February 13, 2024, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. MST

Protecting Memories: Mitigation and Maintenance for our Nation’s Cemeteries

Photo of the Cemetery

Webinar Description:

Cemeteries play a vital role in our social identity and personal lives. For many, the expectation may be that these places of remembrance are and will be protected in perpetuity. Unfortunately, that might not always be the case.

In practice, numerous factors coalesce to impact how prepared a cemetery is to withstand disaster. Understanding management processes, who the stakeholders are, what funds are available before and after disasters, and a range of other considerations can help ensure that cemeteries remain as protected as possible from extreme events.

Please join preservation experts from Texas A&M University and the Federal Emergency Management agency as they discuss what mitigation experts need to know to protect and prepare burial sites in their communities.


Jennifer Blanks, Texas A&M University
Jenny Gutierrez, Resilience Action Partners
Jack Heide, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Natural Hazards Center Overview Slides
Blanks Presentation Slides
FEMA Presentation Slides


Gone But Not Forgotten: Saving our Cemeteries From Disaster

Guide to Expanding Mitigation: Making the Connection to Cemeteries

Continuing Education Credits:

This webinar is eligible for one contact hour of emergency management training within the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) certification program. For more information about continuing education credits and how to earn them, please click here.

Jennifer Blanks

Jennifer Blanks is a PhD candidate in urban and regional science at Texas A&M University. Blanks identifies as an environmental planner; her other research interests include preservation planning, digital humanities, and Black geographies. Blanks' dissertation project relates to best practices for African American participatory preservation methods, theories, and approaches to provide perpetual care for ancestral burial grounds and other memorialized landscapes.

Jack Heide

Jack Heide is the resilience branch chief in the Mitigation Division out of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 2 in New York City, New York. He works with state, territorial, tribal, and local governments in overseeing the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant program, hazard mitigation planning, interagency coordination, and direct technical assistance aimed at building community resilience. He has deployed to multiple disasters, including the aftermath of Hurricane’s Irma & Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Before working at FEMA, Heide worked at the non-profit, state, and local government levels as a community planner working on community development and disaster resilience and was a civil affairs team chief in the U.S. Army where he supported redevelopment in Afghanistan. He has a master's in community and regional planning from the University of Oregon, as well as master's in homeland security and defense from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also teaches hazard mitigation planning at Rutgers University Bloustein School.

Jack Heide

Jenny Gutierrez is an urban planner with Resilience Action Partners, FEMA’s Community Engagement and Risk Communication (CERC) Provider. In this role she supports FEMA Region 2 in helping diverse communities make the connection between planning, hazard mitigation, and climate resilience. Gutierrez’s background is in land use and environmental planning. She holds a BA in Architecture and Community Design from the University of San Francisco, and a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania.