Posted: April 13, 2015
Emergency preparedness is essential when you’re responsible for irreplaceable cultural resources like museum artifacts! Museum staff are trained and prepared to minimize the damage to artifacts and the building and protect and secure the artifact collection. There is an approved Collection Emergency Plan that defines staff responsibilities and roles (everything from distributing supplies to managing information flow), and we carefully maintain a dedicated kit of emergency response equipment to help us handle flood, tornado, equipment failure, or other emergency.
Recently, we’ve conducted a thorough inventory and evaluation of our emergency response supplies. Our emergency kit consists of three pallets of problem-solving materials such as packing boxes, tape, acid-free tissue paper, polyethylene bags, safety glasses, nitrile gloves, fans, packing forms, and other office supplies that may prove indispensible. In addition, select staff members are deemed “first responders” and have personal backpacks at the ready, which include waterproof writing pads, cameras, headlamps, and a change of clothes. The emergency pallets are fully sealed in plastic wrap to protect their contents and ensure that everything is at the ready.
To find out more about how museums can train for emergencies, review the American Alliance of Museum’s Disaster Preparedness Activity guide. (external link)