We encourage all organizations to commit time to evaluating your emergency preparedness plans. While the current hurricane season reminds us of the need to be prepared, a disaster can take the shape of a broken water pipe in the basement, leaks in a ceiling, mold due to high humidity, or fire from faulty wiring. To assist you in preparing a safe space for your staff, visitors, and artifacts, we've compiled a list of resources below for your convenience.
Create a disaster plan using dPlan online disaster-planning template prepared by the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC)
Every person having a response-related assignment at your institution should have The Pocket Response Plan™ (PReP™) document recording essential information needed by staff in case of an emergency. Created by the Council of State Archivists (COSA)
Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM): http://www.vaemergency.gov
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): https://www.fema.gov
FEMA Region III (includes Virginia): https://www.fema.gov/region-iii-dc-de-md-pa-va-wv
FEMA Disaster Declaration Process: https://www.fema.gov/disaster-declaration-process
FEMA & National Heritage Emergency Task Force fact sheets: After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures & Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Heirlooms.
National Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov
For tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
Gather your staff and review your disaster plan today. No disaster plan? Put that at the top of the to-do list.
If you have a disaster plan, make sure everyone has a printed copy to take home. An electronic version may be useless if you lose power.
Make sure staff, volunteer, and board contact lists are up to date. Determine how you will communicate with one another before, during, and after the storm.
Make sure your insurance, disaster recovery vendors, and important contacts information is readily available; print copies or have available in the cloud.
If you don’t already have up-to-date images (photographic/video) of your facility’s exterior and interior, including storage areas, now’s the time to take them. Being able to illustrate how your building and collections looked before damage will be helpful if the need arises to pursue recovery financing.
Back up electronic records and store the back-ups off-site or in the cloud.
Walk around the property - take photographs or vidoe of the buildings from all sides and interior. This can be helpful if you have damage and need to remember, document, or recreate how something looked prior to a storm. Secure anything that can become a projectile in strong winds.
Move collections that are in areas vulnerable to flooding – i.e., the floor, the basement – or susceptible to rain – near windows or under roofs.
Cut lengths of plastic sheeting to be able to throw them over shelves or equipment should the building envelope be compromised.
Know the location and shut-off procedures for water, electricity, and gas.
Review individual or family plans. You’ll feel better attending to your organization knowing that your loved ones are safe.