In 2021, a research group on Risk and Emergency Management in Cultural Heritage (GREPAC) was set up at the Complutense University of Madrid, made up of researchers and collaborators from several Spanish universities. Among the objectives of the group is the creation and development of an Observatory of Emergencies in Cultural Heritage, which has been possible thanks to the Santander-UCM research project funding received in the 2020 call for proposals.



The OEPAC has been designed with the objective of creating and implementing a Cultural Heritage Emergency observation network to consolidate the study and knowledge of risk and emergency management in heritage at a national level, and to create new scientific and technological opportunities that stimulate conservation, research and protection of cultural heritage in contexts of risk and emergency.

OEPAC is promoting two lines of work with their respective specific objectives:

1. To foster the integration of disciplines through a common web platform to support researchers, practitioners and users working on disaster risk management in cultural heritage. It should also implement information and data to promote adequate solutions for the protection of property at risk and appropriate responses to different types of emergencies and disasters caused by natural or man-made causes.

Specific objectives include:

- Promote the inclusion of cultural heritage emergency prevention and response in relation to the emergency field in general, in order to foster a more resilient society.

- Addressing the development and learning of a risk culture from a systemic perspective among cultural heritage managers in order to cope with uncertainty.

- To encourage and disseminate research, exchange of information and promote knowledge, reflection, analysis and debate on risk and emergency management in cultural heritage.

- To carry out diagnoses of the situation of risk and emergency management in cultural heritage in Spain.

- Conduct awareness-raising and education campaigns aimed at professionals of cultural institutions and the general public on disaster risk reduction in cultural heritage.

2.- Promote technological developments that serve to act in all phases of risk management.

Specific objectives of this section are as follows:

- Promote the use of technological developments applied to cultural heritage emergencies.

. Monitor social demands in relation to risk prevention and disseminate content that addresses these needs.

- To Build, complete and consolidate an emergency observation infrastructure in cultural institutions covering the entire Spanish territory.

- To establish a platform of interoperability between different cultural institutions and external agents for the management and distribution of data.

To develop tools for end-users (downstream services) and indicators for risk prevention in cultural heritage.

The Observatory's website is a freely accessible repository, information, news and scientific resources (case studies, regulations, guidelines, procedures...) aimed at the different groups of professionals involved, which promotes multidisciplinary knowledge, appropriate and sustainable risk and emergency management policies and encourages the active participation of all citizens in the protection of the cultural heritage that we must preserve for future generations.

The OEPAC also has an Advisory Board, a multidisciplinary team of national and international experts who act as advisors on issues related, among others, to research, technology and public dissemination.

The Observatory aims to be a collaborative tool and an open and sustainable resource and aspires to become a reference space with a clear utility, both for professionals and specialists in the field as well as for potential non-specialized users. Although initially the scope of the Observatory is the national territory, we want to welcome resources from other areas and international scope to integrate the knowledge of other experiences.