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Cemetery Disaster Assessment Form

This form has been prepared by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training for FEMA and helps rapidly assess damage to cemeteries caused by tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, and other natural events.

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Monument Fragment and Removal Record

Many cemeteries are faced with damaged, fallen, or spralling monuments. Too often fragments are simply allowed to remain in the cemetery where they are subject to additional damage or even theft. While gathering and storing these fragments until professional conservation treatments are possible, it is very important to document the process: where was the fragment found, how was it discovered, and where is it being stored. This form helps ensure that all of the critical information is collected and not lost.

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Recording Cemetery Locations

It is critical that you accurately record the precise location of any cemetery you identify. Using directions like “go down Smith Road for about a half mile and turn at the old red barn” fail to provide the locational information necessary to help ensure the long-term preservation a cemetery. Using a form and consistently recording information will ensure that you get the right information for every cemetery you record. This information may also be used to develop county-wide data bases, perhaps as a layer in your county’s GIS or perhaps through the state-wide agency that records archaeological sites. This form allows you to standardize the information you collect.

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Assessing the Condition of Cemeteries

Another form is an inspection checklist that we have found useful in quick, county-wide reconnaissance studies when the focus is on the condition of cemeteries (it’s adapted from one used in 2002 by the State of Hawaii).