A Disaster Recovery Plan For: (Museum Name, Address Phone number and website address)
Long before a disaster strikes, it is imperative to have good housekeeping measures in place.
Operative Smoke Detectors
Operative and Function Fire Suppression System
(Keep up with regular maintenance.)
Inspection of Electrical Systems-monthly if possible.
Fire Proof Cabinets for Collections, Personnel and other Tapes, Diskettes and Magnetic Media.
Inclement weather clean-up – Easy to obtain : Rock Salt, Shovels
List of Museum Staff to contact in an emergency
Floor Plan of Bldg.
Keep list of Necessary Phone Numbers
Director of Museum
Maintenance Crew (if any)
Head of Board of Directors
Other Supplies to keep ready:
Polaroid Camera Blankets
Sheeting Waterproof tape
Towels (Toweling) Plastic Sheeting
Gloves-Latex , Nitrile, Cotton
Other protective Clothing, including face masks.
Emergency Cart – National Parks Service
Flashlights and/or battery operated lanterns
The Building/ Facilities
Exterior: walkways, entrances and exits
Retaining walls, outdoor shrubbery
Interior: Galleries, Entry ways, Exits, Storage areas
Items on loan from individuals and other institutions
Items directly related to Museums Mission
Items vital for research
Least representative of museum’s mission
SPECIFIC ITEMS RECOVERY
Art on Paper or Photos with Glass Fronts
General Salvage Techniques
Contact a conservator as soon as possible
Work on high priority collection areas first.
In general, freeze items that cannot dry with 48 hours. Consult a conservator: metal, plate glass, some photographs and furniture may be exceptions to freezing.
Air Drying: use cool low-humidity with good air circulation. Place absorbent material under objects, replace this when wet. If at all possible, air dry materials or plastic racks (commercial bread trays or rust-proof screens) to increase evaporation. Exposure to light may reduce threat of mold, but prolonged sunlight can cause fading.
Interleaving; Use blotter paper, unlinked newspaper, paper towels or waxed of freezer paper to keep items from sticking together and prevent dye transfer or running.
Freezing : If objects cannot be dried within 48 hrs. freeze them until action can be taken.
On-Site Dehumidification Super-dry air is pumped into the into the building and moist air drawn out. A useful method for damp library and archival collection in place; may be used in modern buildings to dry clean carpeting, wallboard and furnishings. Do Not use for historic structures of wood or plaster or most museum collections.
Rinsing: Rinse dirty or muddy items under a gentle strain of clean running water or gently agitate in containers filled with water. Do not scrub, it drivers dirt in deeper. Use a sponge/soft cloth to blot mud and debris.
Vacuum Drying: Also “thermal drying”.. Items are dried in a vacuum cleaner, often at temps.above 100degrees F. Caution: this method accelerates aging and causes damage to many materials: animal skins (leather, vellum) film media. Widely available: slower than vacuum freeze-drying, but less expensive.
Vacuum Freeze Drying: Items are dried in a vacuum chamber at below-freezing temperatures to minimize swelling and distortion. Generally provides the most satisfactory results: recommended for historic collection material and glossy papers. A Commercial service available throughout the U.S..
Taken from the FEMA Emergency Response Wheel through a Preservation Project with the support of The National Endowment for the Humanities and the St. Paul Insurance Companies, copyrighted 1997.
Protect Yourself, Your Home, Your Business, Your Treasures
From Niagara Falls to the shores of Cape May, we’ve got you covered