The Texas Collections Emergency Resource Alliance (TX-CERA) is an affiliation of institutions and professionals that support and advocate for the preservation of Texas cultural heritage. TX-CERA promotes emergency planning followed by training in response and recovery efforts and techniques. TX-CERA helps to mitigate the loss of collections due to disaster by offering professional development workshops, consultations, and institutional networking statewide. TX-CERA is classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


TX-CERA is a revival of the State of Texas Alliance for Response Team (START), which has joined with the Galveston – Houston Area Alliance for Response in an effort to organize an effective statewide organization. TX-CERA is part of the Alliance for Response Network. Our organization is made up of conservators, archivists, librarians, curators, collection managers, first responders, and safety and security staff who volunteer their time to educate about and organize emergency response for cultural heritage.


  • To increase awareness of the need for disaster planning and support for public collections.

  • To represent the interests of the cultural community in state and local Emergency Management planning, resource allocation and response.

  • To develop a Roster of TX-CERA members who are available to help public institutions with Emergency Planning and Response.

  • To train a team of first responders, called Texas Heritage Responders, who are knowledgeable about the needs of special collections.

Meet the Team

TX-CERA Board Officers

President: Melanie Sanford, Conservator, Dallas, TX

Vice President and Secretary: Olivia Primanis, Conservator, Austin, TX

Treasurer: Cristiana Ginatta, Conservator, Dallas, TX

Members at Large

Karen Martindale, Conservator, College Station, TX

Ian Muise, Preservation Librarian, College Station, TX

Steve Pine, Conservator, Houston, TX

Amanda Vance, Curator, Houston, TX

Devon Nowlin, Collection Manager, Dallas, TX

Nikkie Markle, Artist, Houston, TX

Regional Coordinators

Devon Nowlin, Collection Manager, Region 1 Coordinator, Dallas, TX

Nikkie Markle, Artist, Region 2 Coordinator, Houston, TX

Advisory Committee

Mary Striegel, Conservator, Natchitoches, LA

Anthony Ross, Emergency Responder, Corpus Christi, TX

NFPA 909: Code for the Protection of Cultural Resource Properties - Museum, Libraries and Places of Worship.

*NFPA 909: Code for the Protection of Cultural Resource Properties – Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship describes principles and practices of protection for cultural resource properties (museums, libraries, and places of worship) and their contents and collections from conditions or physical situations with the potential to cause damage or loss through a comprehensive protection program. Areas addressed include fire prevention; fire protection management; security; emergency preparedness; and inspection, testing, and maintenance of protection systems.

This important Code also covers ongoing operations and rehabilitation and acknowledges the need to preserve culturally significant and character-defining building features and sensitive, often irreplaceable, collections as well as to provide continuity of operations.