The occurrence of natural disasters is not a possibility but a certainty, and the effects are often instant and severe. The disaster themselves we have very little control over, however we do possess the ability to plan and be prepared for these situations. Very little is known about the awareness of cultural heritage among disaster managers and about the threat of disasters by heritage managers, thus the anecdotal data indicates a lack of communication, little empirical research has been carried out in this regard. The risks as are not only physical from the disaster itself, but also social through human-induced decisions of our emergency and heritage managers. For ethical and adequate management is to occur there is a need to investigate the attitudes of these stakeholder groups, and their understanding of cultural heritage and the attitudes towards the resource in disaster situations. Stovel 1998, acknowledges that the greatest barriers to improving existing frameworks are attitudinal. To address this lack of knowledge this research investigated the attitudes and perceptions of: Heritage managers at local government; New South Wales Rural Fire Service Brigade Captains; and New South Wales State Emergency Service Local Controllers, towards disaster planning for cultural heritage resources. This was achieved through the use of a self administered postal survey.
The aims of the project were: