Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Disaster Planning

Despite the importance of being prepared for a disaster, such as a fire or major water leak, the creation of a disaster plan tends not to be a priority for most libraries. There are various resources that will help you create a disaster plan. Here are a few in addition to the ones listed in the earlier post, The Preservation Bibliography - Books:

Glossary of Disaster Terms
compiled by Conservation OnLine: Resources for Conservation Professionals

Emergency Management 3.3 Disaster Planning
a Northeast Document Conservation Center online Preservation Leaflet

A Disaster Plan for Libraries and Archives
a useful disaster plan template created by Amigos

Disaster Prevention and Planning
compiled by Lyrasis, this list provides 15 steps in the Disaster Planning Process

Disaster Preparedness and Recovery: Selected Bibliography
compiled by Lyrasis, this lists materials most useful in developing an institutional disaster plan

Heritage Emergency National Task Force
part of the National Institute for Conservation, the Task Force "offers tools and information to cultural institutions and the general public for preparing for and responding to emergencies that affect collections and family treasures"

Planning for a Disaster
a Powerpoint presentation by Peter D. Verheyen (pdf).

At a minimum, create a Disaster Communication Tree of staff, local emergency responders, and vendors who can provide assistance when disaster strikes -- and keep it up-to-date. Work with your facilities management personnel, if applicable. You should also purchase or put together one or more "disaster response kits," depending on the size of your library. Items to include in the kit are:
  • a 5 gl plastic bucket
  • a box of latex gloves
  • packages of plain paper towels
  • disposable dust masks
  • disposable tyvek aprons
  • respirators, and
  • respirator replacement filters.
Additionally, be sure to have on hand plastic sheeting, pre-cut in length to the width and twice the height of your shelving, for protecting your collection from overhead water damage when leaks occur. And if your budget allows for them, Rescube Disaster Recovery Cartons (available for purchase from library supply vendors, e.g., Gaylord), are good for transporting water-soaked books.

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