Craft Emergency Relief Fund offers the Studio Protector, which details how to prevent damage from workshop disasters
The Craft Emergency Relief Fund has created the Studio Protector, a calendar-sized wall chart that features wheel charts and pull-out booklets covering the essential points of preparing for and recovering from emergencies.
CERF, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the careers of craft artists throughout the U.S., focuses heavily on emergency relief support for artists.
CERF leaders felt compelled to make the Studio Protector available to artisans, as it features tips on safeguarding computer files, documents and photographs that can lessen the impact on a business of a fire, flood, or natural disaster. It also touches on having enough of the right insurance to provide the funds necessary to rebuild a business that has been devastated.
The Studio Protector kit was designed to make the dull details of emergency preparedness less tedious. Craig Nutt, CERF's director of programs, was instrumental in its development. He is a professional woodworker near Nashville, Tenn., and can relate to the worry and frustration a shop owner has in protecting their investment and livelihood.
"In dealing with this subject matter, I realized that emergency preparedness is the one topic that is the most terrifying and boring to artists and woodworkers," he says.
In researching for the kit, he and the project team extracted information from numerous research organizations and sources in the health, emergency preparedness, conservation and financial fields. The wheel chart offers basic steps to cover you're "A's" - arts, assets and archives. The inner wheel is more disaster-specific for major threats like hurricanes. The pocket-sized booklets cover topics such as steps to take after a disaster.
Nutt emphasizes that most disasters are not like Hurricane Katrina, for which he and other CERF members are still dealing with in the four-year aftermath of helping artisans get their shops back up and running. He says most common disasters are fires and burst pipes and they can happen to anyone.
In addition to the new kit, Nutt announced that CERF, along with participating organizations such as The Furniture Society, is reaching the end of a field study on insurance. The study has revealed that about 70 percent of the craft artists surveyed aren't properly insured.
"A lot of people think their homeowner's insurance covers their business and that's a really common misconception," says Nutt.
The Studio Protector sells for $16, plus shipping and handling. For ordering and other information, visit www.studioprotector.org.
This article originally appeared in the January 2010 issue.