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Events in a multi-layered emergency situation do not follow a linear progression. For example, an earthquake may trigger a fire. Similarly, in a prolonged crisis, new conflict may destabilise an existing peace agreement. Therefore, it is very important to correctly identify the stage you are at in an unfolding situation and incorporate contingency planning. Collect information The first step of a situation analysis for cultural heritage first aid is to collect specific information on the nature of the emergency, its geographical location, the type(s) and significance of cultural heritage affected, the type(s) and extent of damage, and the stakeholders and actors involved. ANALYSE COLLECT PLAN 30 First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis | 1. Handbook The cultural heritage affected 1 How many, and what type of cultural heritage assets are likely to be affected? If several cultural heritage assets are involved, ensure that you have geo-coordinates for all of them. This information can be found from existing inventories held by national cultural ministries or national departments of culture. 2 What is the significance of the affected cultural heritage in the area, and for whom? Is it a listed heritage asset of national or regional importance? 3 What are the local beliefs or attitudes that might affect cultural heritage first aid? These may impact the availability of resources and people who can assist. For example, in the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, nonHindu foreign structural engineers were not allowed to enter the inner spaces of Hindu temples to assess the damage. In order to plan a first aid operation that respects local cultural and social contexts, it is crucial to gain understanding of: a. The religious beliefs in the area. b. The preferred language and forms of communication. c. The role(s) and involvement of men and women in heritage; d. The inclusion or representation of a minority community’s heritage within the mainstream heritage sector of that area. e. Expectations for external assistance in recovering cultural heritage. 4 What was the condition of the affected cultural heritage before the event, i.e. what was its physical state and what were its vulnerabilities? Had it been restored? Was it undergoing conservation? Was it well-protected? Was it well- documented? This information can be obtained from the institutions or individuals managing the cultural heritage assets of concern.