Quick Response to Educate and Act: When an earthquake, tornado or other natural disaster strikes, the public is eager to learn more and eager to help. While these disasters often strike with little warning, it is quite predictable that they will happen somewhere in the not too distant future. With modest support of a Quick Response Museum Network and ready access to real-time digital imaging technologies, Science and Natural History Museums can be positioned to quickly modify and execute relevant educational programming that was pre-created by grant-funded Network experts. Every participating museum could become a node in a network of immediately relevant and coordinated public information. Augmented by pre-established relationships with relief networks, Museums could also choose to be sites for relief packet production or other activities with visitors taking turns as relief support volunteers. Everyone wins. The museum draws new and repeated visitors into timely mission-centered programming. Local media have a positive, easy story to tell that connects their local area (and their local museum) to the national or international news. Relief agencies have a high profile, well visited place to go to make their work and needs visible, and to recruit support. The public has a trusted, physical place to go for in-depth background information and a powerful connection through that museum to what’s happening. The public also has a meaningful and memorable way to be of use and make a difference. The disasters of both today and tomorrow occur in the context of a progressively more informed, connected and involved public. Similar Networks for responsive education and action could be developed around other issues; think health, human rights, racism, poverty, peace. The list goes on and on.
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