The CHEERS suite of tools
Establishing priorities supports the action of planning both preventive and rescue interventions.
However, there are other reasons why it is important to prioritise.
During an emergency, in the absence of a preventive mechanism, the rescuer at work in the field would be required to make quick decisions, choices, and a prioritisation assessment, often with little information available.
Furthermore, when operating in dangerous conditions, in a hostile environment, where the operator’s tension can interfere with the assessments, the emotional component should be borne in mind. No emergency action should be improvised if possible.
The choice to save one object rather than another can also lead to the loss of what we decide should be rescued later. The object could in fact suffer further, deferred damage, delays in actions aimed at interrupting the alteration processes, and even theft and vandalism.
A consolidated methodology and the definition of resource priorities are also of crucial importance for defining clear responsibilities: they would allow operators, in emergency times, to carry out rescue actions, with full legal legitimation and minimising their personal responsibility.
A procedure is therefore desirable and recommended both in “peacetime” and in “emergency time”.
CHEERS aimed to offer at least a partially quantitative method for establishing objectively and legitimately the priorities for intervention through a series of tools, to be used in case of need, based on the following:
- an asset is exposed to a danger and a risk scenario
- an asset is more or less relevant, in the light of an established set of values and of a shared assessment procedure
- an asset is more or less vulnerable, based on how seriously it can be damaged by an agent related to a natural hazard.
This evaluation procedure is structured into three components:
- assessment of the significance of the asset, from a historic, artistic, identity relevance, and other points of view
- assessment of the actual exposure of an asset
- assessment of the vulnerability of the asset to damage agents
ATTACH - evAluaTion Tool for Alpine Cultural Heritage
ATTACH is a method for assessing, in a participatory way, the significance of a set of cultural assets, which will help establish priorities for intervention in the face of natural hazards, if necessary.
FRATCH - Fast Risk Assessment Tool for Cultural Heritage
FRATCH was developed to identify and assess current and future risks and threats to cultural heritage.
It represents a multi-stage process that involves several stakeholders in order to establish a common understanding on the topic.
FRATCH produces a risk assessment which clearly presents the risks and threats to the cultural heritage/asset and the related hazardous events on the specified site and/or the cultural asset in question.
This tool is suitable for performing damage and loss scenarios, aimed to support the definition of emergency plan. If exhaustively precompiled and adequately integrated with FRATCH and other tools for the management of rescue teams, its design allows operators to use it as a fast dashboard and simple decision-making support system in the emergency response coordination center for the prioritisation of cultural heritage safeguard and rescue intervention.
THREAT - Cultural Heritage Risk Evaluation
THREAT is a tool for vulnerability and risk assessment on cultural heritage, developed starting from the same logic as FRATCH, therefore based on the concept of “likelihood” of damage and permanent loss of value that may occur to cultural heritage.
It is accompanied by a Handbook, that serves as knowledge and reference base on fragility and safeguarding techniques for cultural heritage.