Author: Created: Monday, May 16, 2011 RssIcon
Preparedness tips for artists from the Studio Protector: The Artist's Guide to Emergencies
By Tip of the Month on Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The widespread flooding that followed Tropical Storm Irene up the coast from North Carolina to Vermont where the CERF+ office is located, has been a painful reminder of something we hear after every flood. That is, that many artists, business owners, and homeowners mistakenly assume that their insurance covers them for flood damage. Homeowner's and business insurance does not cover any damage from floods, or "rising water."

By Tip of the Month on Friday, October 28, 2011

The scenario: In this frank, amusing, and informative two-part animation, Nora, a soon-to-be art school graduate asks Tim, an established artist whose work she respects, questions about business insurance. Note: The source of many of Tim’s comments come from comments CERF+’s director of programs, Craig Nutt, has heard during his six years advocating for and educating artists about business insurance.
The Studio Protector Online Guide has more information on a variety of insurance topics, including business insurance and a listing of sources for business insurance for artists.

By Tip of the Month on Monday, September 26, 2011
Photo: FEMA

September is National Preparedness Month, and the past month has underscored the importance of rain, and the destruction caused by too little or too much of it. In Vermont, where the CERF+ office is located, we are dealing with the aftermath of unprecedented flooding that came with Hurricane Irene. Just like the many other floods we see, most people did not have flood insurance on their homes and businesses. Many people are learning the painful fact that homeowners and business insurance does not cover "rising water."

While the East Coast was being washed away, the wildfires in bone-dry Central Texas intensified.

By Tip of the Month on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The news has been full of reports of cyber-espionage and cyber-warfare. However, you do not need to be a world power to be targeted by cyber criminals. The Studio Protector: The Artists Guide to Emergencies has just added a page on Cyber-Security: Computer and Online Safety Tips.  Here is a sampling of tips:

  1. Have good antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-malware and firewall software installed on your computer and update daily. 

  2. Keep your computer backed up and copies in a Safe Offsite Location (SOL).

  3. Do not open suspicious emails and attachments, even if they come from a reliable source.

  4. Use long and strong passwords with a combination of random characters, and use different usernames and passwords for each account.

By Tip of the Month on Friday, July 29, 2011

NASA has been in the news this month with the retirement of the last Space Shuttle, Atlantis, and the end of the current manned space flight program. Long known for preparing astronauts for any emergency that may arise, NASA is now encouraging its families to become better prepared for disasters.

By Tip of the Month on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Given the flooding this spring and early summer affecting large areas in our nation, many artists are faced with the challenges of cleaning up and salvaging artworks, tools, and other items for themselves or for others affected by the floods. It doesn't take a breached levee to create some of these problems - an overflowing toilet or burst pipe can cause some of the same damage albeit on a smaller scale.

By Tip of the Month on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last month the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta issued an emergency preparedness blog that went viral within the preparedness community. Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse provides answers to a question that is on the minds of many people, "How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?" To be prepared the CDC recommends

By Tip of the Month on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The April tornadoes that caused hundreds of deaths in the Southeast, are a grim reminder of the need to know what to do to improve your chances of surviving. Despite the huge death toll, countless lives were spared because people got to a safe place before the tornado struck. Even if you do not live in a tornado-prone area, you may be visiting an area where tornadoes happen, or may experience a freak weather event.  Here are some tips to help you survive a tornado:

By Tip of the Month on Monday, May 16, 2011

 

May 1st is the national day of preparedness in the cultural community and, not coincidentally the beginning of hurricane season. To mark MayDay, we suggest that each artist and arts organization do one thing that will help them get more prepared for emergencies. Here are 5 suggestions.

1. Make a list of risks to your business (you may have done this last month). Pick one and do something to lessen the risk. Create a plan for lessening the others.

2. If you don't have business insurance, get a quote. It may cost less than you think. We find that many artists could cover their businesses for about the cost of a latte per day. Remember-your homeowner's or renter's insurance probably does not cover your business building, property, or liability. Here is a listing of companies that insure artists.

By Tip of the Month on Friday, February 04, 2011

Punxsutawney Phil and all the major groundhogs agree that spring will come early this year. While even the thought of an early spring is welcome after this particularly brutal winter, sudden freezes, snow thaws, and spring rains bring increased risk of flooding no matter where you live. Even if your studio is covered by insurance, business insurance (like homeowner's insurance and renter's insurance) does not cover "rising water." Watch this interview with New Hampshire furniture maker Gary Spykman as he talks about his experiences with a flood in his studio

By Tip of the Month on Saturday, January 01, 2011

January 17th was the seventh anniversary of the Northridge, California earthquake, and devastating earthquakes last year in Haiti and Chile remind us that an earthquake can happen any time. Even if you do not live in a seismic zone, there is still a possibility that you could be visiting one when an earthquake strikes. If you are remember to:

  • Drop- don't run, you are likely to injure yourself trying to run while the earth is shaking. If you are inside, do not run outside where you may be hit by falling debris. Stay where you are. 

  • Cover - get under a a table or other sturdy piece of furniture or a structure that will protect you from falling objects.

  • Hold On - to a table leg and ride out the shaking.

By Tip of the Month on Friday, October 01, 2010

Fire Prevention Week was October 3-9 so this is a good time to focus on some basic fire safety tips for the studio. Here are 8 fire safety tips from the Studio Protector: The Artists' Guide to Emergencies:

1. Install dual-sensor fire alarms in studio if you do not already have them

2. Test alarms frequently, the most common cause of failure is dead batteries. Replace batteries in spring and fall

3. Be sure you have adequate fire extinguishers located near each exit.

By Tip of the Month on Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The recent wildfires near Boulder, Colorado underscore the importance of making preparations to help protect our studios and homes from the threat of fires, and to have a plan in place in case of fire. 

We hope that everyone already has an evacuation plan and disaster supply kit prepared for their home. CERF+ has found that, even in disaster-prone areas, artists often fail to make preparations to protect their careers. 
 
Here are 9 tips for wildfire preparation from the Studio Protector: The Artist's Guide to Emergencies:
 
1.       Create safety zone of at least 30 feet around your studio and home, by removing and reducing highly flammable vegetation. Attempt last-minute measures only if they do not endanger you or others.

2.       Remove debris from locations close to structures.

3.       Enclose all eaves. Use fire-resistant siding and safety-glass windows and doors.

By Tip of the Month on Sunday, August 01, 2010

It is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and this month's tip focuses on protecting valuables such as artwork from moisture.

  • Avoid basement storage of art and valuables

  •  Protect artwork from moisture from above and below. Raise valuables above floor level, and if a storm or flood is imminent , consider moving them to a higher floor if possible. Protect from above and below with heavy plastic or tarps Keep gutters and drains unclogged

  • Check plumbing fixtures and sprinkler systems periodically and fix leaks

  • Neither business insurance nor homeowners' insurance covers damage from "rising water." You do not have to live in a flood zone to purchase flood insurance. More information

By Tip of the Month on Thursday, July 01, 2010

This month's "Tip of the Month" comes from the Studio Protector MayDay 2010 Contest. One of the best entries came from Hilda Melchior of Fairbanks, Alaska who wrote: "I made an "end of day" check list.  Check: gas off, power tools and pickle pots unplugged (we have lots of power outages here), pickle pots covered,  fan off,  air make up window closed (not good to leave open when it's below 0); make sure all tools and other items are firmly placed and not near an edge (in case of earthquake) and one last scan to see if anything does not look right."

By Tip of the Month on Saturday, May 01, 2010

As the flood waters in Rhode Island and Tennessee subside and hurricane season begins we are reminded that many disasters involve water. A broken pipe, damaged roof, or the water from putting out even a small fire can have the same devastating consequences to your art work as if the water came from a flood or hurricane. The Studio Protector recommends protecting your work from moisture from above and below by elevating it off the floor on shelves, bins, or pallets and cover it with plastic or tarps if there is danger of water coming from above.

By Tip of the Month on Thursday, April 01, 2010

New Hampshire furniture maker Gary Spykman avoided flooding when he lived in hurricane-prone areas, only to have his studio flooded three times in succession, in an area he believed to be outside of a flood zone.

It is important to be aware that serious flooding sometimes occurs in areas that are not designated as flood zones. With hurricane season a month away and spring rains and thaws happening right now, serious flooding can result not just in coastal areas but far in-land in low-lying areas and near rivers and streams.

By Tip of the Month on Saturday, January 02, 2010

Find a *Safe Offsite Location to store copies of your images and critical records such as business documents, sketches, and process notes. A SOL is a place 50-100 miles away from your studio that is unlikely to be affected by the same disaster.  A safe deposit box in your community, while useful, may not be the best place to put this material.  A Gulf Coast artist who went through Katrina showed us the slab where his bank used to be, the building is somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. More on studioprotector.org… 

By Tip of the Month on Sunday, November 01, 2009

(Note: We normally think of emergency preparedness as relating to forces such as fire, the weather, and other natural causes. However, falling victim to a scam is a very real emergency - one that can be career-threatening.)

We recently received a call from an artist who fell victim to a common trade show scam that now appears to be aimed at art fairs and craft shows.

The artist received an offer for a free listing in an online show directory. The name and address of a prominent national craft show in which he was participating were printed at the top of the page, and so he assumed (as the directory promoter hoped) that it was connected with the show in question.

Unfortunately, he signed up for the free listing without reading the fine print.

By Tip of the Month on Thursday, October 01, 2009

Now that hurricane season is clearly here, it's never too late to protect yourself and your art business from loss due to a hurricane. Do something this week that will get you closer to being adequately prepared. Here are some ideas to inspire you!

-Make a Disaster Supply Kit
There are plenty of resources on the web to help you put together a kit:
CERF+ Studio Protector
Red Cross
FEMA
-Information Backup
Your art career probably depends on a greater variety and quantity of information than you realize. Organize, duplicate and store it for reliable retrieval in case the primary source is destroyed.
By Tip of the Month on Friday, May 01, 2009

According to the recent CERF Business Insurance Survey a high percentage of craft artists mistakenly believe that the structure that they work in and/or their business property is covered by their homeowner’s insurance. Unless you have negotiated for a special endorsement (rider), homeowner’s insurance normally covers only about $2,500 for a home office--money intended for a desk, file cabinets and computers, but not buildings used for business purposes.

By Tip of the Month on Saturday, November 01, 2008

While weather radios have been strongly promoted in “tornado alley” and other areas that are prone to weather-related disasters, shifting weather patterns make this inexpensive warning system a good investment anywhere. An NOAA Public Alert™ certified radio activates automatically when a warning in your area is issued by the National Weather Service, even if the radio is turned off. This is especially important if you are asleep or working in the studio and not tuned to a local radio or television station that carries the alerts.

By Tip of the Month on Monday, September 01, 2008

Images are an artist's lifeblood. Without them there is nothing to submit with show applications, for exhibitions, or for press coverage.

Most artists store their slides and digital images in the studio, and they are usually lost if they have a fire or are struck by a natural disaster.

Store duplicates of your film images and backup media containing copies of digital images (CD, USB flash drive, or USB hard drive) at a secure offsite location.

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