledge of organization building for community disaster preparation, response and recovery. This includes working with FEMA in a disaster, setting up Long-Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs), COADs and VOADS, and the important emerging field of short-term recovery in disasters.

Instruction and training for Social Media in Disasters. I’ve been working since 2010 on the “SMEM” (Social Media in Emergency Management) and “VOST” (Virtual Operations Support Team) initiatives, learning social media platforms, tools and developing techniques used via social media to assist disaster professionals and volunteers in an effort to make the best possible use of social media in all types and sizes of disasters. Scott is a DHS and FEMA certified course instructor for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center’s “Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery” course, which he teaches nationally. He’s on the National VOAD Technology Committee, the International Association of Emergency Managers Emerging Technology Caucus, the Department of Homeland Security “Virtual Social Media Working Group”, and is a regular participant in the VOST, or “Virtual Operations Support Team”, Leadership Coalition. Scott is co-writer with colleague Caroline Milligan of the “VOST Basics” presentation and the VOST Training Guide, created for New Zealand VOST.

Some disaster preparedness career highlights:

• 1983 to 1994: Ten years as an exhibit preparator with The J. Paul Getty Museum, specializing in object safety and earthquake preparedness for art objects on display and in storage. (100% success rate in Northridge Earthquake: no objects or collections secured by Scott were damaged in the 6.7 earthquake.)

1994 to 2001: Owner/operator of Exhibit Safety Services, an art installation company based in Los Angeles, California, specializing in earthquake securing of art collections and damage mitigation reports for art insurance companies.

• 2001 to present: Continued disaster consulting. Move to Astoria, Oregon prompted involvement in the Astoria Community Emergency Response Team(CERT), the Clatsop Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), Long-Term Disaster Recovery, and Oregon VOAD.

• Founding member of (and current caseworker/project manager for) The Clatsop County Long-Term Disaster Recovery Committee (CCLTDRC) . He is communications coordinator for Astoria CERT, and is a member of Clatsop County ARES.

• Recently completed a comprehensive disaster preparedness and response plan for The Architectural Heritage Center in Portland, Oregon and continuing work securing their collection in storage in the AHC museum building.

• Current president of Oregon VOAD (Oregon Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) since 2010.

• I’m on the National VOAD Tech Committee, The IAEM Emerging Technology Committee, The Department of Homeland Security Virtual Social Media Working Group, and I’m very proud of my work on the Social Media in Emergency Management (#SMEM) and Virtual Operations Support Team (#VOST) Initiatives.

This year I became a DHS and FEMA certified course instructor for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center “Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery Course (PER-300), and have been teaching the course all over the country.

Miscellaneous accomplishments worthy of mention:

Special Projects:

Virtual Operations Support Team, VOST Initiative

– Research & development of methods and techniques to make use of new communication technologies and social media tools so that a team of trusted agents can lend support during disasters via the internet to those on-site on who may otherwise be overwhelmed by the volume of data generated during the disaster.

– VOS Teams (VOSTs) are activated to perform specific functions in support of affected organizations & jurisdictions. Each VOST has a Team Leader that reports directly to the affected organization/jursidiction using ICS principles.

– I co-wrote the “VOST Basics” slideshare presentation with Caroline Milligan of New Zealand VOST, and we also just completed the VOST Training Guide for New Zealand.

– Description of all VOST activations is here. More info on VOST methods of operation here.

Private Contemporary Art Collection, Los Angeles, California (2000)

– Design, fabrication and installation of seismic base isolation device for large Dan Dailey glass sculpture.

Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California (1993)

– Design, fabrication and installation of seismic base isolator for bronze sculpture “Diana the Huntress” by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1782).

Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California (1985-86)

– Reinstalled and earthquake secured objects in The Huntington Art Galleries after fire restoration work.

(All objects secured have since then survived three significant earthquakes.)


Architectural Heritage Center, Portland, Oregon (2008 -2009)

– Presentation on creating a disaster response team, earthquake mitigation, and building a comprehensive disaster preparedness and response plan.

Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii (1991)

– Lecture at the Pacific Regional Conservation Center lecture on safety for objects on display and in storage, with emphasis on earthquake considerations.

M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, California (1989)

– Lecture to Northern California Registrars Committee on earthquake preparation for works of art on display and in storage

California Afro-American Museum, Los Angeles, California (1988)

– Lecture to Southern California Registrars Committee on earthquake preparation for works of art on display and in storage.

Note: I’ve enjoyed a long career in this field, helping people from Southern California to the Bay Area to the Pacific Northwest gain peace of mind by preparing to respond to and recover quickly from disasters. I look forward to discussing how I can help you or your organization address your disaster-related needs.

Best Regards,

Scott Reuter

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