Disaster Preparedness
and Recovery
Tom Clareson, LYRASIS
April 2011
Copyright © 2011 LYRASIS
Applied Terminology
• Emergency
• Disaster
• Community-Wide Disaster
• Risks/Hazards/Vulnerabilities
• Mitigation
The Stages of Disasters
• Planning
• Mitigation
• Immediate Response
• Recovery
• Long-Term Recovery
Institutions with No Emergency Plan with Staff Trained to
Carry It Out (From the Heritage Health Index)
Archives 70%
Libraries 78%
Historical Societies 92%
Museums 78%
Archaeological Repositories/
Scientific Research Collections 86%
Disaster Planning
Information Gathering
• Risk assessment
• Recovery Priorities
• Response, Recovery,
and Rehabilitation
• Resource lists
Checklist for Disaster
Establish Authority
Form Team
Review Literature and Plans
Identify Institutional Background
and Resources
Contact External Groups
Review Insurance
Salvage Priorities
Evacuation Plan
Purchase Supplies
Write Plan
Train Staff
Disaster team players
• Team leader
• Crew manager
• Financial administrator
• Recovery specialist
• Building manager
• Security director
• Recorder/photographer
• Communications officer
• Supplies & transportation manager
Risk Assessment
•Location Risks
•Facilities Risks
Emergency History
• When did the disaster occur?
• What was exact location?
• How many items were damaged?
• Costs of recovery and repair?
• Contacts for further details?
Building Survey
• Construction/Renovation
• Condition
• Drainage
• Collection Storage
• Climate Control
• Pollutants
• Light
• Pest Control/Housekeeping
Water-damage Risk
Assessment and Prevention
• Regularly inspect roof and
• Pipes and plumbing in
good condition?
• Avoid basement storage
• No water sources above
• Shelve at least 4 inches off
the floor
• Use water detectors where
Fire Risk Assessment and
• Building design
• Security
• Fire detection and
• Fire suppression
• Staff fire safety
Building Design
• Minimize air passages between floors
• Concrete flooring prevents fire from
• Beware of concealed spaces
• Keep exits unobstructed
• Inspect electrical wiring
• Inspect storage areas
• Utilize Fire Marshall visits
Effects of a Mold Outbreak
• Poses health risk to staff and patrons
• Causes staining and loss of materials
– Permanent stains to book cloth
– Weakening of materials
– Irreversible damage to photographs
• Attracts and encourages pests
– Mold is food for pests
– Both mold and pests enjoy the same
Mold Assessment and
• Keep Collections Storage and Staff Areas clean
• Indoor plants and watering
• RH above 55%?
• Inspect for mold regularly
• Find the source of moisture and remove it
• Regularly clean HVAC system
• Isolate incoming and infested collections
Mold: Initial Response
• Isolate affected materials
• Identify Species
– Is the mold active or inactive
• Locate source of humidity
• Lower the humidity and temperature
• Increase air circulation
• Use Personal Protective Equipment or call an
expert when in doubt
Mold Removal
• Deactivate/Inactivate mold
• Clean the affected items
– Vacuum residue using a HEPA vacuum
– Take health precautions
• Clean and disinfect storage areas
• Follow up by monitoring affected materials
and the environment
Pest Risks and Control
• Seal routes of entry
• Control water sources
• Control food sources
• Clean collections storage rooms and look for
signs of insects
• Isolate and examine incoming collections
• Do routine monitoring
Sample components of a
disaster plan
1. Recovery team contact
2. Communication plan or
telephone tree
3. Maintenance reports and
4. Evacuation Plan
5. Locations of Supplies
6. Organization-wide
collection priorities
7. Prevention and protection
8. Checklist for pre-disaster
9. Instructions for response,
recovery, and salvage
10. Emergency Services
11. Supplies List
Disaster Recovery
Prepare to deal with the affected
Return collections to a stable condition
Improve the condition of the collections
Establish recovery priorities
• Identify most important collections
• Factor in composition of records
• Consider services available
Priorities for initial response
• Human safety
• Critical operations
• Collections records
• Building stabilization
• Finally, salvage of collections
Assess financial resources
• Know insurance coverage
• Identify emergency funds
• Know accounting procedures
• How can they be simplified
in an emergency?
Evaluate insurance policy
• Take precautions to reduce premiums
• Be aware of exclusions from coverage
• Take photos or videos of valuable items and store
them offsite
• Appraise the building and its contents at least
every five years
• Know FEMA Rules
– Reimbursement only for what insurance won’t cover
– Stabilization, debris removal, and protective measures
– Must be part of a declared disaster area
Salvage priorities
• Vital institutional information
• Items on loan
• Collections that directly support the mission
of your institution
• Unique and/or most valuable items
• Materials most used and/or most vital for
Salvage priorities, cont.
• Most representative of subject areas
• Availability of other copies or other formats
• Items prone to damage if untreated
• Least replaceable
• Length of exposure to adverse conditions
• Materials most likely to be salvaged
Disaster Mitigation
Assess the situation
Prepare the team to enter
Assess the damage to collections
Stabilize the environment
Assess the Situation
Minor emergency
Moderate emergency
Community-Wide Disaster
Prepare the Team to Enter
• Convene the response team members
• Set up a command post
• Establish security measures
• Get clearance to enter the building
• Eliminate hazards
Health precautions
• Treat a situation as hazardous until proven
• Is your tetanus shot current?
• Don’t enter a flooded building if you have health
• Seek medical attention if you develop unusual
• Wash your hands and face
• Treat injuries immediately
• Don’t use the building’s water
Hazards to avoid
• Electrical shock
• Liquid petroleum, propane, fuel oil lines
• Tripping and lacerations
• Lifting/moving heavy wet objects
• Wild or disoriented pet animals
• Chemical or biological exposure
• Mold
Assess the damage
• How much material was affected?
• What kinds of paper are involved?
• What other types of media are affected?
• What kind of damage is involved?
• What is the value of the material?
• What are the environmental conditions
indoors and/or outdoors?
Assess the available resources
• How many people can you count on?
• How much space is available to work in?
• How much money is available for recovery,
and it is accessible at this point?
• How much time is available?
• How much authority do you have to marshal
these resources?
Stabilize the environment
• Reduce temperature to below 70°F
• Reduce relative humidity to 55% or lower
• Reduce temperature as much as possible
through air conditioning, or
• Use fans and dehumidifiers
• Monitor temperature and relative humidity
• Never warm the building!
Salvage Options
Air dry
Freeze/Freeze drying
Vacuum freeze drying
Vacuum thermal drying
Salvage procedures for
damaged materials
• Triage and sorting
– Prioritize according to type of damage, fragility of
material, degree or wetness
– Set up sorting area in close proximity to disaster site
– Keep detailed written records of material disposal
• Choosing the appropriate drying option depends on
availability of:
Facilities (as much space as possible!)
Cooperative Disaster Planning
• Saving Money
• Resource Utilization
• Service Resumption Issues
• Group Education and Information
• Insurance Issues
• Recovery Planning
• Technical Issues
Saving Money Through
Cooperative Planning
• Group Training and Consulting
• Central Supply Caches
• Consortial Contracts with Recovery Vendors
• Consortial Insurance Contracts
Better Resource Utilization
• Greater Number of Trained Responders
• Familiarity with Institutions in Consortia
• Utilizing Strengths of Each Staff
• Larger Community Volunteer Base
Service Resumption Issues
• Reciprocal Borrowing
• Computer Hot Sites
• Interlibrary Loan Fulfillment
• Donation Processing Centers
Group Education and
• Shared Disaster Plans
• Shared Building/Floor Plans
• Familiarizing Staff and Physical Plant
• Baseline Preparedness, Response, and
Recovery Training
• Annual Disaster Plan Update/Practice
• Recovery Vendor Presentations
Insurance Issues
• Consortial Policies
and Buying Power
• Collection Valuation
• Identification of
Recovery Planning
• Local Efforts
• The First 48 Hours
• Business Resumption
• Long-Term Recovery
Technical Issues
• Review of Safety Systems
• Archiving of Digital Data and Electronic
• Computer Hot Sites
SILDRN – San Diego/Imperial
County Disaster Response Network
• Formed 1995; Early Grant Funding
• Web Literature on Preparedness & Recovery
• Cooperative Supply Containers
• Supply Sources and Vendor Directory
• Regular Education Programs
• orpheus.ucsd.edu.sildrn
Cooperative Disaster Planning
– Needs
• Point Person at Each Institution
• Sharing of Disaster Plans
• Consulting and Training Activities
• Central Supply Cache – Identify Host
• Consortial Vendor & Insurance Contracts
Cooperative Disaster Planning –
Proposed Action Steps
• Review of Plans and Risks
• Disaster Assessment Surveys – Buildings,
Collections, Staff & Patrons
• Consortial/Joint Plan
• Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
Training Models
• Establish Response Team
Cooperative Disaster Planning –
Proposed Action Steps, continued
• Recovery Vendor Presentations
• Insurance Issue Discussions
• Develop Technical Response
• Mutual Aid Agreement
• Quarterly, then Annual Meetings
• Heritage Preservation for the Heritage Emergency
National Task Force.
• Federal Emergency Management Agency:
• NEDCC: 978.470.1010 or www.nedcc.org
• CCAHA: 215.545.0613 or www.ccaha.org
• LYRASIS: 800.999.8558 or www.lyrasis.org
• Amigos: 800.843.8482 or www.amigos.org
• Tom Clareson: 614.439.1796 or
Heritage Emergency National
Task Force
• Founded in 1995 with HP & FEMA
• 40 members, including ALA, IMLS, NEH, LoC
• Task Force activities:
– Provide sound information for institutions
– Offer preservation advice for the public
– Promote preparedness and mitigation
– Foster cooperation with emergency professionals
– Coordinate assistance after disasters
Emergency Response &
Salvage Wheel
• The gold standard!
• Available in five
• Latest edition:
– Water-resistant
– Magnets for easy
– All new section on
Electronic Records
Field Guide to Emergency
• Perfect for the over-stressed and undertrained!
• Compact spiral-bound notebook
– Essential response functions
– Basic salvage steps
• Special features
– Tabbed dividers to customize contacts
– Checklists and resources
– DVD to demonstrate procedures
Resources for Federal Funding
• Produced by Heritage
Preservation, FEMA,
and NEA
• Features 15 grant and
loan programs
• Covers preparedness,
mitigation, response
and recovery
• Includes sample
projects and helpful
information resources
Alliance for Response
• Raise awareness of the need to protect
cultural and historic resources
• Initiate an ongoing dialogue with emergency
• Build and sustain local networks
• Encourage disaster planning and mitigation
at institutions
Tom Clareson
Senior Consultant for New Initiatives
800.233.3401 or 614.439.1796

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