Disaster Preparedness Workbook


for U.S. Navy Libraries and Archives



Lisa L. Fox

Prepared on behalf of the

Northeast Document Conservation Center

100 Brickstone Square • Andover, Mass. 01810

for the

U. S. Naval War College Library

686 Cushing Road • Newport, R.I. 02841

 November 1998

Support for the production of this workbook has been provided by a grant from the Navy Legacy Resource Management Program of the United States Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program.






1. The Disaster Preparedness Workbook For Navy Libraries and Archives was written to cover all types of disasters and to help Navy Libraries and Archives safeguard their informational resources as we are all self insured. Loss of these resources would seriously impact on our mission.

2. The Disaster Preparedness Workbook For Navy Libraries and Archives can be customized to local needs by using the enclosed disc. This will allow each institution to create a Disaster Manual specifically for their institution. All Navy Libraries and Archives will receive a copy of the Disaster Preparedness Workbook… on disc in Word 6.0 and a paper copy ready to be placed in a three ring binder. The Legacy Grant also provides, if desired, a Disaster React-Pak for use in minor emergencies. If you would like to receive a Disaster React-Pak, please let me know. I can be contacted via e-mail at Schnarer@nwc.navy.mil. The mailing address is Naval War College Library, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841-1207. Phone # (401)841-2641, DSN 948-2641, Fax (401)841-6491.

3. The creation of this workbook has been a goal of mine for the last several years. The workbook is modeled after the Disaster: Readiness, Response and Recovery Manual (1992) compiled for the state of Rhode Island. This workbook was written and compiled by Lisa Fox, a Preservation Consultant working for the Northeast Document Conservation Center. It has been critiqued by several preservation experts. I have critiqued the publication and have tried to insure that all aspects of disaster contingencies have been covered. I believe we have succeeded.

4. While extensive effort has gone into ensuring the reliability of information appearing in this workbook, the publisher and author make no warranty, expressed or implied, on the accuracy or reliability of the information, and do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any person or organization for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in this publication.

5. I would again like to acknowledge that support for the production of this workbook has been provided by a grant to the U.S. Naval War College Library through the Navy Legacy Resource Management Program of the United States Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program.

6. If anyone has questions concerning the workbook, please feel free to contact me.

Robert E. Schnare, Director

U.S. Naval War College Library



Table of Contents

Preface x

Introduction to Disaster Preparedness xiii

The Elements of Disaster Preparedness xiv

The Planning Process xv

Managing the Planning Process xviii

Participation xviii

Integration xix

Phased Implementation xx

Where to Begin? xxi

Cover Page 1

Introduction to the Plan 2

Emergency Instructions 3

Fire 3

Water 4

Utilities/System Malfunctions 5

Tornado 7

Hurricane Warning 7

Bomb Threat 7

Civil Disturbance or Riot 7

Emergency Numbers 8

Prevention/Protection Plan 9

Preparedness Guidelines 9

Disaster Team Preparedness 10

Liaison with Other Units 11

Maintenance Inspections 12

Fire Safety 13

Security 13

Storage Areas 14

Computer Backups 14

Chemicals and Hazardous Materials 14

Pre-Disaster Actions 15

Response Procedures

Background Information on Response Procedures 16

Water Damage (Routine) 18

Severe Storms and Floods 21

Mold 23

Earthquake 25

Hurricane 27

Wildfire 33

Medium-to-Large Scale Disaster 38

Salvage Procedures

Background Information on Salvage Procedures 44

Salvage Procedures 45

Work Crews 46

Packout 46

Documentation 48

Removal 49

Rinsing 49

Freezing 51

Drying Techniques 52

Fire Damage 53

Charred Materials 53

Smoke/Soot Deposits 53

Smoke Odor Removal 54

Fumigation 54

Wrap-Up and Evaluation 56

Salvage Priorities

Background Information on Salvage Priorities 57

The Process 57

Factors to Weigh 57

Assigning Priorities 59

Salvage Priorities 60

Collection Restoration

Background Information on Collection Restoration 61

Collection Restoration 62


A. Personnel

Background Information for Appendix A1: Disaster Team A1

Disaster Team Responsibilities A2

Administration A3

Collections Unit A5

Data Processing Unit A8

Financial Unit A8

Safety Unit A10

A1. Disaster Team A15

A2. Supplemental Personnel A19

Volunteers A19

Temporary Services A21

A3. Staff List A22

B. Supplies and Services

Background Information for Appendix B1: Disaster Supply Stockpile B1

Scope and Purpose of the Supplies B1

Storing the Stockpile B2

Off-site Storage B3

Inventory B3

B1. Disaster Supply Stockpile B4

Operational Supplies B5

Supplies for People B8

Salvage Supplies B10

Site Clean-Up and Rehabilitation B12

Background Information for Appendix B2: Suppliers and Service Providers B14

Supplies B15

Services B21

National Suppliers and Service Providers B23

B2. Suppliers and Service Providers B30

Supplies B31

Services B31

C. Bomb Threat C1

D. Building Stabilization & Environmental Control D1

D1. Health and Safety Universal Precautions for Post-Flood Buildings D2

Table of Contents D2

Universal Precautions D2

Health Precautions D2

General Safety Precautions D3

Cleaning and Decontamination Procedures D5

Protective Equipment D6

Food and Drinking Water D6

Building Structure D6

Electrical Systems D7

LP, Natural Gas and Fuel Oil Lines D7

Building Materials D7

Personal Property D9

Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems D10

E. Chemical Hazards E1

F. Communication Plan F1

Alternative Communications in Natural Disasters F2

Media Communications F4

G. Data Processing Plans G1

Computer Backups G1

Off-site Storage G3

Off-site Operations G3

Recovery G4

Protection of Computer Assets G5

H. Emergency Funds H1

Available Funds H1

Credit Card H1

Purchase Orders and Requisitions H2

Other Information H2

I. Evacuation I1

Authorization I1

Membership and Assignments I1

Responsibilities I2

Evacuation Because of Fire Alarm I4

Evacuation of Handicapped Persons I5

Special Events I5

Exits I5

J. Fire Safety J1

Background Information for Appendix J: Fire Safety J1

Liaison and Training J1

Security J2

Detection and Signalling J2

Fire Suppression J3

Portable Extinguishers J3

Sprinkler Systems J4

Staff Training J6

Fire Safety Template J7

Liaison and Training J7

Detectors J8

Portable Extinguishers J9

Fire Suppression J10

K. Floor Plans K1

L. Forms L1

Fire Extinguisher Inspection Log L2

Packout Form L3

M. Background Information for Appendix M: Inspection Checklist M1

General Preparedness M3

Site/Area Hazards M4

Building and Grounds M5

Roof and Drainage M6

Plumbing M7

Windows and Skylights M7

Fire Safety M8

Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) System M10

Stack Areas M11

Protection from Water Damage M12

Security M13

Housekeeping M14

Insurance M15

Construction Projects M16

N. Insurance

Self-Insurance N1

Commercial Insurance N2

O. Operations Center O1

On-site Space O1

Off-site Space O2

Data Processing Operations O3

P. Salvage Priorities—Detailed P1

Q. Salvage Procedures Q1

Q1. Drying Wet Books and Records (NEDCC) Q2

Air-Drying Q2

Dehumidification Q3

Freezer Drying Q3

Vacuum Thermal Drying Q3

Vacuum Freeze-Drying Q4

How to Air-Dry Wet Records Q4

How to Air-Dry Bound Volumes Q5

Q2. Emergency Salvage of Photographs (NEDCC) Q7

Minimum Immersion Time Q7

Salvage Priorities for Wet Photographs Q7

Air-Drying Photographs Q8

Freezing Photographs Q8

Drying Frozen Photographs Q9

Salvaging Slides Q9

Q3. Microforms Q10

Q4. Computer Media Q12

Q5. Artifacts and Museum Objects Q14

Works of Art on Paper Q14

Easel Paintings Q16

Animal Materials: Bone, Hair, Horn, Ivory, Shell Q18

Animal Skins: Buckskin and Other Flexible Leathers Q18

Animal Skins: Leather and Rawhide Q19

Animal Skins: Parchment and Vellum Q19

Basketry Q19

Ceramics, Glass, and Stone Q20

Furniture Q21

Metals Q22

Natural History Specimens Q23

Textiles Q23

Wood Q26

R. Utility/System Malfunctions R1

Authorization R1

Emergency Contacts R1

Emergency Shut-Offs R2

S. Vaults, Keys, and Combinations S1

Vaults and Combinations S1

Master Keys or Cards S2

Mechanical/Janitorial Rooms S2

T. Bibliography T1

Books T1

Serials T7

Internet T9




This workbook focuses on the disaster-related needs of librarians, archivists, and records managers in documentary collections–that is, in collections of printed documents, magnetic media, electronic records, and so on–of the United States Navy. The workbook outlines plans that deal with a whole range of events, from routine leaks to large-scale natural disasters. Because the workbook will be used in Navy installations throughout the world, a wide variety of disasters are covered, but the focus is upon those that are most common within the United States.

Disaster Preparedness Workbook for U.S. Navy Libraries and Archives will be used by personnel in widely divergent types of institutions–from the Navy’s small libraries on military bases to its major historical and research collections in the academy and colleges. Therefore, every effort has been made to use general language. For example, the terms “collection,” “materials,” and “holdings” refer to the whole panoply of formats, including books and periodicals, archives and manuscripts, photographic media, maps and drawings, audiovisual materials, magnetic media and electronic data, and so on. The term “repository” refers to any type of collection-holding institution; it encompasses libraries and archives, but also may refer to museums, records centers, and other documentary collections.



How to Use the Workbook

This workbook provides basic information and instructions as well as a template that personnel can use to write their own plans. Most of the explanatory text is in sections labelled “Background Information” (such as “Background Information on Response Procedures”). Read them and use the information there, but do not distribute them as part of your plan. Sections with a title bar, such as the “Cover Page” and “Introduction to the Plan,” should be used as a template for your plan. Within those sections, instructions appear in italic type–for example, Specify the responsible position. Use those instructions and tips, but do not include them in your written plan.

Begin work with the sections that are most important to you, with those that address your greatest concerns or vulnerabilities. Depending on your geographic location and the nature and purpose of your collections, some sections may be deleted altogether. For example, an organization far inland will not need to include the sections that relate to hurricanes. Above all, tailor this workbook to your needs. Work on the sections that are useful, modify the materials to suit your situation, and discard what is not needed or relevant. The Introduction to this workbook offers further guidance about the planning process.

Involve other appropriate personnel throughout the planning process. The fire department, facilities staff, and administration may have useful contributions to make, as well as staff within the repository. Once the plan is written, be sure to share a copy with those other units.

Human Safety

The Disaster Preparedness Workbook focuses on protection and recovery of collections. However, the protection of human life and safety should be the unquestioned first priority of all repositories at all times. When training personnel to implement response and salvage procedures, make clear that they are never to risk their safety to protect the collections.

Similarly, be mindful of specific health risks that may relate to recovery. All individuals involved with the recovery should have an up-to-date tetanus shot. Other immunizations may also be needed based upon the recommendations of the local Navy medical officials. Some individuals may be highly allergic to mold, latex gloves, various chemicals, or other substances used in disaster projects. To the extent possible, identify these conditions in the planning stage and be sure personnel are not assigned jobs that would be risky for them. Some people may have undiscovered conditions, so be alert to symptoms during the recovery operation.

Caution to Non-Military Organizations

Librarians and archivists outside the military will find much that is useful in this workbook. However, it should be adapted with care, for the realities of Navy organization have shaped the text in ways that differ from others. Some sources of assistance that would be available to civilian organizations are not contemplated in this workbook. For example, the plan assumes no assistance or support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for it is more likely that FEMA would call on the Department of Defense in a major disaster than vice versa. Little attention is paid here to commercial insurance or FEMA reimbursement, because the vast majority of Navy collections are self-insured. Throughout the text, there are references to Navy regulations that govern health and safety, procurement, and the like. Others who use the workbook as a template should do so with caution.


The literature on disaster preparedness has been evolutionary, with various writers building upon the work of those who came before. This workbook is no exception. Many readers will notice its similarity to Disaster Readiness, Response and Recovery Manual(Providence, R.I.: Rhode Island Department of State Library Services, 1992), which was used as a model for this workbook. The author and project leaders are grateful to the Director of the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services (formerly Department of State Library Services) for allowing some of the form and content of that manual to be used here.

Important information also was gleaned from various leaflets of the Northeast Document Conservation Center, and two are reproduced in Appendix Q. Betty Walsh’s “Salvage at a Glance” instructions (WAAC Newsletter 10:2, May 1988, and 19:2, March 1997) provided guidance on salvaging artifacts. Much useful information for Appendix B was contributed by Disaster Recovery Supplies and Suppliers, Caroline Gilderson-Duwe, compiler (Madison, Wisc.: Wisconsin Preservation Program, 1995).

The disaster plans of some organizations served as useful models. Some sections have

been closely adapted from plans of the Library of Virginia and of the Virginia Historical Society. Further insights were provided by those who read drafts of this workbook and provided valuable ideas about how to improve its organization and content.

Thanks go to the following:

• Karma Beal, Archivist, National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce

• Joan Buntzen, Librarian of the Navy

• Michele Cloonan, Department Chair and Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education and Information Science, University of California at Los Angeles

• Sheryl J. Davis, Preservation Officer, University of California at Riverside

• Ann Morgan Dodge, Conservator, Brown University

• Jane Hedberg, Serials Librarian and Preservation Administrator, Wellesley College

• Rick Schultze, Safety Manager, U.S. Naval War College

• Don Westcott, Deputy Chief, NETC Fire Department

Special thanks go to Sheryl Davis, who provided much-needed assistance in developing the response procedures for wildfire included in the workbook.

Perhaps most important, Robert E. Schnare (Director, U.S. Naval War College Library) provided essential guidance and problem-solving throughout the development of this workbook. Not only was Bob an insightful reader of the workbook, but–throughout the vicissitudes of writing and revisions–he was kinder and more patient than I had any reason to expect. The staff of the Northeast Document Conservation Center was a treasure trove of information, and they willingly shared it.

Lisa L. Fox

February 1998

Introduction to Disaster Preparedness

The title of this publication, Disaster Preparedness Workbook for U.S. Navy Libraries and Archives, was the subject of some considerable discussion. When we hear the word “disaster,” we tend to think of those devastating floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other calamities that make news headlines. Without a doubt, every cultural institution should have a plan that allows it to brace against such events.

But libraries and archives are bedeviled by everyday assaults: leaking roofs, dripping pipes, a moldy book returned by a patron, a small fire set in the book return, a window left open during a night of pouring rain. Library and archives personnel regularly deal with those little crises–often “making it up as we go along,” meeting each such emergency with a shortage of information and an abundance of intent to do the right thing.

After Italy’s Arno River flooded its banks and devastated cultural treasures in Florence in 1966, the field of disaster preparedness gained significant attention. The phrase “disaster preparedness” took hold in the profession’s consciousness.

For at least a decade, preservation professionals have tried to change the language –to speak, instead, of “emergency preparedness.” The effort was not simply semantic. It grew out of a desire to stress that our preparedness activities should not be focused on the rare cataclysmic events, but that we should work to prevent and–failing that–deal effectively with the routine emergencies that all too regularly beset most institutions. The terminological coup failed, though. For better or worse, we continue to use the phrase “disaster preparedness.” This workbook does not attempt to turn that tide.

Disaster preparedness is used here as the comprehensive term that describes strategies employed to protect library and archives collections from any unexpected or accidental loss from external causes. Sometimes these are minor, such as those resulting from leaks in the roof or plumbing system. Other times they are major floods, fires, earthquakes, and the like. Disaster preparedness includes three facets: protection, recovery, and planning.

Disaster preparedness is a natural part of responsible custody. Few librarians and archivists realize the value of their collections. In a modest base library with a 10,000-volume circulating collection, the average purchase price may be just $35 per volume, yielding a collection value of $350,000. In an academy library, the average price for a hardcover book will be closer to $50. With a collection size of 100,000 volumes, the collection value would be approximately $5,000,000. Special libraries–with a large component of technical and scientific subjects –have even higher average costs. None of these figures, though, includes the costs of acquiring, cataloging, and preparing materials for the shelf–costs that often far exceed the purchase price.

Tailor those examples to your own collection, and present the results to your administration. Once administrators realize the collection is a major capital asset, there may be more support for implementing the protection and maintenance strategies that are necessary.

Of course, many collections are not replaceable at any price. Archives, manuscripts, works of art, and many rare books are gone forever if they are lost in a disaster. Consider making a security copy of irreplaceable, highly valuable, and rare materials in the collection. Microfilm is the best medium for such copies, but the film must be manufactured, processed, and stored according to national standards and preservation guidelines. A digital copy, while providing many access benefits, does not have the requisite longevity.

The Elements of Disaster Preparedness

Protection involves activities taken to prevent or minimize damage to collections. It requires, first, that a repository assess its vulnerability to floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, and to incidents such as roof leaks, plumbing malfunctions, fire, and mold outbreaks. Second, it includes actions to prevent or reduce the impact of disasters. Preventive work takes a variety of forms: installing fire detectors and sprinkler systems, bracing shelves to resist earthquake damage, regularly maintaining plumbing and drainage systems, and storing collections in areas unlikely to sustain water damage from natural or manmade disasters. The “Prevention/Protection Plan” section of this workbook and several of the appendices provide guidance on this element of preparedness.

Recovery begins after a disaster has occurred and involves three stages: response, salvage, and rehabilitation. In the response stage, the staff organizes the recovery project by notifying necessary personnel, procuring supplies and services for recovery, stabilizing the building’s environment, and assessing the damage. The salvage stage involves packing and removing materials from the affected site, stabilizing them (most often through freezing), and drying them by any of a variety of processes (including air-drying, dehumidification, and vacuum thermal- or freeze-drying). The rehabilitation or restoration stage includes such steps as cleaning, fumigation, repair, rebinding, affixing new labels and plates, reshelving, rehousing archival materials, and deodorization and removal of smoke or soot. Rehabilitation of non-paper materials such as photographic and magnetic media often involves reprocessing and/or copying the salvaged item onto a new, stable medium. Much of the text in this workbook provides guidance for recovery operations.

Planning is the third element of disaster preparedness, and the most critical. It overarches protection and recovery. In this activity, discrete lists of facts, resources, procedures, priorities, and options are brought together to form a coherent working document that will guide policy and action not just in a disaster situation, but on a day-to-day basis. The disaster plan should include such informational components as floor plans, lists of suppliers and other resources, personnel directories, insurance and accounting instructions, and various checklists. Perhaps more important, it should serve as a guide for the staff in recovering from disasters of various magnitudes, and it should include instructions and procedures that will be relevant in various scenarios. That is, it should reflect in some detail the repository’s plans for coping with incidents ranging from small water leaks to mold outbreaks to devastating fire or natural disaster.

The Planning Process

Over the past thirty years, an increasing number of institutions have developed documents that list critical phone numbers, supply sources, and service providers. Too often, those documents are the result of one individual’s work, and other staff members are scarcely, if at all, aware the document exists. In other cases, the parent organization’s safety unit may have plans that govern the institution’s response to emergencies in the repository, but the librarians and archivists do not know about them.

To be truly useful, appropriate people and units must be involved in the development of the disaster plan. Though resource lists are a good beginning, a good disaster plan goes further: it documents the institution’s thinking about strategic goals, procedures, and task assignments for all elements of the disaster preparedness program. Perhaps most of all, the plan should be incorporated into the day-to-day operation of the organization. The disaster preparedness plan should be a “living document” that all staff know about and apply whenever collections are threatened or damaged.

Here are the steps typically involved in developing a disaster plan for libraries and archives. These steps do not have to happen in the order listed below.

• Assign responsibility. The repository head must authorize the disaster preparedness project. In most cases, it is useful to employ a committee or task force, but one person must be in charge. If one person is acting alone, it is all too easy to let disaster preparedness activities slip to one side. However, if several people are working together, they often motivate one another to continue the activity; for if deadlines for action are set, each participant will feel pressure to deliver on assignments. Generally, the person in charge should be a manager, and s/he must have skills in project management and group facilitation.

• Establish contact with relevant emergency management units. The fire department, security and safety units, and risk management offices may help educate the staff. You need to learn what support they can offer and what plans they have in place, and they need to understand the library/archive’s particular concerns.

Early in the process, find out what other plans exist that may affect or be affected by yours. It is likely that your repository is part of a base, academy, or other larger organization. Identify and establish a working relationship with the officer in charge of emergency preparedness for the overall organization.

The organization probably has a written disaster plan. However, the planners may have a quite different idea than you do of what responsibilities the repository staff will have in the event of a large-scale disaster. When a university library began its planning, the planning committee discovered the university’s master plan called for library staff to be detailed to the medical response team in case of a significant earthquake, quite ignoring that some personnel should work on salvaging library materials.

• Educate the planners. Unless the planners already have expertise in disaster preparedness, they will need some time and education in preparation for the assignment. This workbook provides much information they will need, and the readings in Appendix T will supplement it. State libraries and archives, regional bibliographic networks, and other organizations listed in Appendix B may provide workshops that will help also.

Perhaps worse, the institution’s planners may have given no consideration at all to the repository’s needs. One repository found that municipal administrators had placed the library and archives at the bottom of the priority list–not through conscious decision-making, but because they had never stopped to calculate the value of those collections and the costs of replacing or salvaging them.

Take this opportunity to make the organization’s emergency planners aware of the importance of the collection. Explain the unique issues involved in salvaging documentary collections, and enlist their commitment to help save the materials.

• Define the scope of the plan. It may be prudent to adopt a “phased” planning process–that is, to focus first on your greatest vulnerabilities, as suggested in “Managing the Planning Process” below. Decide which elements of the plan you will develop in this phase of the planning process and which must wait.

• Develop planning parameters. Establish goals and benchmarks so you can monitor progress and have tangible accomplishments throughout the process. Set a schedule for reporting to the repository director.

• Determine and rank potential hazards. The inspections and assessments outlined in the “Prevention/Protection Plan” and in the “Inspection Checklist” (Appendix M) are key elements of disaster preparedness. As you conduct your planning, you may discover some conditions that increase your vulnerability to disaster (for example, lack of sprinklers or other automatic fire suppression) and others that will complicate your recovery efforts (e.g., the presence of asbestos that could be dislodged in an earthquake, fire, or structural collapse).

Such discoveries require two avenues of action. First, seek to remedy the problem–for example, by installing sprinklers, conducting asbestos abatement, and so on. Second, and especially if you cannot provide such remedies, make sure your plan realistically reflects the vulnerabilities you discover.

• Consider financial implications. The planning group must know what funds are available for disaster preparedness and especially what will be available for recovery. If the organization is self-insured (as most Navy libraries are), there may be no provision for recovery funds. It may be possible to change that situation if you educate resource allocators about the fact that recovery is generally much less expensive than replacement.

• Write the plan. The templates in this workbook will simplify the writing. However, many conversations will be required to decide on the content of your plan. For example, many staff members should be involved in setting collection priorities. You will need to get information and coordinate planning with outside units–the fire department, security staff, health and safety office, and so on–in order to shape your plans.

• Distribute the plan and train staff. All personnel should understand their responsibilities for basic response actions such as evacuation. In the event of a disaster, they may also have duties such as packing wet records, rinsing muddy books, air-drying materials, rinsing and drying photographic materials–tasks for which their professional education never prepared them. Hold in-house workshops to teach the procedures, and be sure that staff are cross-trained.

• Test the plan and revise it as needed. In the first year after you develop your plan, three or four tests may be needed to determine the feasibility of your plan for the various scenarios it covers (roof leak, fire, earthquake, etc.). Once the plan is well established, conduct fire drills at least annually. It is most important to conduct drills related to disasters that occur infrequently but present a high risk for collection damage, such as earthquakes or fires. In most institutions, there will be plenty of real cases of minor water damage so that you will have ample opportunity to test and refine your plans for those.

• Document and assess the planning process. Identify what problems you encountered, what tactics and resources were most helpful, and so on. To the extent possible, put those in writing and include them in the introduction to your plan as an aid to future planners.

Managing the Planning Process

That outline of planning activities may sound overwhelming. The best course of action is this: focus your work on the issues that are most important to your repository. You can facilitate the planning by using these principles:

• Solicit broad-based participation in the planning process.

• Integrate disaster preparedness into the organization’s other, routine operations.

• Adopt a phased implementation process.


The “Lone Ranger” approach seldom works in disaster planning. Many disaster plans have evolved from one individual’s awareness that the library or archive is vulnerable to disaster. While many such disaster plans exist on paper, few have an impact on the regular operation of the organization. Stipulated schedules for roof inspections are not followed, in-house recovery supply stockpiles are not maintained, insurance policies are not updated, and fire safety recommendations are not implemented.

The basic failure of disaster plans developed by “Lone Rangers” arises primarily from lack of participation. Because other staff members are not given an opportunity to develop a sense of “ownership” of the disaster preparedness effort, they develop no sense of responsibility for its success.

An effective disaster plan must reflect hard choices. Many of the questions cut to the heart of institutional priorities and staff allegiances: Which will we save first–the reference books or the special collections? Who will have direct authority for directing the recovery effort–the director or the preservation officer? Should our capital budget proposal include a new sprinkler system or an upgrade for our online catalog?

Such questions are difficult to answer, and they require broad-based input from the staff. If the plan is to work, such questions must be faced directly, and voices on all sides must be heard. The dialogue must include administrative, professional, and support staff. The plan should reflect the perspectives of bibliographers and reference staff, catalogers and processors, circulation and loan services personnel, media specialists, information managers, and all technical and public service units. Each staff member has a unique perspective on the collection and its users, and each can play a valuable role in disaster preparedness.

Others beyond the walls of the repository must help shape the disaster preparedness program. The base command, fire department, security, health and safety, and other relevant units must be included. They may have disaster plans or resources that can be shared, and the repository’s plan must be compatible with theirs.

You can employ the integrative approach by coordinating collection development or assessment activities with the establishment of salvage priorities. Disaster specialists have long urged librarians and archivists to set salvage priorities–that is, to identify those parts of the collection that must receive attention first, second, and third during disaster recovery. However, few repositories have actually set such priorities. Planning for salvage tends often to be avoided, even in repositories that have a fledgling disaster plan. Resistance to articulating salvage priorities can be reduced by integrating this activity into an overall collection management plan. It may be useful, while conducting a collection assessment or developing a collection development policy, to ask: What parts of the collection are most important in the long term and which are most crucial to our daily operations? Discussion of these issues can bring collection development priorities into sharper focus and lead to articulation of salvage priorities. Of course, the final decision about whether a particular institution will give first priority to collections with immediate value or to those with long-term research significance will depend on the collection mission.

Only through seeking broad-based input and discussion (even heated debate) will the final product be a disaster plan that the staff and whole base or institution will support. And only then will the plan be a workable document that does not gather dust in the files.


Disaster preparedness activities must be integrated into ongoing operations. Effective disaster preparedness must be viewed as only one component of the organization’s overall planning and activities.

Space planning provides another opportunity to integrate disaster preparedness into more traditional activities. When a repository plans new construction, renovation, or rearrangement of existing space, disaster preparedness merits consideration. For example, significant collections can be moved out of basements and away from windows to reduce their vulnerability to floods or hurricanes. When acquiring new shelving, organizations can procure units with a canopy and with lowest shelves four inches off the floor–thus affording some protection from water. To reduce the risk of arson, book returns that open into the library can be enclosed or replaced with free-standing units away from the building.

There are other simple ways to integrate disaster preparedness into day-to-day activities. Various ongoing prevention measures can prevent disasters or minimize their effects. Staff responsible for closing the building can check to see that all windows and doors are closed and securely locked. Workers in technical services departments can routinely put important records (on-order and in-process files, collections being arranged and described) in cabinets at the end of the day, rather than leaving them on desktops where they are more vulnerable to water, fire, and other damage. Step stools in stack areas can be marked with phosphorescent tape so they will be more visible in a darkened or smoke-filled building. Individually, none of these strategies are particularly difficult to implement, and together they can be important building blocks in the disaster preparedness program.

Phased Implementation

Too many librarians and archivists have acted as if no disaster preparedness activity can begin until the entire disaster plan is in place. Others who have learned how far-reaching and complex the subject is have, despite their good intentions, simply left it undone. Both attitudes fail to recognize the benefits of phased disaster preparedness. Any single step taken to protect the collection from damage is a valid achievement toward the goal of disaster preparedness. Planners need to segment the job into manageable tasks, phasing in each step over time as the staff gains more knowledge and commitment.

Too many written disaster plans are never incorporated into the institution’s real goals, plans, and operations. Budgeting, formal designation of staff responsibility, and ongoing staff training and support must be dealt with. In preparing a disaster plan, staff must frequently ask, “How will this be achieved so that the plan will be a feasible one for us?” The planners must articulate a strategy to ensure that the disaster preparedness plan is actually implemented and receives ongoing attention. If obstacles are unseen or dismissed in the planning stages, the staff becomes disheartened when the disaster plan is not met with instant acceptance. By acknowledging and identifying difficulties in the early stages, planners can increase the staff’s eventual support of the disaster preparedness effort.

Employing a phased strategy, one institution may begin by implementing such protective measures as regular roof inspections and preventive maintenance or by shifting collections so that lower shelves are not used. This may be especially prudent in a building that regularly experiences roof leaks or plumbing malfunctions. Or that same institution might initiate its disaster preparedness effort simply by developing resource lists of suppliers, services, and experts to call when the collection sustains damage. Another organization might begin by identifying salvage priorities.

Eventually, such discrete steps will build toward a coherent disaster preparedness plan. In the meantime, these individual actions will have begun educating staff, developing an organization-wide sensitivity to disaster preparedness issues, and cultivating a belief that progress can be achieved.

In developing a successful implementation plan, staff must recognize that disaster preparedness is difficult because all organizational change is difficult. Some elements of disaster preparedness will challenge such long-standing attitudes as “we’ll never experience a flood,” and such ingrained habits as leaving fire doors open or smoking in the building. Specific plans must be laid to motivate and educate the staff so they will support changes that accompany authentic disaster preparedness.

Where to Begin?

Every Navy library and archives is encouraged to develop a full disaster plan using this workbook, and that is a worthwhile goal. However, no institution can do everything at once, and phased implementation is a valid approach.

For most institutions, these activities should receive first-priority attention:

• Pre-assign recovery responsibilities. Be sure every staff member knows his or her assignments in the event of a disaster and that there are adequate back-ups for each position. Detailed job descriptions are provided here in “Background Information for Appendix A1: Disaster Team.”

• Establish salvage priorities. The “Salvage Priorities” section of this workbook recommends a process for setting priorities within various units. It is generally easiest to develop unit priorities (by department, floor, etc.) first, and record them on the form in Appendix P, Salvage Priorities–Detailed. Then select among those to develop overall priorities for the repository.

• Develop and maintain resource lists. The templates and lists in Appendix B provide a starting point.

These are the next most critical activities for a typical repository:

• Educate and train staff. Readings will help provide basic information. But for developing skills in salvage, there is no substitute for hands-on training. Conducting “mock disasters” will develop skill and help identify areas where written plans may be unclear or need revision.

• Document recovery procedures. You may be able to use the instructions in the “Salvage Procedures” section and Appendix Q of this workbook with little modification. Other resources cited in the Bibliography (Appendix T) provide guidance for more specialized collections.

• Implement disaster prevention strategies. It is a truism that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” but any veteran of a library or archives disaster will confirm that prevention and protection–however arduous and expensive–are much preferable to recovery. Whatever you can do to implement protection strategies will reduce the likelihood that you will be called upon to stand knee-deep in mud, ashes, or rubble to salvage collections after a hurricane, fire, earthquake, or other disaster. The “Prevention/Protection Plan” section of the workbook, along with the Inspection Checklist in Appendix M, provide a starting point.

There are many diverse ways to tackle the work of disaster preparedness. Anything you do to prevent a disaster, reduce its impact, sensitize or train the staff, or organize recovery resources will be helpful. This workbook provides a solid base for your work.

In the event of an actual disaster, the workbook also provides guidance on actions to take in handling a disaster. Remember:

Safety First! Before entering a disaster damaged building, it would be wise to review Appendix D2, “Health and Safety Universal Precautions for Post-Flood Buildings.” Books and materials can be replaced. The same cannot be said about human life. This must always be a repository’s first priority.

Cover Page

Disaster Preparedness Plan

Name of Organization:

Date of Plan Completion:

Next Scheduled Update:

Set a date no more than 12 months in the future by which the plan should be updated.


List all individuals or offices that receive copies of the plan (including those within your organization or base as well as outside units such as the fire department and security office) and locations of file copies. Use this list to be sure everyone who receives the disaster plan also receives a copy of updates.

Certain personnel should keep copies of the plan at home as well as in their offices, in case they are called into action outside business hours. Include those in this list.

It is also a good idea to include the plan, or relevant sections of it, with your disaster stockpile. See the recommendations in Appendix B.

Introduction to the Plan

Prepare a brief introduction to your plan. You might include the following points:

    • when and by whom it was prepared;


    • the purpose of the plan;


    • how the repository’s plan relates to the overall disaster plan for the entire base, academy, etc.;


    • when and by whom it is to be updated; and


    • how the plan is organized and tips on using it.


If your hazard assessment, reflected in the Inspection Checklist (Appendix M), reveals any areas of particular concern, you might highlight them here.

Emergency Instructions

Use this section to provide brief instructions about how to respond to the emergencies that are most likely to occur, given your locale and the particular features of your building. The form in this section provides templates for a wide variety of emergencies; delete any that are unlikely to occur in your area.

Write the instructions so that staff without training or supervision can carry them out correctly. Make the instructions as brief as possible. The “Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel,” cited in Appendix T, is distributed to Navy repositories along with this workbook. It may be posted in conjunction with these Emergency Instructions.

Post a copy of this sheet near all staff telephones and at the primary contact points (e.g., the reference desk and circulation desk). Also include a copy of this summary sheet in the plan.

The first priority in any collection-threatening emergency is to preserve and protect human life. In applying the emergency instructions, focus on the safety of staff, patrons, and other people in the building, and do only as much as is safe and prudent to protect the collections.


If your facility is equipped with automatic detectors and/or sprinklers, this template should be revised to include information on how staff should respond when those systems are activated.

1. If you see fire or smell smoke, activate local fire alarm by pulling nearest manual alarm.

2. Determine the location and source of the fire, if that can be done quickly and safely.

3. Call Fire Department, . [Insert 911 or other phone number. Some libraries may require notification of local security personnel in addition to or instead of the Fire Department.]

4. If fire has less than a 3-foot base and is not chemical, you may attempt to put it out using an ABC fire extinguisher.

5. If fire is larger than 3-foot base, immediately evacuate the building and await arrival of fire authorities to inform them of the status. Detailed instructions and responsibilities are provided in Appendix I, Evacuation.

6. Do not jeopardize safety to accomplish these tasks. If possible and safe to do so, take the following other actions: [You may specify instructions such as turning off equipment, shutting windows and fire doors, etc.]




7. From a safe location, notify the following staff of the event:

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

8. Follow detailed instructions located in the disaster plan, pages [insert page/section number(s)], a copy of which is kept [tell where].


In routine emergencies, clean water may leak into collection areas. If there is any risk that the water is contaminated by sewage or other substances, responders should wear protective clothing (waterproof boots, clothing, and gloves). If there is any risk of electrocution, do not enter the area.

1. If easily done, attempt to determine the cause or source of the water.

2. Attempt to cut off water if feasible. The location of water shut-off valves and procedures for closing them are given in Utility/System Malfunctions (Appendix R).

3. Call, in the following order, and give exact location of the problem: [It may be appropriate to list a plumber or the head of building maintenance. Some installations may also want the security office notified.]

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

4. If collection materials are threatened by water, immediately notify [specify Recovery Coordinator or other person; provide name, office phone, and home phone] or his/her designated back-up, [insert name, office phone, and home phone]. If neither is available, call in the following order:

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

5. Protect the collections while awaiting assistance. Choose (a), (b), or (c), depending on the situation:

a. If only a few items are in jeopardy and the water flow is minor, move any wet or vulnerable materials to a dry, secure location nearby.

b. If water is coming from above, get plastic sheeting located in [give location] and use it to cover affected areas, stack ranges, cabinets, shelves, etc.

c. If water is coming in on the floor, get book trucks or dollies located in [give location] and remove materials from affected area, beginning with those in lower drawers/shelves, and move them to a safe location that will not be subject to flooding.

6. Follow detailed instructions located in the disaster plan, [insert page/section number(s)], a copy of which is kept [tell where].

Utilities/Systems Malfunctions

1. In the event of an emergency related to utilities (gas, electricity, water, etc.) or systems (HVAC, sprinklers, etc.) during regular business hours, contact the following:

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

2. After hours, at night, on weekends and holidays, the following staff are authorized to initiate a service request:

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

3. The following other contacts may be made as necessary: [You may list here some of the more common problems and the person/office to contact (e.g., utility companies, maintenance staff, etc.), reproduced from “Utility/System Malfunctions” (Appendix R).]

Problem Contact Office Home Phone/Beeper

4. The location of emergency shut-offs and procedures for operating them are given in Appendix R, Utility/System Malfunctions, of the disaster plan, a copy of which is kept [tell where].


1. Evacuate staff and visitors to one of the following locations: [Consult with Civil Defense or other local safety officials to predetermine appropriate areas to include here.]

2. Remain in shelter until radio announcement or [insert name of authorized staff member] declares it is safe to emerge.

Hurricane Warning

1. Immediately notify the Recovery Coordinator, [insert name, office phone, and home phone].

2. Begin to implement hurricane preparedness plans in the “Response Procedures: Hurricane” section of the disaster plan, a copy of which is kept [tell where].

Bomb Threat

1. Keep the caller on the telephone if possible and gather information noted on the Bomb Threat Report Form located in Appendix C of the disaster plan.

2. Immediately call the Police Department at . [Some installations may have procedures that require notifying security personnel rather than the Police Department.]

3. Evacuate building. See instructions under Evacuation (Appendix I).

Civil Disturbance or Riot

1. Immediately notify ____________________. [Specify security office, police, or other
appropriate unit.]

2. Take the following steps to safeguard people in the building: [Consult with local security personnel to determine what steps are prudent–e.g., gathering people in a safe area within the building, evacuation, etc.]

3. If ____________________ [specify Chief Administrator or appropriate other staff] determines that fire, water damage, or other damage to the collections is likely, the response plan will be initiated.

Emergency Numbers

Revise this list according to local needs. You may wish also to reproduce it in Appendix B2, “Suppliers and Service Providers.”

Name Office Phone After-Hours Phone


Building Maintenance


Duty Officer

Fire Department

Hazardous Materials



Risk Manager

Security Office

Security System

Telephone Co.

Utilities: Electric

Utilities: Gas

Utilities: Water/Sewer

Utilities: Other

Prevention/Protection Plan

In this section, record your plans for disaster prevention and hazards reduction. It may be useful to conduct a risk assessment using the Inspection Checklist (Appendix M) to identify your vulnerabilities and needs before preparing these plans.

Staff awareness is one of the single most important measures we can take toward disaster prevention. Constant vigilance by the staff can often prevent a disaster or keep a minor disaster from becoming a major one.

Every staff member should take the initiative to be a troubleshooter and note problems that may be occurring in the building. Problems such as leaky pipes, cracked windows, toilet problems, or unusual odors (particularly those that could indicate a fire) should be brought to the attention of ____________________ [specify maintenance supervisor, Recovery Coordinator, etc.]. Correcting a problem before it develops into a full-blown disaster can save hundreds of staff hours and thousands of dollars that might otherwise be spent on salvage efforts.

Preparedness Guidelines

1. The ______________________________ [specify personnel officer or other] will give a copy of the disaster plan to all new staff members. Supervisory staff will see that new employees read the plan and will help them become familiar with its layout and content.

2. Supervisors will give a tour to acquaint new staff members with the building and point out any building vulnerabilities and relevant details in the floor plans. Supervisors also will review the emergency evacuation procedures and evacuation routes with their staff members ____________________ [specify frequency; quarterly is recommended].

3. The ____________________ [specify Recovery Coordinator or other staff] will inventory the disaster supply kit(s) at least ____________________ [specify frequency; monthly is recommended, but quarterly may be adequate], noting the supplies on hand, those stored in locations outside the building, and those that would have to be purchased in case of emergency.

4. The list of vendors and consultants in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers, will be updated ____________________ [specify annual or more frequent updates] by ______________________________ [specify Recovery Coordinator or other staff][You may wish to repeat this information in the introduction to the Disaster Supply Stockpile (Appendix B1).]

5. The ______________________________ [specify Recovery Coordinator or other staff] will review the full disaster plan ____________________ [specify annual or more frequent review], updating sections as necessary.

6. The ______________________________ [specify Recovery Coordinator or other staff] will arrange for inspections using the Inspection Checklist (Appendix M) and work with appropriate staff to ensure that problems are remedied.

Disaster Team Preparedness

1. All disaster team members will keep a copy of the plan at home and in their cars.

2. When the organization is in a “high alert” status (as when a hurricane watch is issued, floods are predicted, or wildfires are in the area), members of the disaster team may be required to keep the Recovery Coordinator or other staff member informed of their whereabouts and phone numbers on a 24-hour basis.

3. Training. Members of the disaster team will be provided with training to enable them to carry out their responsibilities in a disaster recovery operation. This may range from annual, full-scale disaster simulation drills to periodic workshops. At a minimum, plans must be made for on-the-spot training in the event of a disaster. [You may wish to document your training plans here or in Appendix A1, Disaster Team.]

4. Personal equipment. Each member of the disaster team will assemble and maintain a personal equipment kit containing clothing, equipment, and personal items they will need during the first eighteen hours of a disaster recovery operation. Persons who may be called upon to respond to major disasters will require personal equipment for a minimum of 72 hours. [In the Disaster Team appendix (A1), you may want to note your recommendations and specify whether the organization will pay for employees to purchase items for their kits.]

The personal equipment kit should meet staff members’ individual needs. A day pack or gym bag may be an appropriate container. The kit should be assembled before the disaster alert. Remember that when alerted for a disaster response operation, staff may need to leave home within 30 minutes or less.

Clothing should be comfortable and suited for the weather outside. The staff may be working under poor conditions, the environment may be wet and dirty, and personnel may be working outdoors or in an unheated building. Therefore, do not wear anything that you would mind being damaged. The following are suggestions for the personal equipment list of library/archives staff. Other specialized personnel, such as construction workers, will have different requirements.


Long, washable trousers Long sleeved shirt

Jacket Hats

Old flat, closed shoes or rubber boots Socks plus one dry pair in your kit

Rubber gloves Work gloves

Hard hat, regular and/or electrically Large handkerchief


Personal Items

Sun glasses, sunscreen, hand lotion Prescription medicines, aspirin

Tissues or towelettes Quick-energy snacks

Toothbrush/toothpaste Waterproof flashlight

Pocket knife Battery-operated radio

Container of drinking water Small notebook

Pencil Other personal needs

Liaison with Other Units

The ______________________________ [specify Recovery Coordinator or other position] will meet at least quarterly with officials in the following units:

• fire

• security/police

• health and safety

• maintenance/facilities

• ________________________

• ________________________

Regular communication will further the goals of :

• helping emergency response units minimize damage to collections;

• increasing responders’ salvage effectiveness;

• ensuring that the repository understands the incident command system of emergency response units and that the units are aware of the repository’s disaster recovery plans; and

• identifying revisions and updates needed in either unit’s written plans or operating procedures.

As necessary, the ______________________________ [specify Recovery Coordinator or other position] will arrange for training/education sessions for personnel in emergency response units. Objectives of these sessions will be to help them understand how they can minimize damage to collections in their work and what special issues are involved in disaster recovery for library and archival materials.

Maintenance Inspections

The ______________________________ [specify maintenance/facilities department or other appropriate unit] will identify and inspect all areas and equipment that may cause or be subject to a disaster. These will include areas noted in the Inspection Checklist (Appendix M) that relate to:

a. building structure

b. grounds

c. HVAC system

d. electrical appliances and wiring

e. plumbing and drainage

f. housekeeping

[If possible, also state the frequency of these inspections, specify that copies of completed inspection reports will be submitted to the Recovery Coordinator, and outline a process whereby the Recovery Coordinator will monitor whether/when action is taken to remedy problems identified in the inspections.]

Fire Safety

The ______________________________ [specify safety office or other appropriate unit] will manage the fire safety program. This will include inspection and maintenance of fire protection systems and devices. Activities and inspections will include areas listed in the Inspection Checklist (Appendix M) that relate to:

a. fire extinguishers

b. fire alarm system

c. smoke and heat detectors

d. fire suppression system (sprinklers, Halon, micromist, etc.)

e. liaison with the Fire Department

f. staff training

[If possible, also state the frequency of these inspections, specify that copies of completed inspection reports will be submitted to the Recovery Coordinator, and outline a process whereby the Recovery Coordinator will monitor whether/when action is taken to remedy problems identified in the inspections.]

Further details about the fire safety program are outlined in Appendix J, Fire Safety.


The ______________________________ [specify security office or other appropriate unit] will manage the security program, in conjunction with ______________________________ [specify librarian, archivist, records manager, or other responsible position that supervises research use of the collections] who oversees use of the collections within the facility. This will include inspection and maintenance of security systems and devices. Activities and inspections will include areas listed within the Inspection Checklist (Appendix M) that relate to:

a. key control

b. maintenance and monitoring of security devices on doors, windows, and within the building

[If possible, also state the frequency of these inspections, specify that copies of completed inspection reports will be submitted to the Recovery Coordinator, and outline a process whereby the Recovery Coordinator will monitor whether/when action is taken to remedy problems identified in the inspections.]

Storage Areas

The ______________________________ [specify appropriate librarian, archivist, records manager, etc.] will ensure periodic inspection of collection storage areas according to criteria listed in the Inspection Checklist (Appendix M). Inspections will give particular attention to:

a. signs of leaks, water damage, etc.

b. signs of mold, insect, or rodent infestation

c. fire hazards

Inspections will include any offsite storage areas used for the collection.

[If possible, also state the frequency of these inspections. Daily inspection is recommended, but weekly may be more feasible. Also note that copies of completed inspection reports will be submitted to the Recovery Coordinator, if that is a different person than the librarian, archivist, or records manager who has responsibility for inspection of the storage areas.]

Computer Backups

An important element of disaster mitigation is routine backup and offsite storage of computer records. To the extent that originals or duplicates are held elsewhere, the organization’s vulnerability to disaster is reduced.

Information about computer backups and offsite storage of computer records is provided in Data Processing Plans (Appendix G).

Chemicals and Hazardous Materials

As a preventive measure, all chemicals and hazardous materials will be stored in OSHA-approved cabinets.

The ______________________________ [specify appropriate position] will retain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) as required by OPNAVINST 5100.23d, Chapter 7, pp. 7-10, Paragraph 0708 e(6) and Paragraph 0702, pp. 7-1 to 7-6.

Appendix E, Chemical Hazards, provides further information about chemicals and other hazardous materials in the building.

Pre-Disaster Actions

In the event of a disaster with forewarning, staff will initiate the response procedures located in the following sections:

• flood — see Response Procedures: Severe Storms and Floods

• hurricane — see Response Procedures: Hurricane

• tornado — see Evacuation (Appendix I)

• wildfire — see Response Procedures: Wildfire

Background Information Response Procedures

The response section of your disaster plan should contain all the information needed for fast and effective action. It is important to plan these procedures carefully, particularly for three reasons. First, it may be difficult to think clearly in a disaster situation, especially a large-scale one. Second, “Murphy’s Laws of Disaster” seem to prevail. The person who knows most about the disaster plan is likely to be unavailable, and significant disasters seem to happen at the worst possible times–especially at night, on weekends, and during major holidays. So the instructions need to be fairly self-explanatory. Finally, the longer materials remain wet, the worse the distortion and damage will be–even after drying.

Before preparing the response section of your plan, spend some time assessing your vulnerabilities. All facilities are vulnerable to fire, mold, and routine water damage, so all should include instructions for responding to those. In addition, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, or wildfires may be a danger in your area. Consider the location of your building and nearby flood plains, rivers or creeks, railroad tracks, airport flight paths, or nuclear power station. (Appendix M includes a more detailed list of site hazards.) These will suggest the scope and type of disasters for which you should plan. If you share a building with medical offices, chemical labs, or other scientific units, those might present special problems.

As you develop your response plans, remember to think on two levels. For the most part, staff members will use the plan to respond to small-scale emergencies (such as plumbing breaks or roof leaks) that affect only a small portion of the collection. Also be sure the plan is helpful when large disasters affect the entire collection or even the entire geographic area.

There are some key questions to ask when developing disaster response plans. Others may be added to reflect particular concerns of your own installation, but at least the following should be addressed.

1. Who will assess the disaster situation: the Recovery Coordinator? facilities manager? or someone else?

2. Who gets the first call if the problem occurs after-hours? How is the call initiated?–through the security office? directly?

3. Which officers and other authorities should be notified? Who does it?

4. How is the source of the problem dealt with? What different procedures are needed if the problem is fire, water from above, or rising water?

5. What area can be used as a command post inside the building? What locations could be used outside the building?

6. What personnel will be available? For how long? Are there reasons some personnel may not be willing or able to assist (e.g., physical condition, union contract, etc.)?

7. How will the disaster team be notified? Where should they convene?

8. Who activates plans for acquiring supplies, services, equipment? How will they be paid for? Where are deliveries to be made? What resources are needed

in various disaster situations?

9. Where are the local/institutional supplies located? How do we get access to them during normal business hours? What are the procedures at night or during weekends and holidays?

10. Who checks for hazards (e.g., broken glass, mud, sewage, chemicals, live electricity, etc.) and gives permission to enter the building?

11. How will damage be documented? What are the procedures for making a claim under the self-insurance program? If part of the collection is covered by commercial insurance, what documentation does the insurance carrier require?

12. How will the insurance carrier or risk management officer be informed? By whom?

13. How will the environment (especially temperature and humidity) be monitored?

14. How will internal and external communication be handled if the phone system is operational? What if it is not?

15. Where can volunteers or temporary employees be obtained? Are there liability issues that need to be addressed beforehand?

16. Are there collection materials that can only be handled by people with special security clearance? Are those materials readily identifiable? Have the individuals been identified that can handle these materials?

The Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel, distributed with this workbook and cited in Appendix T, provides generic guidelines for disaster recovery. It can be posted by staff desks. The “Response Procedures” and related appendices in this workbook can further tailor your institution’s plans.

Response Procedures Water Damage (Routine)

The following procedures are for routine water damage from roof leaks, plumbing system malfunctions, minor flooding, and so on. For area flooding and other major water disasters, follow the instructions in “Response Procedures: Medium-to-Large Scale Disasters.”

Judgment and experience may lead you to apply these instructions in a different order than listed here. For example, if a minor leak threatens only a single file cabinet, the prudent course may be to move the cabinet out of harm’s way before initiating steps 2-6.

1. Attempt to determine the cause or source of the water. If you cannot determine the source, proceed to step 2 anyway.

2. Attempt to cut off water if feasible. The location of water shut-off valves and procedures for closing them are given in Utility/System Malfunctions (Appendix R).

3. Call, in the following order: [It may be appropriate to list a plumber or the head of building maintenance. Some organizations may also want the security office notified. The fire department may also be equipped and prepared to deal with water emergencies.]

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

4. If collection materials are threatened by water, immediately notify the Recovery Coordinator, [insert name, office phone, and home phone] or his/her designated back-up, [insert name, office phone, and home phone]. If neither is available, call in the following order:

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

5. Make sure personnel have turned off all electrical circuits in the affected area. No one should walk through water until the appropriate safety officer has declared the area safe.

6. If there is any danger of biological contaminants in the water, staff working in the area will wear disposable gloves and boots located in the disaster supply kit.

7. Pull the in-house disaster supply kit, located [specify its location].

8. Protect the collections while awaiting assistance. Choose (a), (b), or (c), depending on the situation:

a. If only a few items are in jeopardy and the water flow is minor, move any wet or vulnerable materials to a dry, secure location nearby.

b. If water is coming from above, get plastic sheeting located in [give location] and use it to cover affected areas, stack ranges, cabinets, shelves, etc.

c. If water is coming in on the floor, get book trucks or dollies located in [give location] and remove materials from affected area, beginning with those in lower drawers/shelves, and move them to a safe location.

9. Remove any standing water with a wet/dry vacuum, located [specify its location].

10. Take steps to reduce the temperature and humidity and to increase air circulation:

a. Measure the temperature and relative humidity using monitoring devices in the supply kit.

b. Turn on air-conditioning or lower the temperature setting.

c. Increase air circulation in the affected area by running fans continuously.

d. See other environmental control strategies outlined in Appendix D, Building Stabilization and Environmental Control.

11. Initiate salvage procedures detailed in the “Salvage Procedures” section of the plan. If the quantity of damaged materials is less than 50 volumes or 3 file drawers, they will be salvaged in-house using the air-drying technique. [If the quantity of damaged materials exceeds that amount, you must decide between (a) freezing them and then air-drying in

small batches, (b) freezing them and having them commercially freeze-dried, or (c) calling in a company that provides on-site dehumidification or vacuum-drying services. Then insert here text that reflects that decision.]

Response Procedures: Severe Storms and Floods

Severe storms may bring heavy rains, high wind, and hail. These events can cause flooding (local or widespread), roof leaks, broken windows, and assorted forms of water damage. If a severe storm is forecast, your awareness of the building’s vulnerabilities and external hazards may dictate various protective or mitigating strategies. The following text should be revised to suit your situation.

1. When a severe storm is forecast, notify the Recovery Coordinator, __________________ _____________________________ [insert name, office phone, and home phone] or his/her designated back-up, ____________________________ [insert name, office phone, and home phone]. If neither is available, call in the order listed in the Communications Plan (Appendix F).

2. The Recovery Coordinator, in consultation with administrative staff, will determine what level of response is warranted. The following may be considered, depending on the level of risk and available time and personnel:

• Trim overhanging trees.

• Remove unanchored outdoor materials (e.g., lawn furniture, planters, sculptures) and place them in an indoor location.

• Protect windows, skylights, and glass-panel doors by attaching shutters or plywood sheets or by taping windows to reduce the danger of flying glass.

• Dig trenches around and leading away from the building to carry storm water away from the structure.

• Be sure gutters, drains, and downspouts are clear and flowing freely.

3. Inventory the disaster supply stockpile and replace or augment items as needed.

4. Verify that all emergency equipment (generators, etc.) is in the proper location and is in working order.

5. Remove the following collections materials: [List them here, or provide a cross-reference to the Salvage Priorities list.]

Place them in a safe location, such as . [Specify offsite storage locations or locations in the building that have low vulnerability to flooding, roof leaks, or other sources of water damage. Basement storage should always be avoided when rising water is a threat.]

6. Wrap the following in plastic sheeting and seal the sheeting with duct tape: [Specify ranges, shelves, cabinets, cases, or other storage units or items that should be protected.]

7. Disconnect electrical equipment and turn off utilities as appropriate. See instructions in Appendix R, Utility/System Malfunctions.

8. Perform necessary backups of software and data files. Alert data processing hot/cold site of potential emergency. See details in Appendix G, Data Processing Plans.

9. Brief disaster team and other staff on plans and confirm responsibilities.

10. Evacuate when instructed to do so.

11. After the storm, implement applicable procedures outlined in the Salvage Procedures section.

Response Procedures: Mold

Spores of mold and mildew are found almost everywhere. All they require are the proper conditions–moisture, temperature, nutrients, and often darkness or dim light–to proliferate. Media such as paper, cloth, leather, and adhesives may be consumed or stained by many types of mold. The combination of temperature and humidity is the most critical factor. General cleanliness and the removal of dust and dirt reduce the risk of infestation, and good air circulation is helpful in avoiding a mold outbreak.

When the temperature reaches 70° Fahrenheit and relative humidity is near 70%, conditions are optimal for growth and reproduction of most types of mold. Any rise in these levels creates an environment conducive to mold and mildew growth, and they may “blossom” within 48 to 72 hours. The absence of visible growth at low temperatures does not indicate the death of spores, but merely that they have gone dormant.

A mold outbreak may occur during routine times if temperature and humidity controls are not adequate, but the risk is greater after a flood or other water damage. In the event of a mold outbreak, take the following actions:

1. If mold is on a few isolated items:

a. Place items in freezer bags located in [give location].

b. Call the Recovery Coordinator, _____________________________________ [insert name, office phone, and home phone].

c. If the Recovery Coordinator is not in the office, leave a message and put the items (enclosed in plastic freezer bags) in a freezer.

2. If mold is discovered in whole stack ranges, drawers, or rooms, call: [It may be appropriate to list here: (a) a representative of the maintenance/facilities department who can adjust the temperature and humidity, (b) the Recovery Coordinator, and (c) the librarian, archivist, records manager, or other responsible collection manager.]

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

3. Obtain appropriate supplies from the disaster supply kit located in _________________________________ [give location]. Wear appropriate protective gear such as gloves and respirators.

4. Seal materials in garbage bags located in ________________________ [give location].

5. When dealing with a moderate- or large-scale mold problem, keep air movement to a minimum, since air currents spread mold spores to other, unaffected collections.

• Do not use fans in the area.

• Minimize the opening and closing of doors.

• If feasible, block off return air vents so spores are not spread into the air-handling system and to other storage areas.

6. Transfer all infected materials to an isolation room in such a manner that other areas will not be affected because of the transportation of materials. The following locations may be suitable: [Specify a few rooms where infected materials could be stored. Ideally, look for rooms that do not use the same air-handling equipment as the collection storage areas.]




7. Immediately and thoroughly sterilize the affected storage area(s), including the climate control system where possible.

8. Determine whether the affected items must be retained. If not, consider discarding, photocopying, or microfilming.

9. If the items must be salvaged, consult a conservator or preservation specialist (see Suppliers and Service Providers, Appendix B2) when dealing with severely affected materials. If the number of affected items is small, they may be treated in-house. See instructions in Lois Price’s Mold: Managing a Mold Invasion for detailed instructions. [Either give information on where that leaflet is kept in the office, or attach a copy in Appendix Q, Salvage Procedures, and reference it here.]

10. Check materials periodically (at least monthly) for evidence of new or recurrent growth. Carry out these inspections for one year following the infestation.



Response Procedures: Earthquake

An earthquake will likely knock over shelves, storage units, and equipment. Book shelves, ceiling tiles, and overhead light fixtures will crash to the floor. In addition, structural supports may be twisted or broken. The most serious problems will be water damage from broken pipes and the possibility of fire or explosions from gas leaks. Also, asbestos might get dislodged or exposed, and this could significantly delay implementation of recovery operations.

The following instructions have been numbered for ease of reference. In reality, many of them should occur simultaneously. The more people are available, the more quickly the response can proceed.

In this as in all disasters, the first priority is to protect human life and safety.

1. If you are in book-stack aisles or near file cabinets, move away from them.

2. Take shelter in a doorway, under a sturdy desk or table, or in another well-protected area.

After the main shock has occurred, take the following actions:

3. Be prepared for after-shocks.

4. Check for broken water pipes, shorting electrical circuits, or leaking fuel. Do not use matches or lighters, since there may be flammable gas in the air.

5. Turn off gas and water at main valves or meter boxes if you smell gas or see water flowing. Turn off all appliances.

6. Assist those who have been trapped or injured by falling debris, glass, etc. Do not move any seriously injured persons unless they are in obvious, immediate danger from fire, building collapse, etc.

7. Listen to a battery-powered radio for instructions.

8. Notify the fire department of any fires.

9. Open doors carefully and watch for falling objects.

10. Do not use elevators.

11. Do not use the telephone, except in an emergency. The lines should be kept free for rescue operations.

12. Evacuate the building if it is safe to do so. Do not re-enter until the building has been declared structurally sound by the fire department.

13. Implement the recovery procedures in the Salvage Procedures section of the disaster plan.

Response Procedures: Hurricane

Hurricanes are accompanied by heavy rains and high winds that typically cause major structural damage (especially loss of or damage to roofs, broken windows, etc.), flooding, widespread power outages, and major disruption of customary services. Experience has shown that cultural institutions can weather the storm fairly well if they maintain a high level of readiness. A comprehensive guide to hurricane preparedness is Michael Trinkley’s Hurricane! Surviving the Big One: A Primer for Libraries, Museums, and Archives (Columbia, S.C.: Chicora Foundation, 1993), a copy of which is located ____________________ [give its location or include it with the plan]. The following procedures are adapted from guidelines in that book.

At the Beginning of Hurricane Season (June):

1. The Recovery Coordinator and ____________________ [add other appropriate safety and/or administrative personnel] will conduct a walk-through of the building to look for changes since the disaster plan was developed and determine what revisions are required.

2. ____________________ [specify the Recovery Coordinator, disaster team, or other position/group] will update the disaster plan as necessary and distribute copies to all staff members. If no update is required, the Director will send a memo to all staff and allied offices reminding them that hurricane season is beginning and asking them to review the disaster plan.

3. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will inventory the disaster supply kit(s) to make sure all items are present and in good order. The inventory will include items kept in other locations (warehouse, etc.).

4. Verify the operation of the standby generator.

5. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will double-check information with outside disaster recovery suppliers and service providers listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers, to notify them of any changes in our needs or requirements and get updated information on their services, availability, and prices.

6. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will contact the insurance carrier to review the policy and make sure new collections and equipment are covered. [Most Navy libraries are self-insured, but a few may have commercial insurance on some special materials. See Appendix N, Insurance.]

7. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will review previously established “safe havens” inland to which we may send priority collections and important data. Verify that they are still operating and accessible.

When a Hurricane is in the Area

1. Notify all staff that a hurricane disaster could occur and that the plan is being implemented.

2. Begin hourly round-the-clock monitoring of the storm.

3. Members of the disaster team and other essential personnel will provide the Recovery Coordinator with 24-hour schedules, locations, and phone numbers. If possible, assign beepers so personnel can be summoned immediately in the event of an emergency.

4. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will review with staff their responsibilities in the event of a disaster. Determine when various staff should report to work after the storm. Make sure all staff know what to do after the storm, for power outages and telephone service disruptions may make it impossible to communicate with them directly in the first 48 hours after the storm.

5. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will meet with the police department and/or emergency management officials to develop a mechanism by which staff members would be allowed access to the building in the aftermath of a hurricane.

When a Hurricane Watch is Announced

1. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will notify all staff that a hurricane watch has been announced and that the installation is entering an advanced stage of preparedness. As far as possible, staff will be freed of routine duties so they can concentrate on preparedness responsibilities. This may require closing the library/archives.

2. If the hurricane watch is announced outside normal business hours, ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will notify key employees by phone using the Communication Plan (Appendix F) and have them begin preparations at once.

3. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will begin to notify outside contractors that we may be calling on their services in 24 to 48 hours. Give highest priority to notifying the following suppliers and service providers (see addresses and phone numbers in Appendix B2):

[In the aftermath of a hurricane, specialized recovery services such as freeze-drying companies may be flooded with calls for assistance. Advance communication with them will increase your chance of getting their priority attention after a hurricane. A few companies have “advance registration” procedures for gathering information about your authorization protocols, building, systems, collections, and so on. This, too, can expedite their response.]

4. Begin preparations in the building. Have all staff clear their desks and put papers, files, collections, and other materials under cover.

5. ____________________________ [specify the responsible position] will initiate packing of materials that are to be transferred to off-site storage. Transportation may be provided by ______________________________ [If you plan to use an agency van/truck, specify how arrangements are made. Otherwise, note the availability of rental trucks in Appendix B2, “Suppliers and Service Providers.”]

6. Basic patron services are terminated at this point.

7. Non-essential personnel will be released to go home at ____________________. [Specify the point at which most staff will be told to go home, for they will have plenty to do there. Non-essential personnel must be released sufficiently in advance to permit travel along safe routes to their homes or places of evacuation, and travel time must take into account the possibility of highway and bridge closures.]

8. _______________________ [specify the responsible position] will identify shelters established by the Navy or local government and make sure this information is distributed to all staff.

9. _______________________ [specify the responsible position] will fill water storage containers and make sure they are stored in two different areas of the building.

10. _______________________ [specify the responsible position] will make sure all the vehicles are filled with gas. If not already in place, install locking gas caps, since others may steal gas in an emergency.

11. _______________________ [specify the responsible position] will contact local freezer companies to reserve space. Two companies in ____________________ [name a major city that is relatively nearby but not likely to be affected by the storm] will also be contacted as a backup.

When a Hurricane Warning is Announced

1. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will oversee efforts to secure the building:

· Install hurricane shutters or board windows.

· Limit building access to one or two points so others can be secured.

· Brace double doors as well as garage and loading dock doors.

· Use silicone caulk to seal spaces around shutters, doors, windows, or other places that water could enter.

2. ______________________ [specify the responsible position] will oversee the removal of all loose objects on the grounds (benches, trash cans, gates, sculptures, etc.) and the removal of items (awnings, antennas, etc.) that could blow away.

3. _______________________ [specify the responsible position] will ensure that a government credit card is available for use in purchasing recovery supplies after the hurricane. See procedures in Appendix H, Emergency Funds.

4. [The following is appropriate only to agencies/organizations that own vehicles.] ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will handle the protection of the organization’s vehicles:

· Move half the vehicles to a parking garage located at _____________________________ [specify preferred location].

· Put on-site vehicles under cover or park them close to the building on the inland side.

5. Based on available storm projections, the ____________________ [specify the responsible position(s)] will determine the safe site to which priority items will be moved.

6. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will oversee the movement and securing of collections that remain in the building. Work will proceed according to the order established in the Salvage Priorities section of this plan.

· Move collections away from windows and out of basements and ground-level areas.

· Cover collections with plastic sheeting and secure the sheeting with duct tape.

· Cover desks, computers, copiers, and other equipment with plastic sheeting and secure the sheeting with duct tape.

7. Turn office refrigerator(s) or walk-in coolers to the coldest setting.

8. Freezers and refrigerators used to store collection materials should be connected to generators.

9. Staff members will be informed when and where to meet after the hurricane.

10. Upon direction of ______________________ [specify the responsible position], the building will be closed.

11. Secure last hurricane shutters as staff leaves.

12. Leave power on for essential equipment (security, fire protection, emergency lighting, environmental controls). Turn off the rest.

13. _______________________ [specify the responsible position] will advise the police and fire departments of our status.

The First Day After the Hurricane

1. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will assess the building’s condition as soon as possible.

2. Ensure that the building is safe to enter. If there is any doubt, ____________________ [name a staff position, contractor, or other expert] will conduct an inspection.

3. Transfer disaster supplies and equipment to a central, prearranged area or offsite location that is secure but available to all staff members. Begin unpacking essential materials such as hard hats and protective clothing, camera and film, and so on.

4. Begin taking photographs of the building, storage areas, and collections.

5. Activate the command post. See instructions in Appendix O, Operations Center.

6. Begin assigning staff responsibilities, depending on those who are able to reach the site, and initiate personnel management system.

7. If appropriate, take steps to protect collections from further damage by moving them to a dry, secure location or covering them with plastic sheeting.

8. Take steps to make the building weather-tight by covering broken windows and damaged roofs.

9. While work crews are making the building weather-tight, quickly evaluate damage to the collections and determine whether the recovery can be handled in-house or requires contracted assistance.

10. Contact outside suppliers that are needed, using the lists in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers. If telephones are inoperable, see the Communication Plan

(Appendix F).

11. Contact the insurance carrier, if any of the collections are commercially insured.

12. Implement recovery plans outlined in the “Salvage Procedures” section and Appendix Q (Salvage Procedures) of this plan.

Response Procedures: Wildfire

At the Beginning of Fire Season

1. The Recovery Coordinator and ____________________ [add other appropriate safety and/or administrative personnel, and include a fire department official] will conduct a walk-through of the building to look for changes since the disaster plan was developed and determine what revisions are required.

2. ____________________ [specify the Recovery Coordinator, disaster team, or other position/group] will update the disaster plan as necessary and distribute copies to all staff members. If no update is required, the Director will send a memo to all staff and allied offices reminding them that fire season is beginning and asking them to review the disaster plan.

3. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will inventory the disaster supply kit(s) to make sure all items are present and in good order. The inventory will include items kept in other locations (warehouse, etc.).

4. Verify the operation of the standby generator.

5. Clear roof of any leaves, pine needle litter, or other debris, and keep it cleared throughout the fire season.

6. _______________________ [specify the responsible position] will double-check information with outside disaster recovery suppliers and service providers listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers, to notify them of any changes in our needs or requirements and get updated information on their services, availability, and prices.

7. _____________________ [specify the responsible position] will contact the insurance carrier to review the policy and make sure new collections and equipment are covered. [Most Navy libraries are self-insured, but a few may have commercial insurance on some special materials. See Appendix N, Insurance.]

8. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will review previously established “safe havens” inland to which we may send priority collections and important data. Verify that they are still operating and accessible.

When a Wildfire is in the Area

1. Notify all staff that a wildfire is in the area and that the plan is being implemented.

2. Begin constant, round-the-clock monitoring of the fire.

3. Members of the disaster team and other essential personnel will provide the Recovery Coordinator with 24-hour schedules, locations, and phone numbers. If possible, assign beepers so personnel can be summoned immediately in the event of an emergency.

4. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will review with staff their responsibilities in the event the wildfire reaches the repository. Determine when various staff should report to work after the fire, and make sure all staff know what to do in the first hours after wildfire.

5. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will meet with the fire department and other emergency management officials to develop a mechanism by which staff members would be allowed access to the building in the aftermath of a wildfire.

If the Wildfire Starts Heading in Our Direction (Fire Watch)

1. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will notify all staff that a fire watch has been announced and that the installation is entering an advanced stage of preparedness. As far as possible, staff will be freed of routine duties so they can concentrate on preparedness responsibilities. This may require closing the library/archives.

2. If the fire watch is announced outside normal business hours, ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will notify key employees by phone using the Communication Plan (Appendix F) and have them begin preparations at once.

3. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will begin to notify outside contractors that we may be calling on their services. Give highest priority to notifying the following suppliers and service providers (see addresses and phone numbers in Appendix B2):

[In the aftermath of a large-scale wildfire, specialized recovery services may be flooded with calls for assistance. Advance communication with them will increase your chance of getting their priority attention after a disaster.]

4. Begin preparations in the building. Have all staff clear their desks and put papers, files, collections, and other materials under cover, to prevent deposits of soot/ash or water that might leak through the roof.

5. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will initiate packing of materials that are to be transferred to off-site storage. Transportation may be provided by ______________________________ [If you plan to use an agency van/truck, specify how arrangements are made. Otherwise, note the availability of rental trucks in Appendix B2, “Suppliers and Service Providers.”]

6. Basic patron services are terminated at this point.

7. Non-essential personnel will be released to go home at ____________________. [Specify the point at which most staff will be told to go home, for they will have plenty to do there. Non-essential personnel must be released sufficiently in advance to permit travel along safe routes to their homes or places of evacuation, and travel time must take into account the possibility of road closures.]

8. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will identify shelters established by the Navy or local government and make sure this information is distributed to all staff.

9. ___________________________ [specify the responsible position] will contact local freezer companies to reserve space. Two companies in ____________________ [name a major city that is relatively nearby but not likely to be affected by wildfire in your area] will also be contacted as a backup.

If the Wildfire Comes within ___ Miles

The number of miles that is considered critical is dependent on terrain, wind, and availability of personnel. Consult with the fire department to determine the safe margin for your facility.

1. _____________________ [specify the responsible position] will determine to which safe site the priority items will be moved.

2. Dress in natural fibers (100% cotton or wool). Wear long pants, long sleeves, and boots. Be sure to carry gloves, goggles, a large handkerchief and water to wet it with.

3. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will oversee efforts to secure and protect the building:

a. Re-examine the exterior of the building and remove any combustible items. Soak anything that cannot be removed.

b. Put plastic trash cans full of water around the base of the building. Soak burlap sacks, rugs, any heavy natural fiber to beat out embers.

c. Position garden hoses or fire hoses so they can reach any outside surface of the building.

d. Set a ladder against the building on the opposite side from the approaching fire. Place lawn sprinklers on the roof, and soak it thoroughly.

e. Close windows, vents, doors, and non-combustible or heavy window coverings. Remove lightweight curtains.

f. If time allows, turn off the HVAC system and seal the building as much as possible. Use silicone caulk to seal spaces around windows, doors, or other places smoke, ash, or water could enter.

g. Shut off gas at the meter. Turn off pilot lights in the ____________________. [List stove, water heater, furnace, or other gas-operated appliances in the building.]

h. Keep the fire always in front of you. Never let the fire flank you on even one side. Use judgment on when to evacuate.

i. Keep exit vehicle away from approaching fire but nearby. Never let your exit route by cut off by fire.

4. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will ensure that a government credit card is available for use in purchasing recovery supplies. See procedures in Appendix H, Emergency Funds.

5. [The following is appropriate only to agencies/organizations that own vehicles.] ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will handle the protection of the organization’s vehicles:

· Move half the vehicles to a parking garage located at ______________________________ [specify preferred location].

· Put on-site vehicles under cover or park them close to the building on the side away from the approaching fire.

6. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will oversee the movement and securing of collections that remain in the building. Work will proceed according to the order established in the Salvage Priorities section of this plan.

· Move collections away from windows.

· Cover collections heavy tarpaulins, blankets, etc. Plastic sheeting is not recommended, since it could melt at high temperatures.

· Cover desks, computers, copiers, and other equipment.

7. Staff members will be informed when and where to meet after the fire.

8. _______________________ [specify the responsible position] will advise the fire and police departments of our status.

When Staff Are Allowed Back into the Area

Develop instructions using as a template “The First Day After the Hurricane” in “Response Procedures: Hurricane.” You may also use some of the information from “Response Procedures: Medium-to-Large Scale Disaster.”

Response Procedures: Medium-to-Large Scale Disaster

Disaster response procedures are the steps taken from the time an emergency situation is detected through the time when holdings are actually removed to begin packing, drying, or other salvage operations. This section outlines the basic steps that may be taken. The order may be altered depending on the nature of the emergency, extent and type of damage, and available resources.

Note to planners: This section is written to serve as a general outline or checklist of the steps involved in disaster response. In addition, you can adapt and customize this text to provide instructions for disaster situations not specifically addressed in this workbook.

1. Assess the situation

The person who discovers the emergency will determine the nature of the damage, the number and type of records affected, and the extent of action and assistance needed.

a.Notify responsible staff

During working hours, contact the Recovery Coordinator, [insert name, title, and office phone number], who will make the determination by phone or through an inspection of the site.

After-hours, notify: [It may be appropriate to list here (a) the maintenance/facilities staff, (b) the Recovery Coordinator, and (c) the security office.]

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

b.Assist the injured

Assist those who have been trapped or injured by falling debris, glass, etc. Do not move any seriously injured persons unless they are in obvious, immediate danger from fire, structural collapse, etc.

c.Determine damage

Through phone conversation or site visit, the responsible staff will determine whether or not to declare a disaster.

(1) The situation will be deemed an emergency if the nature and extent of damage is of limited severity and can be dealt with by available personnel. See the Salvage Procedures section and Appendix Q (detailed salvage procedures) for instructions.

(2) A disaster will be declared if the nature and extent of damage warrants resources beyond those available at the time.

2. Notification

a.Determine personnel needed

If the Recovery Coordinator (or backup) declares a disaster, the notification plan will go into effect. The following also may be called to report for duty:

· [specify base commander, repository director, etc.]

· members of the Disaster Team. See names and contact information in Appendix A1, Disaster Team.

· supplementary personnel as needed. See Appendix A2, Supplemental Personnel.

· others as determined by the Recovery Coordinator.

Personnel shall be informed exactly when and where to report. Additional details are provided in the Communication Plan (Appendix F).

b. Means of notification

If phones are working, use the phone numbers listed in the Staff List (Appendix A3).

If phones are inoperable, use alternate mechanisms outlined in the Communication Plan (Appendix F).

c. Establish personnel management system

The Personnel Manager (or other team member designated by the Director or the Recovery Coordinator) will establish mechanisms for the following:

· Check in/out times of all staff members, volunteers, ancillary personnel, and contractors in order to (a) keep records of who was at the recovery site at any given time, (b) ensure appropriate pay/compensation, and (c) track how long people have been working and make sure they take breaks or are relieved.

· Maintain records of time spent by individuals. [Note: Any special time-keeping requirements dictated by the emergency services department, insurance carrier, etc. should be specified here and in Appendix N, Insurance. If you have record-keeping forms for that purpose, reproduce them in Appendix L, Forms, and note it here.]

· Training staff and volunteers.

· Provide space, supplies, and other materials needed for refreshments, meals, and rest areas.

· Effectively supervise volunteers and supplemental staff.

3. Establish a command post

In a routine emergency where the building is intact, operations will be controlled and coordinated through the Recovery Coordinator’s office, located at [give address/room number and phone].

If offsite space is required for operations control or for salvage activities (sorting, packing, drying, etc.), follow instructions in Appendix O, Operations Center.

4. Procure/assemble the necessary supplies and services

The Procurement Coordinator will consult with the Recovery Coordinator and Personnel Manager to determine what supplies and services are required for the recovery operations.

The in-house supply/equipment stockpile inventory is produced in Appendix B1, Disaster Supply Stockpile.

External suppliers and service providers already identified are listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers.

If cash, purchase orders, or requisitions are needed, follow the instructions in Appendix H, Emergency Funds.

5. Establish security measures

a. The [specify responsible position/person] will secure the site as far as possible by replacing doors and windows, erecting a perimeter fence, or other means.

b. Only authorized persons will be allowed to enter the site. They will be designated by the use of . [Some possibilities are: identification badges, phosphorescent vests, specially marked caps or hard hats. If these are specified, the organization must have an ample supply purchased and printed and maintain them in the in-house disaster supply stockpile so they will be available immediately.] The Personnel Manager will be responsible for distributing these and will maintain a sign-in/sign-out register.

c. Special security personnel may be required if the security system has been damaged, if doors or windows are damaged, or if the facility is not substantially intact. In such cases, the Operations Manager and/or Recovery Coordinator will work with the Security Officer to arrange for adequate security.

d. Unauthorized persons in the disaster area should be reported immediately to the team captain, immediate supervisor, or Security Officer.

6. Get clearance to enter the site

After a fire or other major disaster, the Fire Marshal or other public officials will be in charge of the building and will have the power to declare when it is safe for re-entry. No staff member will enter the facility until it has been declared safe.

If there are asbestos, PCBs, or other hazardous materials, it may be several days before clean-up is complete and the staff is allowed to enter the building. Clearance may also be delayed if the disaster is a result of arson or vandalism, for the area will be declared a crime scene and staff may not be allowed to enter until the forensic work is finished.

Reference: Appendix D1: Building Stabilization & Environmental Control, will provide guidance on this topic.

7. Make a detailed damage assessment

The Director, Recovery Coordinator, and Photographer, perhaps accompanied by the base commander and/or necessary others, will make a detailed assessment of damage. If appropriate, the librarian, archivist, or curator should be involved in the assessment, since s/he best knows the collections.

The Photographer will use the camera and film stored in the disaster stockpile in [give room number or other location] or will purchase supplies from sources listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers.

Based on requirements of your risk manager, insurance carrier, or state/federal emergency management agencies, you may wish to add additional details about the types, form, and level of documentation that is required. Or you may refer to Appendix N, Insurance.

8. Stabilize the building

The ____________________ [name the responsible position or unit] will supervise the stabilization of the building. First priority will be given to actions that ensure the safety of people. Second priority will be for the restoration of power. Other actions will receive attention as soon as possible. Actions that may be needed include the following:

· Work with Health Department on cleanup of sewage, biological agents, chemicals, and other contaminants.

· Shut off and repair/restore utilities (gas, electricity, etc.).

· Stabilize leaning or collapsed shelving.

· Remove mud, water, ceiling tile debris, broken glass, etc.

Appendix D, Building Stabilization and Environmental Control, provides additional details.

9. Stabilize the environment

The ____________________ [name a position] will supervise the restoration of environmental controls with the goal of providing a cool, dry climate in the affected area(s).

a. If the heating/air-conditioning system is operable, settings will be adjusted to provide maximum cooling and dehumidification, with the goal of maintaining the temperature below 70°F and the relative humidity below 50%. The system will run 24 hours per day.

b. If the heating/air-conditioning system is not working due to damage or power outage, follow steps outlined in Appendix D, Building Stabilization and Environmental Control.

c. The ____________________ [name a position] will ensure that staff monitor the temperature and humidity at least every 4 hours to measure progress. The following monitoring devices may be used. [Specify the devices you have available and list the location of each.]

Item Location

Appendix D, Building Stabilization and Environmental Control, provides additional details.

d. If warranted, provide suitable microclimates for wet wood, ivory, furniture, and other artifacts. See Appendix Q5, Salvage Procedures: Artifacts and Museum Objects, for further details.

10. Develop a detailed plan of action

The ______________________________ [specify key personnel who will be involved, generally including the Director, Operations Manager, Recovery Coordinator, and Facilities Manager] will meet to review the extent of damage, status of building systems, and available personnel. They will develop a plan of action that addresses major issues in the recovery plan. In the event of a large-scale disaster, a key decision will be which recovery operations to handle with existing staff and which to contract to specialized disaster recovery companies. This decision will influence all facets of the recovery plan.

The Disaster Team and other staff will be briefed on the plan of action and their responsibilities in it. If appropriate, training in specific techniques such as packing, cleaning, or air-drying will be offered by ____________________ [specify a position].

If appropriate, ____________________ [specify a position; this generally falls to the Director or Public Affairs Officer] will issue communications to the media.

If you are self-insured or have commercial insurance, add text regarding notification of the risk manager or insurance company.

The disaster plan should include information about recovery techniques and methods that are available. Instructions should include recovery plans for all the different media (books, paper documents, photographs, museum objects, etc.) in the collection. The following questions should be addressed in the planning process to help you develop recovery plans.

1. What will be done with damaged materials? Leave in place or pack and remove? To where? How? What kind of work flow makes sense?

2. Who supervises the operations?

3. What if materials are covered with mud? sewage? chemical contaminants?

4. How will wet carpet and furniture be handled?

5. What services and technologies are available for dealing with the building and furnishings? Which are available for dealing with the collections?

6. How will computer equipment be handled? What technologies and services are available?

7. Are freezers available?

8. What priorities must be addressed?

9. What recovery methods can be used?

10. What kinds of media do we have in the collection? Do some media require special attention (e.g., electronic, magnetic, photographs, glossy/coated paper)?

11. What drying methods are available to us for these media? Where can we obtain them? Whom do we contact (including after-hours and on weekends/holidays)? What do we need to learn beforehand?

12. Whom can we call for advice or on-site assistance? Who else is available regionally and nationally?

13. What should we discard? What should we salvage? What should be the top priorities for salvage? Are there legal requirements that affect this?

14. What does the insurance carrier say?

15. What kinds of training do staff need beforehand? How can training be provided quickly during the disaster?

16. Which interrupted services must get back into operation first?

17. Who will get the building, department, office(s), and furnishings cleaned, repaired, etc.? An in-house unit or an outside contractor?

This section assumes that all the items covered in the Response Procedures section have been addressed. In addition, before launching the salvage operation, you must make several key decisions:

1. Which materials will be salvaged and which discarded?

2. Will the salvage operation be handled by your personnel, or will some or all of it be contracted to disaster recovery specialists?

3. How will the materials be salvaged? Recovery operations for materials to be air-dried differ from those that are appropriate for holdings to be sent to a drying facility. The background materials in the Appendix Q1, Drying Wet Books and Records, and literature cited in the Bibliography (Appendix T) explain these differences.

If there is widespread clean-water damage but collections are mostly damp rather than soaked, on-site dehumidification (explained in “Drying Wet Books and Records,” Appendix Q1) may be the chosen salvage method. In that case, the salvage operation will be simplified, since most items will be dried in place.

Text in this section provides basic information and general guidelines, but it will require significant revision based on local decisions.

Before working on this section of the plan, you must understand the drying techniques: air-drying, dehumidification, freezer-drying, vacuum thermal-drying, and vacuum freeze-drying. See the explanations in “Drying Wet Books and Records,” Appendix Q1.

Before salvage begins, the ____________________ [specify Operations Manager, Recovery Coordinator, or appropriate other position] will:

• determine the salvage priorities for various parts of the collection. These will be based on the priorities given in the Salvage Priorities list and Appendix P, but adjusted based on the type and extent of damage and the services available. Be sure to include items in the building on loan (for exhibition, etc.) and materials brought in on approval or for appraisal.

• determine the kind and degree of damage that materials in each location have sustained. These will be “gross” designations, not on an item-by-item or box-by-box basis, but (depending on the extent of the disaster) on a range-by-range, cabinet-by-cabinet, or room-by-room basis.

• identify any parts of the collection that should be written off as a loss.

Members of the disaster team will be called to the site as outlined in the Response Procedures section above and the Communication Plan (Appendix F).

Work Crews

1. Each work crew will have a team leader.

2. So they can readily be identified, team leaders will wear ____________________ [specify a distinguishing garment such as different-colored vests, hard hats, special arm bands, etc. Make sure a supply of these items is included in the disaster supply stockpile, listed in Appendix B1].

3. Regardless of usual reporting lines, team leaders will have full authority over the members of their work crews.

4. If on-site training is required, it will be provided by ____________________ [specify the Recovery Coordinator or other position]. If more extensive training is needed for staff, volunteers, or temporary workers, it will be organized by ____________________ [specify the Personnel Manager or other] and led primarily by ____________________ [specify the Training Instructor or other position].


Materials must be removed from affected areas, either for immediate drying in a stable location within the repository, for transport to a cleaning/salvage area on the base/campus, or for transport to a freezer facility or to a commercial drying facility. If the option of on-site dehumidification is to be used, only soaked items need to be removed.

Execute packout operation in the order determined by the Recovery Coordinator, based on the Salvage Priorities list (pages __________ [insert appropriate page numbers] of this plan) and the degree of damage. If a full range of recovery services is available, it is generally appropriate to begin working on the wettest materials, then deal with those that are merely damp. However, if the organization is limited to air-drying using staff resources, it may be better to begin with those that are least damaged and therefore most easily salvaged.

Packout procedures depend on whether materials are being transported to a nearby area for immediate drying or to an off-site freezer or drying facility. The latter requires more careful packing and more thorough documentation.

Depending on the nature of damage and possible logistical constraints, each work crew in the packout operation will generally consist of the following:

a. crew leader: ensures smooth work flow, alleviates bottlenecks, troubleshoots

b. box assembler: sets up boxes, milk crates, ResCubes, or other containers

c. retriever: removes materials from shelves, cabinets, floor, etc., attempting to pull materials of similar size for each container

d. wrapper: cuts freezer/waxed paper

e. packer: takes items from retriever and wrapper, and boxes items

f. sealer: seals and (working in concert with recorder) labels containers

g. record-keeper: keeps a written packing list

h. transporter(s): moves containers from packing area to pallet, elevator, stairs, etc.

To move materials within the building during packout, use book trucks, hand carts, or dollies located in ____________________ [give location(s)]. Metal book trucks and carts are preferable. If only wooden ones are available, they should be well covered with heavy plastic sheeting to prevent damage to their finish.

Take the following precautions if materials are to be transported in cardboard boxes:

    • Boxes should be no larger than 1.5 cubic feet.


    • Line the boxes with heavy-duty trash bags before placing wet materials inside. This will prevent the boxes from becoming soggy and collapsing.


    • Do not stack boxes more than 4 high. The boxes can be stacked on pallets and the pallets can be shrink-wrapped to prevent slippage during transportation. A fork lift can then be used to move the pallets onto trucks or to the drying area.


If possible, loosely sort materials according to the degree of wetness (soaked, damp, or dry). Pack like materials together–e.g., damp records or volumes in one box, soaked ones in another, and so on.

Bound volumes: Load into boxes or milk crates for transport. Place normal-size volumes in a “spine-down” position. Pack large volumes flat in boxes. If time allows, loosely place sheets of freezer paper or waxed paper around every volume (or every other volume). Boxes should be packed only about 75% full to allow for swelling.

Files: Place folders in boxes or milk crates. Place the folders vertically in boxes (standing as they would in a file drawer). Fill boxes only about 75% full to allow for swelling.

Photographic materials: Most can be left in cool, clean water for a few hours until ready to dry or send for reprocessing. See further details in Appendix Q2, Emergency Salvage of Photographs.

Microforms: Place in cool, clean water until ready to transport for reprocessing. See further details in Appendix Q3, Salvage Procedures: Microforms.

Oversized prints and drawings: Pack in map drawers, bread trays, shallow flat boxes, or on heavy cardboard or plastic-covered plywood.

Audio and videotapes: Keep wet. Pack vertically in plastic bags or containers with cold water.

Computer diskettes: Keep wet. Pack vertically in plastic bags or containers with cold water. See further details in Appendix Q4, Salvage Procedures: Computer Media.

Computer tapes: Pack vertically in a plastic container and fill with clean water. See further details in Appendix Q4, Salvage Procedures: Computer Media.


For inventory control as well as insurance purposes, it is necessary to know the condition and disposition of materials. Which were destroyed? Which need to be removed or replaced? Which were unharmed or sustained only minor damage? Which were damaged but are salvageable?

As materials are removed, one team member will label each container on all four sides with a brief designation of its contents. Describe contents by shelf, range, or call number, by cabinet or drawer, by record group or series, and so on. If time allows, also indicate the number of volumes or archives files in each box, describe the damage (e.g., “wet,” “dry,” “smoke,” “mud,” etc.), and indicate the salvage priority of items in the box. If materials are going to different areas (e.g., some to the rinsing stations, others to the air-drying area, and some to a freezer), also note the destination of each container. A typical box might be labeled as follows: [Note: If you want boxes labeled in this way, you might have adhesive labels pre-printed and include them in your disaster stockpile.]

If there is a large quantity of containers, give each a brief designation (e.g., floor/section designation and box number), and use a written inventory/packing list to record detailed information regarding contents, damage, and priority. A sample packout list is included in Appendix L, Forms.

Throughout the salvage operation, it is also useful to document various decisions made (particularly the decision to discard) and who made/authorized them. This may be the responsibility of the ____________________ [specify the responsible position].

The Photographer will take photographs or videotape the salvage operations to document the recovery effort.


If elevators are working, they will be used. If not, the following strategies may be used: [Specify alternate means. Some possibilities are: use of “human chain,” laying plywood on stairs to create ramps for sliding boxes down, sliding boxes out windows onto ramps, removing boxes out windows into dumpsters suspended by cranes.]


Materials may be rinsed before drying or freezing if they have been subjected to mud, sand, or other dirty deposits and if adequate personnel and time are available. The objective of the cleaning is not to make the materials pristine, but to remove gross deposits.

If items have been damaged by salt water–e.g., due to a hurricane or flooding from sea water–it is especially important to rinse materials.

Never use these rinsing techniques on materials with soluble inks (watercolors and many manuscripts), animal skins (leather, vellum, or parchment), or works of art on paper.

Select an appropriate area for the rinsing operations. It may be a loading dock, parking lot, or outdoor area. Key requirements are that it have access to running water, and have good drainage or be sloped so that water does not stand in the area. The following areas are most likely to be suitable: [Specify locations, and give the name and phone numbers of the person or unit that can authorize your use of the space.]

Location Contact Phone: Office/After-hours

Personnel working in the rinsing area should be provided with rubber boots and gloves and waterproof clothing. These safety supplies are available from ________________________ [specify the position/office that can provide them, or the storage location in which they are maintained]. If the water has been contaminated by sewage or other contaminants, workers will have additional protective gear as recommended by the Safety Officer.

The rinsing stations may be set up in either of the following ways, depending on the type of rinsing that is needed:

• If deposits are so light that a single brief rinsing will remove them, each station may consist of one garden hose with a spray nozzle.

m Rinse individual folders or volumes one at a time, holding the folder/volume tightly closed to avoid transferring dirt between the pages.

• If deposits are heavy:

m Set up a series of 3-8 large (30- to 50-gallon) plastic garbage cans.

m Have a garden hose running into each can, with the nozzle resting at the bottom, and turn water on to provide a slow but continuous flow into each one.

m Workers will take each item to the first can, hold it firmly closed and immerse it, move to the second can and immerse the item, and so on through the line.

m Keep a supply of sponges at the last can, so that mud can be lightly dabbed off there.

m The last station will have a hose with spray nozzle so that workers can rinse materials under a fine spray.

m Gently squeeze excess water from volumes or folders.

Do not attempt to remove mud or stubborn stains during the rinsing process, for that would significantly slow down the operation. In addition, it might damage the materials, and it usually drives mud and stains even deeper into paper fibers, making restoration even more difficult.

The same procedure may be used for photographic materials and computer media, except that shallow dish pans or photo processing trays may be placed on tables and used instead of garbage cans.

Once materials have been rinsed, they may be transferred to the air-drying area or packed for transport to a freezer or drying facility as outlined above in the packing instructions.


Freezing may be used as a stabilization technique for wet materials, especially paper-based ones. It should be used whenever materials cannot be dried within 48-72 hours, because wet materials are at great risk for developing mold if the temperature is above 70°F, especially in high-humidity conditions. In addition, bound volumes cease swelling and inks cease “bleeding” or diffusing once frozen. In a medium-to-large scale disaster, freezing “buys time” for the organization: once the materials are stabilized by freezing, funds can be obtained, drying options and vendors can be evaluated, and the staff can take a break after the taxing work of packout. There is no limit on the amount of time that materials may be left frozen. In fact, paper tends to dry slightly while in a freezer.

Bound volumes and paper records are suitable for freezing. In a large-scale disaster, microfilm and most other photographic materials can also be frozen, though that is not ideal. Historic photographs (such as daguerreotypes, tintypes, ambrotypes) should never be frozen.

For best results, use a commercial blast freezer, one that freezes materials at -10°F or lower. Commercial freezer facilities for our organization are listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers.

For small volumes of materials, the following freezers within the organization may be used:

[Dining facilities on the base may have large walk-in freezers suitable for small volumes of wet materials, but investigate whether health regulations allow you to store library/archival material in food storage facilities. An alternative is to use self-defrosting deep-freezes in staff members’ homes.]

Location Contact Phone: Office/After-hours

In an area-wide disaster such as a flood or hurricane, there may not be a local freezer facility. In that case, we may use a refrigerated truck for transporting materials to a remote facility or for temporary cool storage on-site. While a truck will not freeze the materials, it may keep them cool enough to prevent mold growth. Sources of refrigerated trucks are listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers.

Drying Techniques

Appendix Q1, Drying Wet Books and Records, explains the basic drying techniques: vacuum freeze-drying, vacuum (thermal) drying, air-drying, and on-site dehumidification. Other sections

of Appendix Q outline procedures for salvage of non-paper media. Use that text to outline your plans in this section, revising and expanding the text below. You may put additional details in Appendix Q or another appendix.

When materials are to be air-dried, the following procedures will be used. [Specify the location to be used for air-drying, responsibilities of various personnel (e.g., for gathering supplies, carrying out the work, etc.), and other procedures suggested in Appendix Q1, Drying Wet Books and Records.]

  • _______________________________________________________________________


    • If materials are to be commercially dried (via freeze-drying or vacuum-drying), take the following steps. [Include instructions about who is authorized to contact outside suppliers, where materials may be frozen prior to drying, etc.]


  • _______________________________________________________________________


    • Materials may be dried on-site via large-scale commercial dehumidification if a large number of collection materials and building furnishings are damp but not soaked. [Include instructions about who is authorized to contact outside suppliers, where materials may be frozen prior to drying, etc.]


    • ______________________________________________________________________


    • ______________________________________________________________________


    • ______________________________________________________________________


    •  ______________________________________________________________________


    • ______________________________________________________________________


Fire Damage

Materials involved in a fire are likely also to suffer water damage, and recovery techniques outlined here may be used. They also may be charred (either completely or just around the edges), may have smoke/soot deposits, and are likely to have an odor. The following techniques are appropriate for bound volumes and paper records. When dealing with fire damage to special materials (art works, photographs, magnetic media, computer equipment, etc.), consult one of the conservators or other specialists listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers. Special procedures for computer media are outlined in Data Processing Plans (Appendix G).

Charred Materials

Damage caused by extremely high temperatures is irreversible. However, the information on charred materials sometimes can be recovered through special photographic methods. These methods are usually carried out only in forensic science laboratories and are only available in exceptional circumstances. In the absence of professional help, do not attempt to open charred bundles, for such handling will result in further damage.

Even if materials are not charred beyond recognition, exposure to high temperatures will cause the paper to become extremely brittle. Such records should be evaluated. Some may be discarded, and others may be microfilmed or photocopied to preserve the information.

If edges of bound volumes are charred or badly smoke-damaged, they can be sent to a library binder, who will remove the binding, trim the edges of the paper, and rebind the volumes. A list of certified library binders is available from the Library Binding Institute (see Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers). Others may be found in the Yellow Pages.

[Insert text, perhaps drawing from the preceding paragraphs of this manual, to outline your plans and preferred service providers for dealing with fire-damaged materials.]

Smoke/Soot Deposits

If smoke/soot is deposited on the edges of materials, they can be treated in the following ways:

m Send the materials to a binder who can guillotine off the smoke-damaged edges

m Treat the materials in-house, using natural latex sponges to remove the smoke from the edges of bound volumes.

m Rare, archival, or special collections materials should be evaluated by a conservator before employing any general-purpose smoke removal techniques.

[Insert text, perhaps drawing from the preceding paragraphs of this manual, to outline your plans and preferred service providers for dealing with smoke- or soot-damaged materials.]

Smoke Odor Removal

Professional companies can deodorize fire-damaged paper materials. There are three major options:

m Some companies essentially “perfume” damaged materials to mask the odor. Many such companies can be found in the Yellow Pages under “Smoke Odor Counteracting Services.”

m Materials may be treated in an ozone chamber. Ozone effectively neutralizes the odor. However, ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent that irreversibly accelerates the aging of paper, so it generally should not be used on archival or intrinsically valuable materials. Companies listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers, provide this service, often in combination with trimming and rebinding of bound volumes. Some states have outlawed the use of ozone, so be sure to check with appropriate safety officials.

m Storage boxes that incorporate zeolites have shown to be effective in odor reduction. Place dried volumes or papers in the boxes, and they may remain there indefinitely. Sources of these boxes are included in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers.

[Insert text, perhaps drawing from the preceding paragraphs of this manual, to outline your plans and preferred service providers for deodorizing fire-damaged materials.]


Water-related disasters, including water left from firefighting operations, create an environment ideal for mold growth. Give high priority to the fumigation and sterilization of mold-infested materials, and keep such materials segregated from those not yet infested.

There are many divergent opinions about fumigating collection materials. If the decision is made to fumigate, every precaution must be taken to safeguard the collection materials and the health of personnel. Potential effects on the environment also must be considered.

a. Ethylene Oxide Fumigation. Ethylene oxide long was the most commonly used fumigant, favored because of its effectiveness over a wide range of problems. However, studies have indicated that exposure to this chemical may accelerate the aging of leather, parchment, paper, rubber, and some plastics. There also are hazards to human health, and the ethylene oxide absorbed by the treated materials is released slowly over time. Because of these dangers, ethylene oxide should not be used.

b. Area Fogging. If the mold infestation is widespread, fogging the area with a fungicide may be advised. Remember that fogging kills only the mold that is growing on exposed surfaces, and the procedure may have to be followed up by more intensive fumigation. Area fogging should only be undertaken by a licensed fumigator.

c. Cleaning and Sterilization. The affected area must be cleaned and sterilized before it is used to store collection materials. The cleaning crew should wear protective clothing and eye-wear. The following procedures are recommended:

1. Remove all curtains and sterilize them in an autoclave if the fabric will tolerate such treatment. Then launder the curtains.

2. Remove any incidental materials from the area, leaving only the main pieces of furniture.

3. Thoroughly clean carpets with a germicidal cleanser. Remove as much moisture as possible from the carpets.

4. Provide good air circulation in the room along with air-conditioning and dehumidification.

5. Thoroughly wash floors, ceilings, walls, shelves, fixtures, and furniture using a germicidal cleaner. Disposable wipes should be used to avoid the spread of contamination.

Additional instructions are available in Sandra Nyberg’s The Invasion of the Giant Spore (Atlanta: SOLINET, 1987; available from SOLINET, 1438 W. Peachtree St., Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30309-2955; 800-999-8558) and Lois Olcott Price, Mold—Managing a Mold Invasion: Guidelines for Disaster Response (Philadelphia: Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, 1994; available from CCAHA, 264 S. 23rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19103; 215-545-0613). [Attach a copy here or in Appendix Q (Salvage Procedures), specify where copies can be located, or refer to the Bibliography (Appendix T) if it gives locations.]

Wrap-Up and Evaluation

After the salvage operation is complete, evaluate the effectiveness of the disaster plan. Talk with those involved. Were they sufficiently prepared? Did the plan work? How could it be strengthened? Revise your disaster plan accordingly.

Remember to extend thanks to all those within and outside the organization who assisted in the recovery operation.

Decisions regarding what to save first in the event of a disaster should be made before the emergency arises. Staff members involved in the planning will be better able to give direction about recovery operations without the added pressure of dealing with such a decision.

Your salvage priorities will guide staff members or recovery specialists carrying out the recovery operation. But they also have other uses. You may use them to determine the level of protection that various materials need when you have forewarning of a hurricane, flood, wildfire, or other disaster. Firefighters may use them to take protective steps in the fire-fighting operation.

The Process

Unless you are the only collection manager (librarian, archivist, records manager, curator, etc.) in your organization, the establishment of salvage priorities should be a committee activity. A wide variety of perspectives should be included in the process. When you are standing ankle-deep in water is not the time to hold a staff meeting to decide which materials will survive and which will not. Reach consensus now, to avoid problems later.

It is generally easiest first to set priorities for each broad subject classification, room, department, or floor of your repository. Those will be used when dealing with the routine, small-scale emergencies that are most likely to occur. Detailed salvage priorities should be listed in Appendix P (Salvage Priorities–Detailed) of the plan. Then the organization-wide priorities can focus on those that are most important within those subdivisions; list those in the “Salvage Priorities” section that follows this fact sheet. Indicate the materials that are of highest priority in a major disaster.

Some existing documents and policies may help you set salvage priorities. Collection development policies are an important resource for libraries as well as some archives and special collections. Records managers and archivists may consult retention/disposition schedules.

Do not try to specify salvage priorities on an item-by-item basis. Instead, think in terms of library call number classifications, record groups or series, and so on. An exception may be made for those few particular treasures of unique importance.

Factors to Weigh

Vital records. These should receive highest priority for protection and recovery.

Importance. The importance to, and extent of use by, your users should be a prime consideration. Materials that are most often used and those that support your fundamental mission should receive high priority. Thus, it is not unusual for an academic library to give precedence to its general collection (which supports the fundamental mission of educating undergraduates) over its rare books or other special collections.

However, this criterion must be weighed against other factors, especially the availability of replacements. Many items in the circulating collection may still be in print, whereas rare books, archives, manuscripts, and other primary resource materials are generally irreplaceable, as are staff members’ working files such as in-process records, personnel files, and so on.

Availability of replacements. Do not assume that materials in the general, circulating collection are still in print. Publishers often allow books to go out of print the same year they are published, so even basic works may not be replaceable per se. In some cases, it is appropriate to replace a current holding with a newer edition, but sometimes no real replace-ment exists. The following questions may help you assess the availability of replacements.

Are there backups? Computer software and files should have back-up copies stored off-site, and it is a good idea to create microfilm security copies of irreplaceable items such as archives, manuscripts, and rare books.

In what parts of the collection are a high percentage of titles already out of print?

Could you buy other copies in the original or an alternate format? If you have materials of which another agency retains a copy, yours could be replaced. Many periodicals and newspapers could be replaced with microfilm copies.

Would other editions suffice? Many reference books and library materials could be suitably replaced with a newer edition.

Could your users rely on copies located elsewhere–for example, in nearby libraries or through interlibrary loan?

Cost. Is the cost of replacement more or less than the salvage cost? When calculating replacement cost, include not just the purchase price, but also the costs of ordering, shipping, cataloging, shelf preparation, and other parts of the process. The fact that some materials could be replaced does not necessarily mean you should assign them low priority, for the cost of replacement is generally much higher than the cost of salvage. In addition, your existing collection has been built carefully over time, but one built in haste (even with an ample supply of insurance reimburse-ments) is less likely to be so carefully built.

Monetary value. In general, this is not an adequate factor on its own, since most collections exist for research, archival purposes, and other reasons that have nothing to do with resale value.

Scholarly value. Are certain collections or subject areas particularly strong? Which materials are of high value for research in military history or other scholarly areas? Is the collection of special value to the town, state, nation, etc.?

Collection tools. Insurance claims may require that you prove what materials you own, so tools such as bibliographic records, card catalogs or shelf lists, finding aids, registers, and accession lists should receive high priority. In addition, access to these tools will make it easier for you to restore operations.

Organizational records. Some records–while not vital records per se — are important for the smooth resumption of operations, and their loss would pose a significant inconvenience. This category might include: contracts and legal papers, financial and accounting information, and contact lists (donors, members, clients, etc.).

Artifactual or intrinsic value. Items that have value in their own right as objects, and for which surrogates (photocopies, microfilm, etc.) are inadequate.

Format. Some media are not readily salvageable. For example, in case of a major fire, plastic-based media (photographic negatives, microfilm and motion picture film, audio and videotapes, and phonodiscs) might be damaged beyond salvage. In case of heavy water damage, materials on coated paper may not be salvageable unless recovery begins within about 12 hours, and even then the salvage process for these media is so labor-intensive that you may decide to focus instead on other materials. You may determine to write off certain materials in specified situations if the length of exposure to water, heat, or other adverse conditions would reduce the chances of successfully salvaging them.

Ownership. Materials on loan or that you have received on approval must be considered. In some cases, it may be necessary to make them a top priority.

Assigning Priorities

After weighing those factors, sort the materials into high, medium, and low priority. Various strategies are possible, but these may be the most useful options.

You may decide which criteria (using those from the above list and others that matter to your repository) are most important. Weigh each part of the collection according to the various criteria, assigning a number of points (e.g., 1 to 10) for each. Then set priorities based on point totals for each collection area.

More simply, you can make gross judgments based upon the following guidelines:

High Priority: materials used most frequently and/or intensively by patrons; vital records for which no back-up exists; materials that cannot be replaced and are (by whatever criteria) most important; collection tools and other materials that are critical to ongoing operations.

Medium Priority: important materials that could be replaced but whose replacement costs would exceed the cost of salvage.

Low Priority: materials that can be replaced in the original or some other format; materials that have a high monetary value but low value by other measures.

Accept the fact that–regardless of the priorities you set–in the event of a disaster, you will determine that some materials are not salvageable. You may calculate that some materials are not worth the effort required to salvage them. For example, if volumes on coated paper (like yearbooks and many medical journals) have already begun to “block” by the time you get to them, then salvage may not be possible or may not be warranted by their value in the collection. Other materials, such as old phone books, may be written off as non-essential.

In the event of a disaster that involves the whole building, collection materials should be protected, transferred to a safe location, or salvaged in the priority order listed below. See Appendix K for floor plans and locations of these materials. For area-specific disasters–those that affect only one room, department, etc.–see the detailed salvage priority lists in Appendix P.

 Priority Materials [specify call number range, record group, item, etc.] Location Staff Specialist




After a disaster, rehabilitation of collections can be the most time-consuming and costly part of the whole process. Even after materials have been dried, much usually remains to be done. Advance planning for personnel, training, space, and services will help provide economies of time and expense. Each repository will have its own rehabilitation needs, and various disasters will result in different needs. The following rehabilitation procedures are among those to be considered:

× hiring and/or training personnel to handle the work

× examining and sorting dried materials according to their rehabilitation needs

× cleaning mud, smoke, soot, etc.

× deodorizing smoke-damaged items

× repair

× binding or re-binding

× reprocessing film or tape media

× microfilming, copying, other duplication

× professional conservation

× fumigation for mold or insects

× re-housing (e.g., boxes, folders, pamphlet binders)

replacing labels, card pockets, book

plates, security tags/strips, etc.

. re-arranging and shelving/filing

materials in call-number or other

shelving order

. changing catalog records, finding

aids, indexes, inventories, etc.

. ordering, receiving, cataloging, shelv-

ing/storing replacements

× site rehabilitation, including repairs, new construction, replacement of furnishings and fixtures, shelving

For all the possible rehabilitation activities, the following issues should be considered in the planning process and documented in the written plan:

× How will the steps be carried out?

× Who will be responsible for each?

× Who will supervise?

× Where will the work be done?

× What kind of work flow makes sense?

× Who has authority to discard badly damaged items?

× What funds are available from the operating budget? What resources will be available under self-insurance or other special funds?

× What rehabilitation priorities should be set so that essential services can be restored quickly?

× What can be done by the staff, and when should we use contract services instead?

After materials have been salvaged, some further restoration work will probably be required before they can be reshelved or returned to other storage locations.

1. Storage. Materials that have been water-damaged or mold-infested should be kept apart from other holdings for at least 3 months in a well-ventilated area with good climate control (65° F and 35-45% relative humidity). The following locations may be used for this purpose.

2. Assessment. ____________________ [specify the responsible position] will evaluate the materials and decide on the next steps:

• discard/withdraw

• reprocess and/or duplicate–particularly for photographic and magnetic media

• replace by microfilming, photocopying, or purchasing another copy or edition

• repair, rebind, clean, or provide conservation treatment

• rehouse in new folders, boxes, etc.

• relabel, replace card pockets, etc.

Procedures for each are outlined below.

3. Withdrawal. [Specify who has authority to order the withdrawal or destruction of materials, what record-keeping must be done, and where or how materials will be discarded.]

4. Reprocessing and duplication. [Specify procedures and responsible staff. Include reprocessing of photographic film, cleaning and copying of film and magnetic media, and preservation microfilming of damaged paper records.]

5. Replacement. [Specify procedures and responsible staff.]

6. Repair. [Specify procedures and responsible staff.]

7. Conservation. [Specify procedures and responsible staff. If you are not accustomed to procuring conservation services, some background reading will be helpful. See Jan Paris, “Choosing and Working with a Conservator,” in Sherelyn Ogden,Preservation of Library and Archival Materials: A Manual, cited in Appendix T.]

8. Rehousing. [Specify procedures and responsible staff.]

9. Relabelling and shelf preparation. [Specify procedures and responsible staff.]

10. Reshelve. [Specify procedures and responsible staff. Be mindful that, following significant water damage, paper-based materials typically require about 10% more storage space than before, so they will not fit back in their original shelving configuration.]

11. Return borrowed materials. [Specify procedures and responsible staff.]









Disaster Preparedness Workbook for

U.S. Navy Libraries and Archives


Background Information for Appendix A1: Disaster Team

The size, membership, and structure of your disaster team will depend on the scope of the disaster. A minor emergency can be handled by a small group working together on a fairly informal basis. The larger the disaster, the more people you will need and the more formal the command structure must be. When small-scale emergencies occur, most of the functions will be handled by collections staff. Librarians, archivists, and/or records managers will purchase supplies, set up fans and dehumidifiers, dry the materials, document what was damaged or destroyed, and keep track of costs (including staff time). But in a significant disaster such as a fire in your building, the team must be expanded so that collections staff can focus on the recovery and delegate functions such as purchasing and personnel management to other units within the organization.

Use this appendix as the basis for thinking about the functions that may need to be managed and the jobs that may need to be done in recovering from a disaster. While you do not have to prepare disaster team job descriptions at the level of detail shown here, there is a benefit to doing so–namely, once staff members understand what will be expected of them in a disaster, they are more likely to prepare themselves for it. This is helpful when dealing with co-workers in the library, archives, or records office, but perhaps even more useful as a tool for relating to maintenance, security, and other personnel whose support you will need in a recovery operation. The extensive list of positions and responsibilities here can be copied, revised, or deleted as appropriate for use in your plan.

Your ability to execute the recovery according to plan could be affected by labor contracts, job descriptions, or personnel policies. Be sure the disaster-related responsibilities are clearly written into each position description or contract.

Some disaster duties require work that could be hampered by age, pregnancy, or ability. In addition, some individuals simply cannot cope emotionally with the circumstances of a disaster. Consult with your personnel office about ways to deal with those possibilities. It may be necessary to excuse some staff members from work in a disaster or to reassign them to other units.

Following a major disaster, it is likely that staff members will work around the clock in shifts for the first few days. This requires use of multiple people for most positions, and each is responsible for briefing his/her replacement when the shifts change. Another complicating factor after a natural disaster is that you may have to vie with other units to get the support services you need; for example, hospitals and infirmaries will typically receive top priority. Further, staff members may have sustained significant property damage or injury at home, and you need to be clear about your expectations of them .

When a natural disaster strikes, the federal government may lay claim to members of your staff. Librarians may become traffic cops, records managers may be called to assist with tree-cutting and debris removal, and archivists could be assigned to food and supply distribution.

Take steps to deal with those possibilities. First, as you develop your plan and annually update it, be sure commanders in your organization understand the importance of prompt salvage of your holdings. Second, be sure to have two or three backups for each position in your disaster team. Third, develop plans for recruiting and training volunteers or other supplemental workers. To the extent that you communicate your needs now–during the planning phase–you have a greater chance of receiving support in times of crisis.

In a disaster of moderate scope, the organization can be fairly simple, as illustrated in Figure 1. The Recovery Coordinator would oversee the details of the recovery in consultation with the base commander, library/archives director, or other administrator. This might entail the use of workers to salvage the collections and work with the data processing manager to recover systems and files. Many other functions would be handled by janitorial and maintenance staff. Additional support would come from the procurement office for purchase of goods and services, and you might use preservation specialists, conser-vators, or other contract services to meet specialized needs.

Figure 2 illustrates the more elaborate structure that might be required in case of a major disaster in a large and complex organization such as a military academy library or in a natural disaster that affected many units of a base. This organization is predicated on two assumptions. First, in a large-scale disaster, the base commander will have significant responsibilities dealing with other agency heads, government officials, the media, and so on, and will not have time to deal with operational issues related to the recovery. Second, damage will be widespread and many functions aside from the collection will warrant attention. For example, there is likely to be significant damage to the building and its systems, personnel may be affected, and so on. In a disaster of this scope, an additional administrative layer may be required, so that an Operations Manager reports to the Chief Administrator (commander, library director, etc.) and in turn supervises four units: collections, data processing, finance, and safety. It is likely that a senior administrator would assume the Operations Manager position, enabling the Recovery Coordinator to focus on recovery of collections and resumption of collection-related services.

Disaster Team Responsibilities

This section provides a description of the various responsibilities that may need to be discharged. Those in the Collections Unit are likely to be members of your department or organization. The others–in Administration, Data Processing, Finance, and Safety–may be within other units, or you may have to contract for some of those services if the functions are needed in your recovery operation. These job descriptions should be revised for use in your disaster plan.

A few responsibilities are common to almost every managerial or supervisory position, and are not repeated in the individual job descriptions. They are:

      1. Gathers information and develops initial strategy based on personnel available


and the nature of the emergency.

2. Establishes a base of operations and announces its location.

3. Arranges for chronological documentation of significant events.

4. Communicates staffing needs to Personnel Manager.

5. Coordinates the use of arriving staff through the Personnel Manager.

6. Manages work crews.

7. Shifts personnel as necessary to ensure efficient work flow and alleviate bottlenecks and other problems.

8. Coordinates equipment and supply needs with Procurement Officer.

9. Continually re-evaluates the emergency and priorities.

10. Regularly reports to supervisor on progress and problems.

11. Thoroughly briefs his/her replacement.

A. Administration

Chief Administrator — ultimately responsible for protection of life, facilities, and collections. In a large-scale disaster, these duties may fall to the base commander, who will be occupied primarily with other senior administrators and thus need to delegate operational decision-making authority to the Operations Manager. In less significant disasters, the library/archives director fills this position and may also assume some responsibilities detailed under the Operations Manager’s position.


1. Keeps administrators, military commanders, and/or government authorities informed of status and needs.

2. Marshals assistance from other Navy installations and outside agencies.

3. Authorizes emergency expenditures.

4. Establishes priorities for life, safety, physical security, and collections needs.

5. Issues public statements about the disaster or delegates this function to the Public Affairs Officer.

Operations Manager— manages and directs the whole recovery operation, ensuring effective workflow and coordination among organizational units involved in the recovery operations, all with the goal of protecting life, facilities, and collections. Supervises and coordinates the Financial Manager, Chief Safety Officer, Data Processing Manager, and Recovery Coordinator. Reports to the Chief Administrator and is delegated major decision-making authority. In small-to-medium scale disaster, the Chief Administrator and Recovery Coordinator may divide the responsibilities outlined here for the Operations Manager.

The Operations Manager must be a member of the staff, preferably with significant administrative authority, and s/he should have in-depth familiarity with the collections and physical plant (building and systems). S/he should not be a member of any work crew or involved in salvage operations except in routine emergencies, but should be stationed in a quiet office away from the work areas. See Appendix O, Operations Center, for suitable on-site and off-site locations.


1. Assesses emergency and declares disaster plan in effect.

2. Takes immediate action to reduce or eliminate the risk.

3. Appoints unit heads (based on pre-established Disaster Team list) as needed to carry out the recovery operations.

4. Authorizes purchases of materials and services.

5. Assesses need for off-site operations center, storage areas, and other spaces, and (if they are required) charges appropriate staff to secure and equip them.

6. In cooperation with the Facilities Manager, analyzes and equips the operations center (if needed), providing for light construction/renovation, establishing power, bringing in equipment and supplies.

7. Ensures protection of personnel and assets.

8. Develops “business resumption plans” — mechanisms for providing access as soon as possible through means such as setting up off-site service points, reopening a portion of the building or office, expediting orders for replacements and duplicates, etc.

9. Ensures long-term clean-up and restoration/rehabilitation operations are initiated.

10. Declares that the emergency is over.

Public Affairs — oversees all external communications during the emergency. Gathers, compiles, and coordinates information for dissemination to the media. Serves as liaison to families of employees and volunteers, and manages all outside telephone communications. Generally not needed in a small-scale emergency; otherwise reports to Operations Manager.


1. Coordinates all media management activities with administrative and collections units.

2. Receives all external communications and requests for information.

3. Disseminates information to the media, including emergency updates, changes in daily procedures, hours of operation, etc.

4. Directs representatives of public safety and community agencies to Safety Officer.

5. Establishes a bulletin board to be used for messages from relatives of staff members, and announces its location.

Reporter — maintains written and visual record of all decisions and activities including extent of damage, recommended procedures, treatment priorities, communications with outside agencies and organizations, necessary supplies and services, dispersal arrangements, and other decisions that may be necessary to document insurance claims or for post-disaster evaluation and analysis. Generally not needed in a small-scale emergency; otherwise reports to Operations Manager.

In many organizations, this function will be discharged by an administrative assistant or secretary. In a large-scale disaster it will require full-time effort. In lesser cases, it may be combined with some of the functions of the Recorder within the Collections unit.


1. Documents significant events, decisions, communications, and so on, and sees that records are maintained for immediate and long-term uses.

2. Compiles information provided by various units to prepare a daily situation report for the Chief Administrator and Operations Manager.

3. Transcribes dictated reports submitted on microcassette.

Photographer — creates visual documentation of the damage and recovery efforts. Reports to Reporter.


1. As part of preparedness, creates and regularly updates photographic documentation of the normal condition of the building, storage areas, and collections.

2. Documents the disaster on film (using Polaroid for immediate applications and 35mm camera for long-term uses) and videotape if possible.

3. In conjunction with photographic documentation, provides accurate written records to document dates, times, people, and places in order to have a complete documentary record of the disaster.

4. Processes or arranges for processing of film for use by Chief Administrator, Public Affairs Officer, and others for publicity, documentation of claims, etc.

B. Collections Unit

Recovery Coordinator — directs all recovery operations involving collections materials. Responsible for general supervision of packing and transportation of collections, drying and other salvage activities, storage arrangements, documentation of movement and treatment, and long-term restoration of collection materials. Reports to Chief Administrator in a small-to-medium scale emergency, to Operations Manager in a major disaster.


1. As part of preparedness, develops and regularly updates disaster preparedness plans for protection and recovery of collections.

2. Retrieves disaster supply kit(s) from storage.

3. Identifies and ensures the protection or salvage of vital records and high-priority collections.

4. Takes immediate action to reduce or eliminate risk of damage to collection.

5. Estimates extent and type of damage to the collection as a whole and to major subunits.

6. Prepares initial damage assessment and establishes priorities for salvage.

7. Notifies Chief Administrator or Operations Manager of support needs.

8. Refines salvage priorities based on type and extent of damage, and establishes priority lists for further salvage efforts.

9. Appoints unit heads as needed (including Salvage Coordinator and Collection Managers) to supervise any part of the recovery operation.

10. Activates, supervises, and (when needed) trains salvage work crews.

11. Determines the sequence and methods of salvage of collections.

12. Establishes work areas for all parts of the recovery operation, with assistance from the Procurement Officer, Facilities Manager, and others necessary for the provision of space, supplies, and equipment.

13. Establishes safe storage locations on-site and off-site, as appropriate.

14. Arranges for continuous monitoring of temperature and relative humidity in areas where collections are stored and in areas where recovery operations (particularly drying) take place.

15. Authorizes discard of collection materials.

16. Oversees the Recorder’s documentation of the locations of items.

17. Initiates plans for long-term clean-up and restoration of collections.

18. Issues daily situation report to Chief Administrator or Operations Manager.

Salvage Coordinator — coordinates all salvage activities to minimize damage to the collections. Reports to Recovery Coordinator.


1. Reports initial damage assessment to the Recovery Coordinator and Collection Manager, and gives initial directions.

2. Takes immediate action to reduce or eliminate risk of damage to collection.

3. Obtains emergency supplies as necessary and advises Recovery Coordinator of additional supply and equipment needs.

4. Coordinates with Photographer to document the disaster.

5. Advises Recovery Coordinator on the sequence and methods of salvage of collections.

6. Activates, supervises, and (as needed) trains salvage work crews.

7. Oversees the Recorder’s documentation of the locations of items.

8. Gives specific direction to safety agencies and staff assigned to the salvage effort on handling of collection materials.

9. Recommends on-site and off-site storage areas to Recovery Coordinator.

10. Arranges with Recovery Coordinator for specific conservation documentation.

Collection Manager— provides guidance on salvage priorities, disposition decisions, and replacement options for collection materials. Should be the staff who can best appraise the value/importance of materials and availability of replacements for those within their purview. In a library, the function may be discharged by bibliographers, collection development or acquisitions staff, reference librarians, circulation managers, or curators of special collections. In a records management office or archives, this responsibility often falls to records managers, archivists, and/or the units that created the records. Depending on the extent of the emergency, a separate Collections Manager may be appointed for subsets of the collection by format (e.g., archives, manuscripts, photographs, microforms, electronic records, etc.), department (e.g., reference, periodicals, local history, etc.), or physical location (e.g., room, floor, building, etc.). Reports to Recovery Coordinator.


1. As part of preparedness, establishes salvage priorities.

2. Refines established salvage priorities based on type and extent of damage.

3. Selects salvage techniques and restoration strategies in consultation with Salvage Coordinator and Preservation Specialist.

4. Recommends discard of collection materials.

5. Develops “business resumption plans”–mechanisms for providing access as soon as possible through means such as setting up off-site service points, re-opening a portion of the building or office, expediting orders for replacements and duplicates, etc.

Preservation Specialist — provides expert guidance on salvage, preservation, and restoration activities to minimize damage to the collections. Ideally, this should be a staff member, and in organizations with a conservator or preservation administrator on staff, the duties of Salvage Coordinator and Preservation Specialist may be combined in that person. Reports to the Recovery Coordinator.


1. Recommends appropriate salvage techniques and rehabilitation strategies.

2. Provides training on various aspects of salvage, preservation, and collection restoration operations.

3. Performs stabilization, repair, and conservation treatments within his/her area of expertise.

4. Contacts and evaluates outside service providers (binders, conservators, etc.) for provision of treatment services.

Recorder — maintains collection records to track status and disposition of all materials through recovery operation. Generally requires familiarity with inventory control or database management software. In libraries or archives, may call for efficiency with national (e.g., OCLC or RLIN) or local (e.g., Horizon, Geac) bibliographic systems.


1. Creates and maintains tracking/ inventory system to monitor status of materials from packing through various salvage operations to storage and eventual return.

2. Develops inventory form and system for packout crews’ use in numbering/coding containers and pallets.

3. Works with Data Processing Manager for salvage, restoration, or reconstruction of data processing systems and files.

4. Updates local registers, databases, finding aids, catalogs to reflect discards, conservation treatments, etc.

5. Orders duplicates or replacements for destroyed and discarded collections materials.

6. Documents decisions and forwards daily reports to Reporter.

C. Data Processing Unit

Data Processing Manager — responsible for the protection and recovery of the organization’s mainframe and PC-based data processing functions. Reports to the Recovery Coordinator in organizations that use data files and electronic records as an integral part of the collection (e.g., many records management offices). Otherwise, reports to the Operations Manager in major disasters and to the Chief Administrator in lesser emergencies.


1. As part of preparedness, oversees routine weekly/daily system backups, provides for off-site storage of backup copies, and identifies potential off-site facilities that could be used in the event of a disaster.

2. Supervises or contracts for salvage/restoration of data processing equipment, software, and files.

3. Plans and manages the relocation of data processing equipment, files, etc. to off-site facilities.

D. Financial Unit

Financial Manager — manages key financial operations including personnel, procurement, and insurance communications. Generally the accountant, comptroller, or chief financial officer of the organization. Reports to the Chief Administrator.


1. Works with Chief Administrator to expedite emergency expenditures.

2. Ensures accurate tracking of costs and documentation of losses.

3. Initiates contacts and ongoing communications with risk manager to negotiate claim.

4. Notifies insurance representatives of situation and manages ongoing communications and negotiations.

Personnel Manager — responsible for the efficient deployment of all personnel used in the salvage effort. Reports to Financial Manager. In large-scale disaster, may appoint staff to serve as Training Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, etc., and delegate appropriate duties to them.


1. Maintains emergency notification files and coordinates with the Recovery Coordinator or Operations Manager for contact of off-duty personnel.

2. As part of preparedness, identifies sources of temporary workers and volunteers.

3. Identifies whether any personnel are missing and informs Safety Officer.

4. Maintains accurate records of time spent by staff and volunteers in recovery operations.

5. Assembles personnel and assigns them to units based on their skills. Issues authorized permit badges that indicate authorization to be on the premises.

6. Under the direction of the Recovery Coordinator or Operations Manager, establishes and continually revises the manpower priorities of the various units.

7. Arranges, if necessary, for the employment of any temporary trade labor and/or security in the clean-up and disaster recovery effort.

8. Maintains a roster of all current deployment of on-site personnel.

9. Instructs personnel to return to the personnel pool for reassignment upon completion of their task and release of unit supervisor.

10. Coordinates the use of arriving staff, temporary workers, and volunteers with unit managers to ensure that all needs are met on a priority basis.

11. Schedules work crews in consultation with unit managers.

12. In consultation with unit heads, identifies training needs.

13. Provides or arranges training for staff and volunteers through demonstrations, instructions, and on-the-job training throughout the recovery operation.

14. Schedules breaks and refreshments.

15. Coordinates recruitment of outside medical personnel with Health and Safety Officer.

16. Issues call for volunteers through preestablished channels.

17. Establishes and staffs volunteer check-in point(s), and ensures proper registration of volunteers.

18. Surveys available volunteers for special skills and, after careful screening, assigns them to an appropriate unit.

19. Ensures appropriate acknowledgement of volunteers during recovery and as part of wrap-up work.

Procurement Officer — manages efficient procurement, receipt, and distribution of supplies and equipment; handles transportation using organizational or leased vehicles and transportation services. Is generally a member of the accounting or purchasing department. Reports to the Financial Manager.


1. As part of preparedness, formulates agreements with emergency services such as freezer facilities, dehumidification and drying services, trucking firms, cleaning services, and other vendors.

2. As part of disaster preparedness, may assist Recovery Coordinator in inventorying in-house disaster supply kits as well as supplies and equipment housed in central supply depots, warehouses, and other buildings.

3. Locates and assembles emergency supplies and equipment, and arranges for delivery to the building or off-site operations center(s).

4. Monitors supply inventory during recovery operation.

5. Coordinates and arranges for any additional equipment and supplies needed for the clean-up and disaster recovery teams.

6. Distributes supplies and equipment to work crews.

7. Locates vendors of goods and services and, in consultation with appropriate units, assesses their qualifications and arranges agreements with them.

8. Locates appropriate space for drying, storage, or other recovery operations; if necessary, locates appropriate space for temporary relocation of the whole library, archives, and/or records management office.

9. Protects agency/organizational vehicles when a disaster warning is issued; ensures that vehicles have fuel and that fuel stockpiles are safeguarded.

10. Coordinates and arranges for transportation needs during recovery operation, including transportation of personnel, equipment, supplies, and collection materials to an off-site storage center.

E. Safety Unit

Chief Safety Officer — responsible for the safety and welfare of all persons on the premises, maintenance and repair of building and systems, and security of the site. Generally the head of maintenance and security. Reports to the Operations Manager in large-scale operation; otherwise, reports to Chief Administrator and coordinates with Recovery Coordinator.


1. Formulates and distributes plan for orderly evacuation of the building.

2. Maintains building emergency personnel at necessary staffing level.

3. Schedules at least two evacuation drills per year.

4. Schedules periodic meetings in order to maintain a functional organization and/or issues memos to inform staff of developments and policies affecting evacuation activities.

5. Informs local fire and police departments of repository’s disaster plans, and provides them with a copy of the written disaster plan.

6. Arranges continuing education for staff in areas related to fire safety, evacuation, etc.

7. Supervises the evacuation process.

8. Ascertains the safety of the building before allowing staff to re-enter.

9. Coordinates activities with local emergency officials (police and fire departments), Civil Defense, etc.

10. Sets up and maintains alternate communication system when normal phone service is unavailable.

11. Distributes communications devices to staff, maintains an inventory to ensure all are returned, and provides necessary repairs or replacement.

Facilities Manager — responsible for the maintenance and repair of the physical plant including the building and systems (electrical, utilities, plumbing, HVAC, etc.). Sets priorities for, plans, and supervises clean-up and repair of physical plant, including building and systems. Generally the facilities manager or head of buildings and grounds. Reports to Chief Safety Officer.


1. Appoints and manages units or work crews for clean-up (e.g., janitorial staff), building construction, HVAC and other building systems, and others as needed.

2. Manages shut-off and restoration of utilities (electrical, water, gas, etc.), heating and air-conditioning systems, and others when necessary.

3. Serves as liaison with local utility companies.

4. Manages site clean-up and debris removal.

5. Plans and manages short-term building stabilization/repair and long-term repair and rehabilitation.

6. In cooperation with Operations Manager and/or Recovery Coordinator, analyzes and equips off-site operations center(s), providing for light construction or renovation, establishing power, bringing in equipment and supplies.

7. Provides temperature and humidity controls and air circulation as needed to optimize drying conditions and inhibit mold growth.

8. Identifies and evaluates contract services and works with Procurement Officer to establish agreements.

9. Coordinates and supervises contract services for building- and systems-related work.

Security Head— arranges and supervises site security and security within the building. Generally the head of security. Reports to Chief Safety Officer.


1. Arranges for security of the outside perimeter of the building to ensure that no unauthorized persons are on the premises and to prevent trespassing, theft, vandalism, etc.

2. Secures collection areas room-by-room or as appropriate.

3. Monitors personnel within the building to ensure that they are wearing authorized badges and are registered with the Personnel Manager.

Health and Safety Officer — responsible for general safety and welfare of all staff and volunteers during the emergency. Reports to Chief Safety Officer.


1. Assembles and directs a team of workers, primarily using security employees and others trained in first aid.

2. Arranges for outside support for identification and removal of hazardous substances.

3. Maintain supplies in all first aid kits.

4. Establishes first aid station in case of emergency, and appoints assistants to administer care.

5. Supervises evacuation of sick and injured.

6. Reports hospitalization needs of the injured to Chief Safety Officer.

7. Directs all life safety, evacuation, fire, and building safety operations.

8. Conducts search and rescue operations.

9. Investigates all accidents, injuries, or deaths related to the emergency and maintains accurate chronological records, including confidential lists of injuries and fatalities. Reports this information to the Personnel Manager.

10. Coordinates with Public Affairs Officer to facilitate outside communications with or concerning staff or volunteers.

11. Coordinates with the Red Cross.

12. Ensures collection or purchase of drinking water when disaster warning is issued in advance of flooding, hurricane, etc.

13. Establishes and manages food and shelter stations, including rest room facilities.

14. Arranges food and beverages for refreshment breaks using caterer or food service, stockpiled food, etc.

(Above, Figure 1. Organization for a Small-to-Medium Scale Disaster Recovery Operation)


(Above, Figure 2. Organization for a Major Disaster Recovery Operation)




















Appendix A1: Disaster Team

Show the names, disaster responsibilities, phone numbers (office, home, cell phone, beeper), and home address of each team member. Include backups for each position. In a large repository, or one that is subject to major natural disasters (earthquake, floods, hurricane, tornado, wildfire, etc.), you should have three to five people identified for each position–a primary assignment and two to four alternates.

To the extent possible, develop plans so that staff members’ disaster responsibilities are closely related to their regular jobs. For example, the Procurement Officer would be a member of the purchasing department, and the Personnel Manager on the disaster team would be the organization’s personnel officer.

This list provides a quick reference of names and phone numbers for each member of the disaster team. If telephones are not working, use alternate methods outlined in the Communication Plan (Appendix F). Home addresses are included in the full staff list in Appendix A3.

Function Name Work Phone Home Phone Cell/Beeper

Chief Administrator__________________________________________________________________________________________

Assistant Director___________________________________________________________________________________________

Operations Manager_________________________________________________________________________________________



Recovery Coordinator_______________________________________________________________________________________



Chief Safety Officer_________________________________________________________________________________________



Data Processing Manager _____________________________________________________________________________________



Financial Manager____________________________________________________________________________________________



Collections Managers ________________________________________________________________________________________

[Specify area or collection over which each has responsibility.]











Unit Heads

Facilities Manager____________________________________________________________________________________________



Health and Safety Officer _____________________________________________________________________________________



Personnel Manager____________________________________________________________________________________________



Photographer ____________________________________________________________________________________________



Preservation Specialist_______________________________________________________________________________________



Procurement Officer_________________________________________________________________________________________



Public Affairs Officer________________________________________________________________________________________









Salvage Coordinator_________________________________________________________________________________________



Security Head_______________________________________________________________________________________________



Work Crews____________________________________________________________________________________________











Team Member Responsibilities

[Use the template information in “Background Information on Appendix A1: Disaster Team” as the basis for writing your own descriptions of disaster team members’ jobs. Insert each position and its job description in this section.]



Appendix A2: Supplemental Personnel

If a disaster occurs that exceeds staff resources, supplemental personnel may be needed. This appendix lists possible sources of assistance.

The ____________________ [specify position(s) such as Operations Manager, Recovery Coordinator, Personnel Manager, or other] will determine whether volunteers or temporary staff are needed, how many are required, and qualifications or skills required for the tasks.


[Many Navy installations may not be allowed to use volunteers. Check with the local Judge Advocate General’s office to determine whether you can use volunteers or what restrictions may apply. On a base, family and friends are the most likely volunteers. Others in the community may also wish to assist.]

1. The ____________________ [specify Personnel Manager or other responsible position] will initiate contacts with service organizations, civic groups, and other volunteer resources.

2. The following have been identified as possible sources that might provide volunteers to assist with recovery operations: [In establishing contacts, consider organizations such as veterans groups, Elks, Kiwanis Club, Knights of Columbus, Rotary Club, Boy/Girl Scouts, ROTC units, labor organizations, etc. For each organization, use the following template.]

Organization: Contact Person: Back-up Contact: Notes: 

3. If volunteers arrive on the scene without being solicited and the disaster team is not prepared to use their services:

• Decline their assistance, at least for now.

• Take their names and phone numbers.

• Advise them that they will be contacted if/when assistance is needed.

4. If volunteers arrive on the scene following a solicitation, ____________________ [specify responsible position such as Volunteer Coordinator] will register them.

• Take the person’s name and phone number.

• Interview them to determine their suitability for recovery tasks: experience and knowledge, physical abilities and limitations, hours of availability, etc.

• Have each person complete a medical/emergency information form. [Place a copy of the form in Appendix L, Forms.]

[Depending on the advice of your insurance carrier or legal adviser, you may also wish to have volunteers sign a waiver of liability.]

5. ____________________ [specify position such as Personnel Manager or Volunteer Coordinator] will establish and maintain a system for keeping track of time worked by each volunteer.

6. ____________________ [specify position such as Personnel Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, or Training Instructor] will provide necessary training to volunteers before they begin work.

7. Supervision and Work Conditions. Volunteers will receive direct and continuous supervision.

• Volunteers will be assigned to a staff member who will be responsible for his/her team of volunteers, oversee their work in the recovery operation, and ensure their safety and welfare (including the provision of protective gear, refreshments and meals, and rest periods).

• No staff member will be assigned more than 6 volunteers.

• Volunteers, like other workers, should be given regular breaks, rest periods, and (if appropriate) meals.

8. Acknowledgment.

• During the recovery operation, senior staff members will circulate among the volunteers, recognize their assistance, and express appreciation.

• Once the recovery operation is over, the ____________________ [specify a position such as the Chief Administrator or Director] will send letters of appreciation to volunteers.

Temporary Services

1. The ____________________ [name position such as the Personnel Manager] will initiate contacts with temporary agencies if auxiliary workers are needed.

2. The following sources may be contacted regarding temporary workers: [In establishing contacts, consider organizations like Kelly Professional Services, Manpower, etc. If your organization has existing agreements, list them here and (if applicable) indicate purchase order numbers or other authorizations in the “Notes” section of each entry. The organization may also have an employment pool that can provide assistance with manual or low-skilled work. Replicate this template for the organizations you identify.]


Contact Person:

Back-up Contact:




Appendix A3: Staff List

Insert here a full list of your staff. For each person, provide:

• name

• position

• work phone number

• home address

• home telephone, cell phone, beeper/pager

At a minimum, arrange the entire list alphabetically. In large organizations, it may be useful also to create a staff list organized by department or other unit.

It may also be useful for you to highlight the names of staff members who live on the base or nearby, since they would be available for quick response to a disaster.



Background Information for Appendix B1: Disaster Supply Stockpile

Ordinary disasters plague most libraries and archives on a regular basis. The roof leaks. An air-conditioning system component malfunctions, sending water onto materials below. Pipes leak and drains back up. A few books or records get wet due to users’ carelessness. Most routine emergencies are water-related, but mold outbreaks also are a constant threat in many collections.

Quick response can make the difference between a minor annoyance and a costly event. The faster the problem is corrected and materials are stabilized, the less damaged they will be. Having a disaster stockpile on hand can be a great help, so that staff members can begin immediately responding rather than spending valuable time gathering supplies from various locations in the organization or in local stores.

The “Disaster Supply Stockpile” appendix (Appendix B1) provides a template you can use to develop your supply stockpile and conduct periodic inventories. Most of the items are readily available from local hardware, grocery, and drug stores. A few more specialized ones may be purchased from suppliers listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers.

Scope and Purpose of the Supplies

As you begin to develop your disaster stockpile, one question is critical: For what disaster are you preparing? If you wish only to have supplies to deal with small-scale emergencies, you may need only to keep the basic supplies on hand, knowing that you can rely on local suppliers for supplementary ones. Institutions prone to major area-wide disasters (such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes) must plan for a greater level of self-sufficiency, because area suppliers may be affected and materials you need (e.g., plastic sheeting and plywood) may be subject to shortages and price-gouging. In those cases, it is generally a good idea for you to have a stockpile that will provide three to five days worth of recovery supplies. Between these two extremes is the risk of a large but localized disaster such as a fire. Fast action within the first three days is crucial to a successful recovery, and you should have a three-day supply of any specialized supplies that you cannot easily obtain locally.

Storing the Stockpile

You must decide where and how to store the supplies. Think about the vulnerabilities in your building. Avoid the areas that are most susceptible to leaks or flooding; this generally argues against storage in the basement or under the roof. Interior closets are often good candidates. Some institutions divide the stockpile, storing two or more identical kits in different areas of the building as a hedge against disaster. You might also place the kit on a wooden pallet to provide protection against minor flooding in the storage area.

Store the supplies in sealed, waterproof containers so that even if there is some water in the area, the kit will be intact. Several experts recommend storing supplies in 20- to 30-gallon plastic garbage cans; they can be transported easily to the site and have additional uses for debris removal and so on. A similar choice is a polyethylene drum, available from major plastic container suppliers. Some institutions put the supplies in milk crates, each shrink-wrapped in plastic and secured onto a dolly or hand truck. You might also use ProText’s ResCubes or ReactPak. Others use military-style foot lockers.

At least one institution uses a series of “crash carts”–modified custodial carts that contain the supplies and equipment needed for immediate response to a particular kind of emergency. The carts designed for response to water leaks contain squeegees, plastic sheeting, buckets and mops, sponges and paper towels, a wet/dry vacuum, portable generator, work lights, electrical cords, small tools, and personal protective equipment.

If you have a large stockpile, you may want to pack the containers by category, putting food and water in one kit, tools in another, mold treatment supplies in one, drying supplies in another, and so on. One organization uses duffle bags for this purpose, packing the relevant sections of the disaster plan and supplies needed for immediate response in the appropriate bag. Each bag is labelled by disaster job title, and all are stored in a secure but accessible location.

Be sure to keep a copy of your stockpile checklist in each in-house kit, showing the location of supplies and equipment kept elsewhere (e.g., mops, fans, dehumidifiers) and with instructions on how to get access to their storage locations. Also, be sure all members of the disaster team, or others who may have to respond to an emergency, are aware of the locations of the kits and know how to get into them.

Off-site Storage

You may decide not to include some bulky or expensive items in your stockpile, but to rely on other units of your organization for them. For example, you might rely upon the maintenance department for tools and construction materials, the housekeeping department for cleaning supplies, and so on. If you do so, be aware that those units might not be available at night, and that they might not willingly share their supplies with you in the event of a large-scale disaster. It is generally good to keep the most critical supplies in your own disaster kit.

If you decide to create a large stockpile to handle major disasters, you may store some of the more cumbersome equipment (generators, dehumidifiers, and so on) outside your building. In addition, you might keep a limited quantity of supplies in your building and back-up supplies elsewhere. Some public institutions use a city or county warehouse for this purpose. However, be sure you know how to get access to these facilities, and be sure to inventory the off-site supplies regularly.


Inventory the supplies on a regular basis to determine that all materials are present and in good condition. This should be done at least quarterly, but monthly is preferable. If you seal the supply kits, you will be able to tell at a glance whether anyone has used them. You might secure the containers with nylon cord and seal the ends by melting the ends of the nylon cord. ProText provides self-locking tamper-evident nylon ties for use with ResCubes. Other organizations use shrink-wrap to provide quick indication that the kit has been opened.

Even assuming the contents are intact, though, some materials need to be replaced periodically. For example, batteries, film, and duct tape have a limited shelf life. So you need to establish a schedule for inspecting and replacing them.

Appendix B1: Disaster Supply Stockpile

To ensure fast and effective response to collection-threatening emergencies, the repository maintains a stockpile of disaster recovery supplies. This appendix lists those supplies and their storage locations.

[Include the following paragraph if some of your supplies are kept outside the building — for example, in a central warehouse or supply depot.]

The location designation _______________ [insert abbreviation or code you plan to use] refers to the facility located at ____________________ [insert exact street address, floor, etc.]. To get access to this facility, contact ____________________ [name individual(s) who authorize and provide keys or access to the location, including office and after-hours phone numbers]. If s/he is unavailable, contact in the following order:

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

If you maintain supplies in multiple buildings, you may wish to subdivide the supply list below by storage location.

You may wish to add other prefatory information to this list. For example, note that when the kits need to be replenished, companies in the Suppliers and Service Providers appendix (B2) can be contacted. You may also note here (as in the Prevention/Protection Plan) the frequency of inventories and who is responsible for conducting them.

In the list below, supplies have been distinguished by typeface:

• Boldface type indicates the basic items that are essential in the event of a relatively small emergency (3 file drawers or 50 volumes) that includes bound materials, paper documents, and photographic materials (including microfilm).

• Italic type indicates items that are generally needed only in a large-scale emergency where site repairs are required, outside services are not readily available, and the organization must have a relatively high level of self-sufficiency.

• Normal type indicates items in the middle range–probably useful but not essential in a small-to-medium sized disaster recovery, but essential in a large-scale disaster.

Amounts in the “Quantity Needed” column represent the minimum needed to salvage materials in a routine water emergency (e.g., about 3 file drawers or 50 volumes of damaged materials) when utilities are not disrupted. As part of your planning, determine the scale and types of disasters for which you need to prepare, and increase the quantities accordingly. Depending on the type of situations you anticipate, some of these supplies may not be needed.

“Background Information for Appendix B2: Suppliers and Service Providers” explains how these supplies are used. It also provides some recommendations about appropriate composition, types, and sizes.


Section 1. Operational Supplies





Quantity Needed Quantity Present Date Checked
book trucks and hand carts or dollies    





camera with flash(Polaroid, disposable 35mm, or VCR) & film


100 exposures










extension cords, 50-foot, grounded






flashlights, batteries, and replacement bulbs


1 per dept.




garbage bags


1 box



generator, portable        
ground fault circuit interrupters    







labels, adhesive








light sticks, chemical








lights, shop, & bulbs








markers, waterproof






note pads






paper towels or Handiwipes


1 carton




pens & pencils






plastic sheeting


6 rolls




















tape, duct


2 rolls




tape, filament








tape dispenser, heavy-duty






tape, masking


2 rolls




utility knives, extra blades








walkie-talkies, cell phones, etc. and batteries








Section 2. Supplies for People





Quantity Needed Quantity Present Date Checked
aprons, plastic disposable    















boots, rubber








boots, safety-toe








cots, folding








first aid kits






food, snacks, and non-perishable meals








gloves, latex or rubber


3 per person




goggles, liquid-tight








goggles, safety








hard hats






hard hat, electrically protective








identification badges
















plastic plates, cups, and utensils








protective clothing (e.g., rubber aprons, Tyvek coveralls)
















toilet, portable








water, drinking


1 gal. per person per day






















































Section 3. Salvage Supplies





Quantity Needed Quantity Present Date Checked







blotter paper, white


50 sheets




book press






boxes, cardboard








boxes, polyethylene (e.g., ResCubes)






bread trays, plastic








buckets (for rinsing)








clothesline (nylon or 30-lb. monofilament)


100 feet




clothespins, plastic


















film cleaning solutions








freezer bags, 1-gal.






freezer paper or waxed paper







garbage cans, plastic, 5-gal.        
garbage cans, plastic,

30- to 50-gal.








garden hoses (_”) and spray nozzles







interleaving paper (paper towels or uninked newsprint)    







milk crates






moisture meter








Mylar sheets, 3-mil, 12″´ 15″








photo trays or shallow dish pans (for rinsing)
















tables, 6-ft., folding








temperature/humidity monitors and batteries




















Section 4. Site Clean-Up and Rehabilitation





Quantity Needed Quantity Present Date Checked  















brooms with squeegees








cleaning products








crow bar
































ground fault circuit interrupter(s)






















hand saw
















lumber, 2″x4″ and other














mop buckets






nails, misc. sizes








pliers, various types








plywood, assorted sizes








safety goggles








saw horses








screwdrivers, manual & cordless, with Phillips and standard tips








sponges, cleaning






sponges, natural latex (for smoke/soot removal)








sprinkler(s), lawn








staple gun and assorted sizes of staples








tape measure








tape, electrical








wet/dry vacuums








wrenches, various types








work gloves, heavy-duty


















Background Information for Appendix B2: Suppliers and Service Providers

A key part of disaster preparedness is the identification of emergency contacts, service providers, suppliers, and other resources you may need to use in disaster recovery. It is best to make these contacts before you are required to deal with a disaster, when you can calmly evaluate the suitability of a particular service or product and establish an understanding with key personnel.

Several published lists identify companies that provide services, supplies, and equipment that are likely to be useful to cultural institutions in a disaster. Some can be identified through the Yellow Pages of the telephone book. As you contact each firm, address the following points:

    • Availability: Explain what kinds of resources you might need and find out what services, equipment, and/or supplies are available and at what price. Will it be possible for you to contact the provider and gain access to the resource outside normal business hours? How much delay should you anticipate in delivery of materials or provision of services?


    • Payment Terms: In the event of a disaster, your normal procurement procedures may not be in operation. Will the provider accept a standing purchase order, extend credit, or make some other arrangement so that you can quickly have access to the resources after-hours (at night, on holidays or weekends) or in an emergency situation?


    • Contacts: Let the supplier know which of your personnel are authorized to call for help. In addition, get the names of a primary contact and a back-up (in case your primary contact is unavailable) at the company. If possible, get phone numbers you can use to contact staff outside normal business hours.


It is generally prudent to have multiple providers of each service, supply, or equipment type. In a large-scale disaster, even if area vendors are available, your needs may exceed a single company’s available stock. That was the case when one large urban library suffered a fire and the staff discovered there were not enough cardboard boxes in the whole city to meet their needs.

The need for multiple providers is even greater for institutions that are prone to area-wide natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. To prepare for those, be sure to have some suppliers outside your geographic area. Your local suppliers may be able to recommend affiliates or colleagues outside the immediate area.

Geographic proximity may be irrelevant when identifying qualified recovery and restoration services, particularly for the more technical services such as vacuum freeze-drying, on-site dehumidification, or video restoration. A few national companies have developed an understanding of the needs of library and archival materials and have developed sophisticated services to address those needs. Many have mobile equipment and teams that can be on-site within a matter of a few hours, and others have developed ways to facilitate shipment of damaged materials.

It is important that the providers understand and support your needs, so the contacts should be renewed at least annually, but semi-annually is preferable. This provides an opportunity for you to learn of new resources that may have become available and to update the contact information for your institution and the supplier.

A few major disaster recovery firms allow organizations to have a profile on hand. That is, you provide information on your building, power sources, mechanical systems, authorization procedures, and so on. Then, if you call to request assistance, the firm already has basic information and can more quickly initiate an appropriate response.


This section lists the types of supplies that might be needed in a disaster, and provides some information about the types needed and (in some cases) the types of suppliers from which they can be acquired. The information is supplemented by the section below, “National Suppliers and Service Providers.”

Alcohol: Used to remove mold from covers of books, but does not kill mold. Denatured and isopropyl alcohol are least toxic and most readily available. Be aware that alcohol will dissolve some dyes and may affect pyroxylin-coated book cloth (library buckram). It should not be used on rare, special, or artifactually valuable materials. Large quantities can be purchased from chemical or janitorial suppliers.

Art supply stores: Source of blotter paper and some other specialized supplies.

Beepers: May be used to contact staff when regular phone service is disrupted, especially in area-wide disasters.

Bleach: May be used in 10% solution with water to serve as a disinfectant. Never use on collection materials, and be sure to ventilate the area.

Book press: Used for pressing dry or nearly-dry bound volumes and papers to reduce cockling and distortion of pages. Available from conservation suppliers and some art supply stores.

Boots, rubber: Worn by workers in wet areas.

Boots, steel-toed, steel-shanked, etc.: Worn by workers in unstable or hazardous construction areas, especially when there is broken glass or when lifting or moving objects heavy enough to cause injury to toes or feet if dropped. An alternative is to purchase over-the-shoe type foot guards (one size fits all) and issue them as needed.

Boxes — see “Containers”

Bread trays: Used for stacking manuscripts, maps, oversized documents, works of art on paper, and other loose documents for transport and air-drying. Can sometimes be borrowed from bakeries.

Buckets — see “Housewares”

Building materials and tools: Wide variety of materials may be necessary for stabilizing or repairing shelves, windows, and building structures. Most are available from hardware stores.

Camera — see “Photographic supplies”

Chemical light sticks — see “Light sticks, chemical”

Chemical sponges — see “Sponges, chemical”

Cleaning products and supplies — see “Housewares”

Clothesline — see “Hardware” and “Housewares.” Used for air-drying pamphlets, photographs, other light-weight materials. Thirty-pound monofilament (fishing line) works well; it can be hung in 6-foot lengths ½-inch to 1 inch apart.

Clothespins — see “Housewares.” Use only plastic ones, as wooden clothespins may stain paper.

Clothing, protective — see “Safety supplies” and “Hardware.” Provided to ensure worker safety during salvage operations. May include dust masks, work gloves, rubber/latex gloves, hard hats, rubber aprons, rubber boots, “Tyvek” coveralls.

Containers, cardboard: Used for packing collection materials. Cardboard boxes should be 200-lb. test and stocked primarily in two sizes: 1 cubic foot (12″ x 15″ x 10″) and 1.5 cubic foot (12″ x 18″ x 12″). In addition, keep some large, shallow boxes for packing maps and other oversized paper documents. Can be purchased from moving companies, but prices are generally lower from box suppliers (check the Yellow Pages).

Containers, plastic (e.g., ResCubes): Used for packing collection materials.

Containers, milk crates: Used for packing collection materials. Collapsible milk crates are generally preferable, since they require less storage space than fixed crates.

Dehumidifiers, industrial: Used for reducing humidity in buildings, particularly when normal air-conditioning is unavailable. Check Yellow Pages for “Dehumidifying Equipment.”

Dehumidifiers, portable — see “Housewares.” Used to reduce humidity in small, enclosed spaces to facilitate drying.

Dish pans — see “Housewares.” Used for rinsing photographic materials, computer diskettes, and other small items.

Disinfectant — see “Drug stores” and “Housewares.” Used to clean shelves and other surfaces, especially following water damage. Proprietary cleaners such as Lysol are available. A more economical option is bleach used in a 10% solution with water.

Drug stores: Source of several general-purpose supplies, alcohol, first aid materials, safety supplies, etc. Companies like Big B, CVS, Drug Emporium, Eckerd, Revco, and RiteAid.

Dry ice: May be used to keep materials cool during transport or while awaiting transport. Available from chemical suppliers. Handle carefully, and never with bare hands, as it can cause injury to unprotected skin.

Dumpsters: May be necessary if large quantities of building materials or other debris must be removed from building.

Electronics stores: Source of cellular phones, pagers/beepers, radios, walkie-talkies. Companies like Circuit City and Radio Shack.

Extension cords — see “Hardware”

Fans, industrial: Used to increase air circulation, particularly in spaces where collections are being dried, as air movement increases evaporation and reduces the risk of mold.

Film cleaning solutions — see “Photographic supplies.” May be used when salvaging modern prints and negatives. However, it is generally best to have photographic materials treated by a conservator.

First aid supplies — see “Drug stores” and “Safety supplies”

Flashlights — see “Hardware”

Fork lift: May be needed to move materials stacked on pallets. A manually operated, hydraulic “pallet jack” may be used instead.

Freezer bags — see “Housewares”

Fungicide: Used to treat mold-infested materials and spaces.

Garbage bags — see “Housewares.” “Ziploc”-type bags have several uses. Moldy materials can be enclosed in them to prevent spores from spreading. Small quantities of film materials may be stored in them with clean water while awaiting salvage.

Garbage cans, plastic — see “Housewares.” Used for cleaning or rinsing dirty materials, for storing and transporting materials and supplies, and hauling debris. Small, 5-gallon cans can be filled with clean, cold water to keep various film and magnetic media wet until they can be processed professionally. It is helpful if these have tight-fitting lids.

Generator, portable — see “Hardware.” May be used to provide temporary, low-level electricity.

Generator, heavy-duty: Provides power adequate to operate air-conditioning systems and provide increased electricity.

Gloves, rubber or latex — see “Drug stores” and “Housewares”

Gloves, work — see “Hardware.” Used for protection during construction and heavy lifting.

Goggles, safety — see “Hardware” or “Safety supplies.” Some liquid-tight goggles should be available when working in wet areas or when working with chemicals.

Ground fault circuit interrupter — see “Hardware.” Must be used with any hand-held tools or equipment to protect personnel from electrocution when working outdoors, below ground level (e.g., in a basement), or in wet or damp conditions. See OSHA 29 CFR 1910.

Hand trucks, dollies: Used for transporting materials within the site.

Hard hat — see “Hardware” and “Safety supplies.” Useful in areas where structural damage has occurred or where overhead work is being done.

Hard hat, electrically protective — see “Hardware” and “Safety supplies.” Useful when working in areas where there may be loose or hanging electrical wires.

Hardware: Source of building materials, generators, tools, garden hoses, etc. Companies like Ace Hardware, Builders Square, Hechingers, and Home Depot.

Hoses, garden, and nozzles — see “Hardware” and “Housewares.” Used for cleaning dirt/mud from material, and may have applications in site clean-up. A _” hose is good for most purposes.

Housewares: Source of general-purpose supplies such as cleaning products and supplies, clothesline and clothespins, freezer paper and waxed paper, garbage bags and cans, garden hoses, paper towels, rubber gloves. Companies like KMart and WalMart, as well as some grocery stores.

Humidity/temperature monitors (e.g., hygrometer, hygrothermometer, hygrothermograph, psychrometer): Monitors temperature and humidity levels, to ensure that they are sufficiently low. Hygrothermographs provide a constant recording of temperature and relative humidity over time. Psychrometers, hygrometers, and hygrothermometers are less expensive, but only tell the temperature and humidity at the time a person takes a reading.

Labels, adhesive — see “Office supplies.” May be used for labelling boxes and other general purposes.

Ladders — see “Hardware.” May be necessary for various operations and construction/repair. Be sure you have one ladder that will reach the roof.

Light sticks, chemical: Plastic tubes containing nonflammable and non-toxic chemicals that provide temporary, low-level light when the tubes are bent or shaken. Will emit light for 30 minutes to 12 hours, depending on the type. Long-lasting, low-intensity light sticks are useful for marking pathways and identifying obstacles in dark recovery sites. They have a shelf life of about four years. Often available in camping supply stores like REI.

Lighting, portable: Provides lighting for work crews when normal power and lights are unavailable. Shop lights (see “Hardware”) may be suitable.

Lumber — see “Hardware.” May be used for temporary or long-term repairs. 2″ x 4″ boards combined with plywood are good for most purposes.

Masks, dust — see “Hardware” and “Safety supplies”

Milk crates: Used for packing collection materials for freezing or transport to drying service. May be purchased (see “Housewares” and “Office supplies”) or sometimes borrowed from dairy providers or grocery stores.

Moisture meter: Measures the humidity inside an object. Different types are available, including some that are electronic psychrometers with a special sensing probe. Flat or “sword” probes may be inserted between pages of a volume or papers in a file, then the device provides a read-out of the humidity. The devices are helpful in monitoring progress during drying, especially air-drying.

Monofilament — see “Clothesline”

Mylar: Individual sheets may be used to separate wet paper documents. Available from conservation suppliers and some art supply stores.

Nails and screws — see “Hardware.” May be used for temporary or long-term repairs. Purchase a variety of types and sizes.

Newsprint, uninked: Used for interleaving wet materials to increase evaporation. Roll ends may also be available from local newspapers for a minimal charge.

Office supplies: Various materials (clip boards, note pads, markers, labels, scissors, utility knives, etc.) that may be needed for recovery operations. Companies like Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples.

Pagers — see “Electronics stores.” Used for communication, particularly when telephone service is disrupted.

Pallets, wooden: Packed boxes may be stacked on pallets to facilitate transport.

Paper, blotter — see “Art supplies.” Used in drying loose paper materials. White blotter paper is preferred.

Paper, freezer or waxed — see “Housewares.” Used to separate individual volumes prior to freezing.

Paper towels — see “Housewares.” Used for general cleaning and other purposes (HandiWipes also work). May also be used to interleave bound volumes during air-drying.

Phones, cellular — see “Electronics stores.” Used for communication, particularly when telephone service is disrupted.

Photo processing trays — see “Photographic supplies.” Used for rinsing photographic materials, computer diskettes, and other small items; shallow dish pans serve the same purpose.

Photographic supplies and processing: Source of film and processing services that may be needed to document damage and recovery activities

Plastic (polyethylene) sheeting — see “Hardware.” Used for a variety of purposes: to protect shelves, cabinets, furniture, and equipment from continuing threat of water; as temporary window covering; etc. 6-mil polyethylene is stronger, but 4-mil (the minimum acceptable weight) is less expensive. Should generally be purchased in 100-foot rolls. Use clear plastic, not black, so you can see through it.

Plywood — see “Hardware.” May be used for boarding up windows and temporary or long-term repairs. Plastic-covered plywood may be used to transport oversized prints, drawings, maps, etc.

Polyester, spun (e.g., Hollytex, Pellon, and Reemay): Used for interleaving materials printed on coated paper (e.g., yearbooks, many art books) to prevent pages from sticking together. Also used to transport single sheets of paper. Available from local sewing and fabric stores, as well as conservation suppliers.

Radio — see “Electronics.” Portable radio with AM and weather band reception is useful for monitoring weather conditions.

Recorder, voice-activated microcassette — see “Electronics store.” May be used to supplement photographic and written documentation of a disaster.

Respirators — see “Safety Supplies.” Used when mold or other biological contaminants are present. The Navy requires all personnel who will use a respirator to be fit-tested and trained. OPNAVINST 5100.23D does not allow the use of common dust masks.

Rope — see “Hardware” and “Housewares.” May be used for several purposes, including marking off-limits areas of the building. About 500 feet of ¼” nylon rope is appropriate.

Safety supplies: Source of personal safety supplies such as protective clothing, first aid kits, hard hats, etc. Local ones may be identified in the telephone book Yellow Pages under headings like “Laboratory Equipment & Supplies” and “Safety Equipment & Clothing.”

Saw horses — see “Hardware.” May be needed in construction, and can be used with plywood boards to serve as temporary tables.

Shovel — see “Hardware.” Used for clean-up and debris removal.

Sponges, natural latex — Used for removing dirt and soot from collection materials, especially for edges of bound volumes. Use 100% pure latex sponges, which contain no chemicals or residues.

Sprinklers, lawn — see “Hardware.” Used for soaking roof and vegetation when wildfire threatens.

Squeegee broom — see “Hardware.” May be used for removing water from floors.

Staple gun — see “Hardware.” Also keep extra staples of various sizes.

Sump pump: Used to remove standing water.

Tables, folding: May be needed for temporary work space or for air-drying operations. Size of 6′ x 30″ is recommended. May be borrowed from armories, churches, civic organizations, schools, etc. Temporary tables can be set up using board and saw horses.

Tape — see “Office supplies.” May need duct tape (particularly if surfaces are wet), filament tape, tape dispensers, etc. for sealing boxes, affixing plastic sheeting over cabinets and shelves, and various other uses.

Tools — see “Hardware.” Various tools may be needed for site clean-up and construction or repair work, including crowbar, drill, hacksaw, hammers, hand saw, pliers, screwdrivers (manual and cordless), wrenches, etc.

Utility knives — see “Hardware” and “Office supplies.” General uses such as cutting tape.

Walkie-talkies — see “Electronics stores.” Used for communication, particularly when telephone service is disrupted.

Weights: Used to flatten materials in final stages of air-drying. Sheets of glass or metal, plywood, and bricks wrapped in paper or bookcloth are all suitable. Wrapped bricks can also be used to prop up bound volumes during air-drying.

Wet-dry vacuum: Used to remove small quantities of standing water.


This section lists the types of services that might be needed in a disaster. The information is supplemented by the section below, “National Suppliers and Service Providers.”

Architect: May assist with building rehabilitation.

Carpenter: May assist with building rehabilitation.

Chemist: Provides expert advice in case of biological contamination, and may advise in case of mold outbreak.

Conservator: Provides advice on stabilization and salvage; performs conservation treatments on affected items. Conservators typically provide advice and treatment on only a specific format of materials, and the following specialties may be needed, depending on the institution’s holdings:

· art works, paintings

· books and paper

· ceramics

· electronic media

· furniture

· maritime vessels

· metals

· photographic materials

· sculpture, indoor and outdoor

· textiles

If the building itself is an historic artifact, one or more historic preservation specialists should be on the list of resources.

Contractor, building: May assist with building rehabilitation.

Contractor, heating/air-conditioning system: May assist with building rehabilitation.

Data processing hot- or cold site: May be needed in the event that critical data processing functions cannot be carried out in the affected building.

Data processing specialist: Provides consultation on data processing functions, including restoration of equipment, recovery of software and data files.

Data recovery service: Performs restoration of data on magnetic or optical media.

Dehumidification service: Several national companies and some local ones provide portable dehumidification equipment that can dry out buildings, furnishings, and collections on-site.

Electrician: May assist with building rehabilitation.

Engineer, structural: May assist with building rehabilitation.

Exterminator: Treats insect- or rodent-affected sites.

Fire alarm system: Maintains detectors, alarms, systems.

Fire restoration: Companies that provide smoke odor removal for buildings and furnishings. A few also deodorize and clean affected materials in the collection. Some will trim soot-damaged books and arrange for rebinding.

Fire sprinkler system service company: Provides maintenance and tests, and may be needed in case of an accidental discharge.

Freeze-drying service: May provide vacuum (thermal) drying or vacuum freeze-drying of collections. It is important to know which method each vendor uses. Several national companies provide this service, using portable equipment and mobile salvage teams.

Freezer space: May be used for temporary storage of collections while awaiting further decisions and action. Freezing will ward off the risk of mold and prevent further swelling and distortion of paper-based materials.

For best results, use a commercial blast freezer, one that freezes materials at -10°F or lower. Commercial freezers are listed in the International Directory of Public Refrigerated Warehouses (Bethesda, MD: International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses), available from the association at 7315 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1200 North, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-652-5674, for $150). Also check the Yellow Pages under “Warehouses–Cold Storage.”

If there is a cafeteria or restaurant on the premises, it may have a walk-in freezer you could use for small-to-medium quantities.

As you contact companies, be aware that health regulations may restrict the storage of library and archival materials with certain foodstuffs.

The Wei T’oÔ freezer is an in-house blast freezer that can freeze and dry materials within a month. It has the capacity to freeze and dry a few hundred books at a time. The freezer must be specially ordered 3-4 months in advance and is quite expensive, so it is not an option for most situations. It may be useful as part of the preparedness program in repositories that experience frequent, small-scale water emergencies.

In a pinch, you can use a home freezer. Self-defrosting freezers work best, and the temperature should be below 15°F.

Fumigation service: Treats mold-infested materials, furnishings, etc.

Glazier: Assists with repair or replacement of windows.

Health department: Assists with clean-up in case of a toxic, biological, chemical, or other contaminant-related disaster, and may provide other useful information.

Heating/ventilation/air-conditioning engineer: May assist with building rehabilitation.

Historic preservation specialist: May provide advice regarding repairs and rehabilitation for historic buildings.

Insurance Commissioner, State: May be consulted if problems develop with the insurance company.

Janitorial service: May assist with building clean-up.

Lawyer: May be needed in case of disputes with various contractors, and advises on liability issues related to use of staff and volunteers in salvage effort.

Locksmith: May assist with building rehabilitation or provide entry in case keys are unavailable.

Magnetic media restoration: Recovers and duplicates magnetic media including computer tapes, audio cassettes, videotapes, etc.

Microform restoration: Cleans and duplicates microform materials.

Moving/relocation service: May be needed if operations must be moved to another location.

Mycologist: Assists in identifying source of mold outbreak and may assist in recommending treatments and evaluating fumigation services.

Plumber: May assist with building rehabilitation.

Preservation specialist: Provides wide variety of information and consultation on all elements of disaster operations.

Roofer: May assist with building rehabilitation.

Security/guard service: May be needed if supplemental security is needed, particularly in cases where doors, windows, and security systems are damaged.

Smoke/soot removal — see “Fire restoration”

Space, drying: Off-site area in which drying operations can be carried out.

Space, office/storage: Off-site space in which routine office functions can be carried out or in which unaffected materials can be housed if the building is unsuitable.

Tent rental: May provide off-site space in which drying or other operations can be carried out if the building is significantly damaged.

Trailer (mobile home) rental: May provide off-site space in which drying or other operations can be carried out if the building is significantly damaged.

Trucking service: Provides transportation of materials to off-site storage space, freezer facilities, restoration services, etc.

Trucking service, refrigerated: Provides transportation of materials to off-site storage space, freezer facilities, restoration services, etc. Used when mold is a risk and warrants refrigeration, or when previously frozen materials are transported.

Videotape restoration: Cleans, stabilizes, and duplicates damaged videotape materials.

National Suppliers and Service Providers

The following list includes companies that provide specialized services and information that may be useful in carrying out disaster recovery activities. Each entry includes the company’s name, mailing address, and phone number. Where available, e-mail addresses and Web sites are also provided. To the right is a brief indication of the services or products available through each company.

Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement, nor does the omission of any supplier indicate censure. Since most of the firms included on this list have been involved in disaster recovery operations in libraries, archives, and/or records offices, they are likely to be sensitive to the special requirements of these collections.

Traditional library and archival suppliers carry many basic disaster recovery supplies such as Mylar, blotting paper, and so on. Request catalogs from companies such as Gaylord (800-448-6160), Light Impressions (800-828-6216 or 716-271-8960), and University Products, Inc. (800-628-1912 or 413-532-4277).

Many other local resources can be identified through the Yellow Pages. Look under headings such as: dehumidifying equipment, which also includes firms that provide dehumidification services on-site and/or at their plants; fire and water damage restorationjanitor service for assistance with basic clean-up; pest control services, which will include fumigation as well as extermination; smoke odor counteracting service for firms that specialize in cleaning and deodorizing; and water damage restoration. Local companies are likely to be less aware of current research and preferences associated with disaster recovery in libraries, archives, and records offices, so the buyer must carefully evaluate them.

Before including any organization in the disaster plan, be sure to contact the company to verify that the information is correct, identify a contact person, and gather cost estimates and ascertain other specific terms.

Abbeon Cal, Inc. scientific and monitoring equipment

123 Gray Ave.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

(805) 966-0810

Aggreko industrial-capacity portable generators

4607 West Admiral Doyle Dr.

New Iberia, LA 70560

(318) 365-5479

Aggreko also has regional offices and depots in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Columbia (SC), Corpus Christi (TX), Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville (FL), Mobile (AL), and Orlando. Call for information.

Aldrich Chemical Co. masks

P.O. Box 2060

Milwaukee, WI 53201

(800) 558-9160

American Freeze-Dry, Inc. freeze-drying, trucks, fumigation deodorization, cleaning

411 White Horse Pike ,

Audubon, NJ 08106 (609) 546-0777

American Institute for Conservation referral to conservators

1717 K St., N.W.

Suite 301 Washington, DC 20006

(202) 452-9545

Benda Products natural latex sponges

35 North St., P. O. Box 106

Canton, MA 02021

(800) 343-7783

(617) 828-7505

Blackmon-Mooring-Steamatic Catastrophe, Inc. (BMS-CAT) comprehensive recovery services

303 Arthur St.

Fort Worth, TX 76107

(800) 940-2267

24-hour hotline: (800) 433-2940

Fax: (817) 332-2770

BMS CAT also has regional offices in Atlanta (770-409-9669), Chicago (708-396-0217), and Springfield, Va. (703-866-2037)

Chicora Foundation fire safety training, pest control assistance

P. O. Box 8664

Columbia, SC 29202

(803) 787-6910

Cole-Parmer Instrument Co. chemical light sticks, scientific sticks, scientific equipment

7425 North Oak Park Ave.

Chicago, IL 60648

(800) 323-4340

(708) 647-7600

Fax: (708) 647-9660

Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts information, referrals, conservation treatment

264 S. 23rd St.

Philadelphia, PA 19103

(215) 545-0613


Conservation Materials, Ltd. scientific &

P. O. Box 2884 monitoring equipment,

Sparks, NV 89432 conservation supplies

(702) 331-0582

Datasonic water-sensing alarm

225 East Second St.

Mineola, NY 11501

(516) 248-7330

Paul Davis Systems cleaning & deodorizing fire-damaged materials

7170 Chagrin Rd.

Chagrin Falls, OH 44023

(216) 247-5122

Direct Safety Company water sensors

7815 S. 46th St.

Phoenix, AZ 85044

(800) 528-7405

Fax: (800) 760-2975

Disaster Recovery Services, Inc. comprehensive recovery services

414 Blue Smoke Court West

Fort Worth, TX 76105

(800) 856-3333

Fax: (817) 536-1167

Document Reprocessors recovery services

41 Sutter St.

Suite 1120

San Francisco, CA 94104

(800) 4-DRYING or (415) 362-1290


Document Reprocessors (East Coast office)

5611 Water St.

Middlesex, NY 14507

(800) 4-DRYING or (716) 554-4500

Dorlen Products water-sensing alarm

6615 West Layton Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53220

(414) 282-4840, (800) 533-6392

Fax: (414) 282-5670

Eastman Kodak Co. reprocessing of Kodak film

24-hour hotline:

(800) EKC-TEST (800-352-8378)

Enviro-Air Control Corp. refrigerated dehumidification equipment

1523 N. Post Oak Rd.

Houston, TX 77055

(800) 275-3449 or (713) 681-3449

Film Technology restoration of 16- and 35mm movie film

6900 Santa Monica Blvd.

Hollywood, CA 90038 (213) 464-3456

Fisher Scientific Co. scientific and monitoring equipment

50 Fadem Rd.

Springfield, NJ 07081

(201) 467-6400

Fuji Photo Film, USA, Inc. reprocessing of Fuji film

(800) 366-3854

Contact nearest Fuji office, and ask for technical specialist in Document Products office to arrange for salvage

Garrison/Lull Consultants architectural and environmental consulting

P.O. Box 337

Princeton Junction, NJ 08550

(609) 259-8050

Getty Conservation Institute information on salvaging art works

4503 Glencoe Ave.

Marina del Rey, CA 90292

(213) 822-2299

Graham Magnetics, Inc. salvage of computer media

4001 Airport Freeway, Ste. 400

Bedford, TX 76021

(817) 868-5000

International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses annual directory of freezer warehouses

7315 Wisconsin Ave.

Suite 1200 North

Bethesda, MD 20814

(301) 652-5674

Lab Safety Supply protective clothing, safety supplies, water sensors

P.O. Box 1368 Janesville, WI 53547

(800) 356-0783

Landmark Facilities Group architectural and environmental consulting

252 East Ave.

Norwalk, CT 06855

(203) 866-4626

Library Binding Institute referral to certified library binders

7401 Metro Blvd., Ste. 325

Edina, MN 55439

(612) 835-4707

Library of Congress information

National Preservation Program Office


Washington, DC 20540

(202) 707-1840


Light Impressions conservation supplies(especially photographic), monitoring equipment

439 Monroe Ave.

Rochester, NY 14607

(800) 828-6216 orders

(800) 828-9859 customer service

Loss Control Services information and consultation on fire safety

ATTN: John Morris

3333 Nutmeg Lane

Walnut Creek, CA 94598

(415) 933-3365

M. F. Bank Restoration Co. comprehensive recovery services

2875 N. Berkely Lake Rd.

Duluth, GA 30136

(800) 843-7284 outside Georgia

(770) 448-7250 in Georgia

M. F. Bank has other regional offices; contact the Georgia office or check your phone directory

Midwest Freeze-Dry, Ltd. vacuum drying, fumigation

7326 North Central Park

Skokie, IL 60076

(847) 679-4756

Munters Moisture Control Services vacuum drying, on-site dehumidification

16 Hunt Rd.

Amesbury, MA 01913

(508) 388-4900


Munters has regional offices throughout the country, including Atlanta (770-242-0935), Chicago (800-959-6808), and Minneapolis (800-959-9418); for a full list, contact the national headquarters (800-422-6379).

National Archives & Records

Administration Conservation Lab information

8601 Adelphi Rd., Room 1400

College Park, MD 20740-6001

(301) 713-6700


National Center for Film & Video Preservation information

American Film Institute

2021 North Western Ave.

P.O. Box 27999

Los Angeles, CA 90027

(213) 856-7637

National Fire Protection Assn. information on fire safety standards and practices

P.O. Box 9146

Batterymarch Park

Quincy, MA 02269

(800) 344-3555


National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property information

3299 K St., N.W., Suite 403

Washington, DC 20007

(202) 625-1495


National Media Laboratory information

P.O. Box 33015 on recorded

St. Paul, MN 55133-3015 sound and video

(612) 736-8147


National Trust for Historic Preservation information

1785 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 673-4000


Northeast Document Conservation Center

100 Brickstone Square information, referrals, conservation treatment

Andover, MA 01810

(978) 470-1010

Fax: (978) 475-6021

E-mail: nedcc@nedcc.org


Panametrics, Inc. scientific & monitoring equipment

221 Crescent St.

Waltham, MA 02154

(617) 899-2719

Pest Control Services, Inc. consultation on pest control and fumigation

Dr. Thomas Parker, President

14 East Stratford Ave.

Lansdowne, PA 19050

(610) 284-6249


ProText “Rescubes” and “ReactPaks”

3515 Leland St.

Bethesda, MD 20815

(301) 718-1659

Randomex, Inc. salvage of computer media

Data Recovery Division

1100 East Willow St.

Signal Hill, CA 90806

(310) 595-4138 or (800) RAN-DOMX

Raychem Corporation water-sensing cable

TraceTek Products Group

300 Constitution Dr.

Menlo Park, CA 94025

(415) 361-4602

Restoration Technologies, Inc. recovery of electronic equipment

1183 North Elsworth Ave.

Villa Park, IL 60181

(800) 421-9290

Retawmatic Corp. water detectors

Box 460, Grand Central Station

New York, NY 10017

Science Associates scientific and monitoring equipment

Qualimetric, Inc.

P.O. Box 230

Princeton, NJ 08542

(609) 924-4470, (800) 247-7234

Scientific Sales, Inc. scientific and monitoring equipment

P.O. Box 6725

Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

(800) 788-5666, (609) 844-0055

Fax: (609) 844-0466

Smithsonian Institution information on salvage of museum objects

Conservation Analytical Laboratory

Museum Support

4210 Silver Hill Rd.

Suitland, MD 20746

(301) 238-3700

SOLEX Environmental Systems, Inc. on-site dehumidification and other services

P.O. Box 460242

Houston, TX 77056

(800) 848-0484 or (713) 963-8600

SOLINET (Southeastern Library Network, Inc.) information and referrals

1438 W. Peachtree St., N.W., Suite 200

Atlanta, GA 30309-2955

(800) 999-8558 national WATS

(404) 892-0943 in Georgia

TALAS conservation supplies

213 W. 35 St.

New York, NY 10001-1996

(212) 219-0770

Fax: (212) 219-0735

Thomas Scientific scientific & monitoring equipment

P.O. Box 99

99 High Hill Rd.

Swedesboro, NJ 08085

(215) 988-0533, (800) 345-2100

University Products, Inc. conservation supplies, monitoring equipment

517 Main St.

P.O. Box 101

Holyoke, MA 01041-0101

(800) 628-1912, orders

(800) 762-1165, customer service

Unsmoke Systems, Inc. wide range of recovery services

1135 Braddock Ave.

Braddock, PA 15104

(800) 332-6037

VidiPax videotape restoration and consultation

920 Broadway, 16th Floor

New York, NY 10010

(800) 653-8434



VWR Scientific scientific & monitoring equipment

P.O. Box 232

Boston, MA 02101

Wei T’o Associates, Inc. freeze-dry machine

P.O. Drawer 40

21750 Main St., Unit 27

Matteson, IL 60443

(708) 747-6660

Fax: (708) 747-6639

WISPPR/WILS (Wisconsin Preservation Program) information and referrals

728 State St., Room 464

Madison, WI 53706-1494

(608) 263-2773

Fax: (608) 263-3684

Zephyr Manufacturing natural latex sponges

400 W. Second St.

P.O. Box 71

Sedalia, MO 65302-0071

(816) 597-9947

Fax: (816) 827-0713

Appendix B2: Suppliers and Service Providers

This appendix lists the sources of supplies and services that might be needed in a disaster. Section A describes the uses and sources of supplies. Section B describes specialized services and sources of information and referrals.

Remember to include multiple providers of the supplies (such as boxes and plastic) and services (such as freezer warehouses). If your organization is vulnerable to area-wide natural disasters, also include some sources outside your geographic area. If you keep some of these supplies in your in-house stockpile, note those locations.

In the “Notes” section of each entry, describe the products and services available, payment terms, and any special arrangements, unique features, limitations, or other conditions. You may also describe how and/or when the supply or service is used, drawing information from the “Background Information” section of this appendix.

The institutional resource list should be organized to reflect for each type of supply or service the following basic information:

Item (e.g., Cardboard Boxes, Freezer Space, etc.)





Date of Last Contact:

After-Hours Contacts Home Phone Cell Phone/Beeper



A. Supplies

This section should be organized by type of supply. Use the template above to provide an entry for each provider of that supply.

B. Services

This section should be organized by type of service, and use the template above to provide an entry for each provider of that service. You may wish to subdivide the “Services” section to separate those that provide only or primarily advice and information.

Appendix C: Bomb Threat

Consult with your security/safety personnel about procedures to be followed in case of a bomb threat, and modify the procedures here to reflect your own situation.

1. Keep the caller on the telephone if possible and gather information on the Bomb Threat Report Form on the following page.

2. Immediately call ________________________ [specify Police Department, security office, or other appropriate contact] at [provide phone number].

3. Evacuate building. See instructions under Evacuation (Appendix I).

Bomb Threat Report Form

Date: / / Time:a.m./p.m.

Person receiving the call:

Exact words of caller:

Ask the caller the following questions:

a. Who placed the bomb?

b. What does it look like? m round m square m Other

m package m briefcase

c. What kind of bomb is it?

d. What will cause it to explode?

e. What is your name?

f. When is it going to explode?

g. Exactly where is the bomb?

h. Why was it placed?

Other information to aid in the investigation and search:

a. Voice characteristics of the caller

m male m female m young m middle age m old m excited

m high pitch m deep m soft m raspy m loud m intoxicated

m calm m angry m crying m normal m familiar

m laughing m cracking m ragged m disguised m deep breathing

b. Speech:

m fast m stutter m slow m nasal m distinct m slurred

m foul m lisp m irrational m incoherent m distorted taped message m well spoken

c. Background Noise:

m street (cars, buses, etc.) m house (dishes, TV, etc.) m local call

m airplanes m motor (fan, a/c, etc.) m long distance

m voices m animal noises m phone booth

m PA system m clear m factory machinery

m music m static

m other:

d. Other Information:

Appendix D: Building Stabilization & Environmental Control

Use this appendix to outline the responsibilities of the facilities staff for stabilizing the building and climate control system in the aftermath of a disaster. You may wish to pay particular attention to the strategies that can be used to provide the appropriate cooling and dehumidification that is necessary to reduce the risk of mold.

Appendix D1: Health and Safety Universal Precautions for Post-Flood Buildings

Written by:

Matthew Klein Mark Fleming Indoor Air Quality Solutions Blue Chip Builders, Inc. (See the end of this file for contact information) (Reprinted with the permission of the author).

This sheet contains only information relevant to health and safety hazards of buildings after floods. It doesn’t contain detailed instructions about cleaning or claims procedures. This sheet was developed in response to the lack of comprehensive information about health and safety hazards due to floods. The health and safety information in this sheet has been developed from review of information from a broad range of sources and the authors’ personal experience in building environment problems.

Table of Contents

Universal Precautions Health Precautions General Safety Precautions Cleaning and Decontamination Procedures Protective Equipment Food and Drinking Water Building Structure Electrical Systems LP, Natural Gas and Fuel Oil Lines Building Materials Personal Property Heating, Ventilating , and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems Information Sources

Universal Precautions:

This information sheet contains universal precautions. Universal precautions are used with the assumption that a hazard exists, whether it actually does or not, unless proven otherwise. Therefore, protective measures are used until the hazard is proven to not exist. Yes, universal precautions might not be needed. However, they’re used because: experience has shown that a hazard most likely exists; the consequences of a hazard far outweigh the trouble and cost of using precautions; lack of time or cost prohibit the analysis needed to rule out a hazard; and/or persons who don’t have the knowledge or skills to analyze for a hazard will be working in a potentially hazardous environment. One point needs to be made, post-flood buildings have a high probability of having health or safety hazards. Whenever you are unsure about how hazardous a situation is, always use caution until the situation is proven otherwise.

Health Precautions:

Any tetanus shot that was received more than 5 years ago is assumed to be ineffective protection. Other immunizations might also be needed based on local health department recommendations. If you cannot remember when you last received a particular shot, assume it to be ineffective. Any person injured while working in post-flood buildings needs to be up-to-date on his or her tetanus shots. All persons might need other shots; pay attention to news bulletins from health organizations.

All persons with the following health problems shouldn’t enter post-flood buildings until after they are completely cleaned up, decontaminated, and dried out: persons with severe asthma, mold allergies or chronic respiratory disease; persons who have had other hypersensitivity respiratory reactions to bacteria or mold, such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis or humidifier fever; and persons who are immuno-compromised in any way, such as persons with HIV or AIDS. Even after the buildings are cleaned, dried and decontaminated, such persons should leave the building if they develop symptoms, until the problem can be investigated.

Anyone who develops unusual symptoms, such as the following, should seek immediate medical attention: wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, chronic cough, fever, rashes or hives, extreme respiratory irritation. Remember that this cleanup is being performed in an environment where you can potentially be exposed to hazardous materials. Furthermore, the stress of working harder than many people are used to could cause injury. Any unusual symptoms could signal serious exposure to hazardous chemical or biological materials, or another serious medical problem.

Wash hands and face frequently with antibacterial soap and drinking-quality water. When washing hands, scrub the areas under nails with a fingernail brush; dirt under the nails can harbor contaminated material. Wash hands and face before eating anything or smoking; contaminated material from dirt on the face and hands can be transferred to food or cigarettes, and ingested or inhaled. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, ears, or nose with dirty hands. Keep in mind that personal cleanliness can be a major prevention of illness or disease.

Wash all cuts, abrasions, lacerations, and puncture wounds immediately with antibacterial soap and drinking-quality water for at least one minute, then apply an antibacterial salve and bandage. Have all deep cuts treated immediately by a medical professional. Infection can set in rapidly after injury. When in doubt about treating an injury, seek medical care.

Don’t use showers, toilets, or other facilities until you are certain that the sanitary lines from the building are clear. Sewer water could back up into the building if the sewer or septic system is not working correctly.

General Safety Precautions:

Unless proven otherwise, consider all mud, debris and water pools to be hiding electrical shock, laceration or slip hazards, chemical or biological exposure hazards, or wild animals. First, verify that all power is out in the area before walking through mud or water, or before clearing debris. Shuffle walk through mud and water pools when entering for the first time. Lift debris in piles with poles or sticks to check for hazards or wild animals before moving the debris. Inspect the building using only flashlights – never open flames of any kind.

Consider all pooled water inside and outside of the building to be biological or chemical exposure hazards, unless proven otherwise by qualified personnel. Don’t permit children to play in water pools or mud. Attempts should be made to drain and dry the pools as soon as possible. Flooded basements should be emptied as soon as possible; but care should be taken to assure that the foundation will not collapse during draining. (Pressure from the water in the ground surrounding the foundation could cause the foundation to collapse.) If you don’t know how to drain the basement without causing collapse, have a qualified person do it.

Consider all mold (a.k.a. fungi or mildew) and bacteria to be toxin producers. Some mold produce particles and volatile organic compounds that irritate most people’s eyes and respiratory systems. But, some mold and bacteria have been linked to serious respiratory health problems and death. Risking exposure isn’t worth the time that could be spent in recovery from illness, and definitely not worth death.

Unusual odors, or irritation of the skin and mucous membranes should be considered to be signs of toxic chemical exposure, unless proven otherwise by qualified personnel. Be aware that some toxic chemicals don’t have odors that warn of their presence. If irritation of the skin or mucous membranes is encountered, leave the area immediately, wash the affected skin area with soap and water, and then be checked by medical personnel. Have qualified personnel check the area for chemical hazards before returning to it.

Combustion appliances and equipment will cause carbon monoxide poisoning when used in a building, unless proven otherwise by qualified personnel. Use all combustion equipment, such as gas-powered electrical generators and grills outside of the building. Make certain to locate them where their exhaust will not enter the building. Only heaters made to be used indoors should be used indoors; however, use them with caution and adequate ventilation. Follow manufacturers precautions about using combustion equipment. If you show symptoms of dizziness, chronic headaches or nausea, excessive tiredness, or a cherry red skin color, suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and seek medical care.

Any materials or furnishings that might have absorbed water (furniture, building materials, mattresses, etc.) could weigh over five times more than they did before flooding. (Water weighs

7 1/2 pounds per cubic foot.) Use caution when lifting anything, and lift with the legs. Remember that water can wick farther up some materials than the level of the water, so, an item might have absorbed more water than expected.

Don’t connect electrical generators to the electrical systems of the building. This could be a shock hazard to those in the building or those working on power lines. Use generators to power only devices connected to extension cords. Make sure that all extension cords are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and overload protectors. Make sure that the extension cords have adequate capacity to handle the equipment they are being used for, and that they are approved for use in wet areas. Don’t use frayed or damaged extension cords. Follow all equipment safety precautions; even then, don’t use equipment that you aren’t skilled in using without supervision.

Use only wet/dry shop vacuums for vacuuming up water and wet materials. If possible, pipe the vacuum exhaust out of the building using additional length of vacuum hose. The exhaust could contain water aerosol from the material being vacuumed up. This aerosol might contain micro-

biological materials.

All debris should be moved immediately to disposal containers, such as dumpsters, or placed in plastic garbage bags and sealed. Don’t accumulate piles of debris that could be microbiological breeding grounds or hiding places for wild animals.

Fatigue, stress, and rushing leads to accidents. Don’t overwork yourself and get plenty of rest. Don’t rush the work of take short cuts.

Cleaning and Decontamination Procedures:

Note that surfaces should always be cleaned and decontaminated. The following procedure is used for cleaning and decontaminating surfaces that were under water inside post-flood buildings:

1. Remove debris and materials that cannot be shoveled or scooped. 2. Shovel or scoop up dirt and mud, and remove it from the building. 3. Wash all surfaces with clean water. 4. Wash with a soap or detergent solution. 5. Rinse with clean water. 6. Apply a disinfectant solution. 7. After 15 to 20 minutes, rinse the disinfecting solution off. 8. Remove as much water as possible using a wet/dry vacuum or dry cloths. 9. Air dry as rapidly as possible, without damaging the item.

Water used in cleaning should be clean water, but doesn’t have to be of the same quality as drinking water. Disinfectant solutions can be made from household bleach that contains at least 5.25% sodium hypochlorite. For porous, dirty surfaces (wood, cloth, concrete, etc.), one cup of bleach should be used for every 10 cups (about 1/2 gallon) of water. For non-porous, dirt-free surfaces (metal, glass, plastic, etc.), one cup of bleach should be used for every 100 cups (about 6 gallons) of water. Note that these concentrations are the maximum and minimum concentrations;

they aren’t absolutes. Use your judgment about concentration based on the surface to be disinfected. The more porous or rough a surface is, the more concentrated the bleach solution

should be because porous or rough surfaces cannot be cleaned as effectively as non-porous or smooth surfaces.

Note that bleach can corrode, etch, lighten or otherwise negatively affect some materials, depending on the concentration. Small sections of a material should be tested with the bleach solution first to see if it affects the material. Be sure to leave the bleach solution on for as long as you would during the decontamination process. If the bleach solution harms the material, other disinfectants, such as Lysol or PineSol, can be used. Note that these other disinfectants can be used at any time instead of bleach. Bleach is less expensive, but as effective as the other disinfectants for decontaminating flood damaged items. Bleach should never be mixed with any other products unless the product label states that it is okay, because the bleach could react with them and produce hazardous gases. If in doubt, don’t mix them.

Gloves need to be worn when using any cleaner, detergent, or disinfectant because the cleaner can cause skin problems. Furthermore, most cleaners and disinfectants contain respiratory irritants, whether or not masking fragrances have been added. Well ventilate the areas where cleaner and disinfectant solutions are mixed and used. Read and follow all safety precautions on the labels of the cleaner and disinfectant products you use.

Protective Equipment:

Use protective personal equipment. Required equipment should be long-sleeved shirts, long pants, goggles, head protection against bumps and falling debris, heavy-soled shores or boots, and work gloves. Quality respirators are needed in areas where dust, mist or fibers are being generated into the air from cleanup or demolition work, and recommended in areas that have a musty odor. Heavy soled rubber boots or waders are needed when walking through water pools or deep mud.

Food and Drinking Water:

Drink only water you know is safe for drinking. Safe water is usually water in sealed bottles that weren’t under water, water that has been stated as being safe by health officials, or water that you have treated according to health department guidelines. Wash and decontaminate any containers used for water before refilling.

Discard all food not in tin cans; it should be considered unfit to eat. Discard all food in tin cans that are swollen, leaking, or corroded. For the remaining tin cans, the Center for Disease Control

(CDC) recommends removing their labels, washing and disinfecting them. Be sure to mark them to be able to identify their contents later. In all cases, when in doubt, throw it out.

Building Structure:

Unless qualified personnel state otherwise, the following are signs of unsafe structural conditions:

*buildings moved off of or shifted on their foundations;

*washed out soil around foundations;

*large cracks or gaps in foundations or basement walls that didn’t exist before the flood;

*missing floor joist, main beam, or porch roof supports;

*sagging roofs, floors or ceilings;

*floors that bounce or give when walked on;

*walls that move when pushed;

*gaps between steps and porches;

*leaning walls;

*loose ceiling or wall materials;

*doors or windows stuck for reasons other than swelling due to water or whose frame is racked;

*or other changes in the shape or structure of the building.

*For buildings with chimneys, fireplaces, or other interior brick or stone structures, consider unusual gaps, cracks, loose materials, sags, misalignments or leaning in the structure to be signs of weak structure.

Never enter a building that has an unsafe structural condition until a qualified person checks out the building and the structure is properly braced or repaired. If the condition is found after entering the building, everyone should leave the building immediately, an inspector called in, and unsafe materials removed or structures braced before work resumes inside the building.

Electrical Systems:

Consider any downed power lines within one block of the building to be potential shock hazards until proven otherwise. (Electricity can travel for great distances through water, fence materials or other conductors, and some wires might be hidden in the mud.) Consider all wiring in buildings to be shock hazards until it has been checked out by a building inspector or electrician. Until then, turn the power off at the building’s service panel. Have only persons knowledgeable about electrical shock hazards shut the power off. All electric circuit breakers, GFCIs and fuses that were under water need replacing. Switches and outlets that were under water can be cleaned and reused if still functional; but when in doubt, throw it out. All electrical motors that were under water need cleaning, drying and inspection by a qualified person before being put back in service. All light fixtures that were under water need to be opened, cleaned, dried and checked before being put back in service.

LP, Natural Gas and Fuel Oil Lines:

Consider all gas lines to be leaking unless proven otherwise by leak checks. Gas lines should be cut off at the service supply until after cleanup is completed and gas appliances have been serviced. All gas control valves on gas-combustion appliances that were under water need to be replaced. Leak checks need to be performed on all lines when the appliances are returned to service. At any time and even if the gas has been turned off, gas odors should be considered to be a sign of a leak, unless proven otherwise by fire or utility personnel. (Gas can travel underground from leaks in other locations.) When odors are detected, the building should be evacuated immediately and fire or utility personnel called in to check for leaks.

Oil tanks are considered to be leaking, unless proven otherwise. Shut the line off at the tank until after cleanup is completed and the oil furnace has been serviced. When the furnace is put back in service, check for leaking lines.

Building Materials:

Assume that any building materials (carpet, padding, wallboard, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, etc.) that are moist or wet 24 hours after the water recedes has mold growing on or in it, even if you cannot see or smell it. Replaceable building materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned, decontaminated and rapidly dried should be discarded. Irreplaceable building materials should be cleaned and decontaminated by professionals as soon as possible. Wall paneling made from wood laminates or vinyl might be cleaned and decontaminated, and reinstalled. Low-cost paneling, made of particle board of example, should be discarded. Consider all wall and floor coverings (for example, wallpaper, carpet, padding, and vinyl flooring) and insulation other than foam insulation to be contaminated with mold growth, and discard them if they are replaceable. Foam insulation needs to be cleaned, decontaminated, and dried thoroughly. Irreplaceable floor and wall coverings should be cleaned and decontaminated professionally as rapidly as possible. Remember, if in doubt, throw it out.

Consider all enclosed wall, ceiling and floor cavities that were under water to be areas where toxic mold or bacteria are growing. These cavities must be opened, cleaned, decontaminated, and thoroughly dried. In general, walls that were under water should be stripped to the studs and outer skin of the building up to about one foot above the flood line. The remaining wall cavity above the flood line should be checked for mold growth, and areas where mold is found growing should also be opened. Floor and ceiling cavities usually can have one side of the cavity exposed for work. Note that checking for mold growth in ceiling cavities above the flood line might also be prudent if these areas have gotten wet. Walls, ceilings and floor cavities with non-replaceable sheeting materials or wall coverings will need access holes made in each stud or joist cavity to allow cleaning, disinfecting and drying. These cavities should be professionally cleaned and decontaminated.

Building materials made from particle and wafer board that were under water should be discarded. Some of these materials swell when gotten wet and will never return to their previous shape. Mold might have also grown within the material and be nearly impossible to remove.

Buildings built before 1975 might have asbestos or lead paint. Asbestos was used primarily as insulation or a tape on heating systems. Consider all white fibrous material used on heating system components to be asbestos and extremely hazardous. Loose or friable asbestos needs to be removed. Paint can be tested for lead using testing kits available at some building supply centers. If in doubt, have questionable materials checked by qualified personnel. If you find asbestos or lead, contact your state or federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or an industrial hygiene firm for information on proper removal and disposal techniques.

Dry the interior of the building as rapidly as possible using dehumidifiers, heated air, and outdoor ventilation air. Using a wet/dry vacuum to pull water out of the materials will also help speed drying.

Personal Property:

Assume that any material that is moist or wet 24 hours after the water recedes has mold growing on or in it, even if you cannot see or smell it. Most paper items, and clothing and linens made from natural materials are highly susceptible to fungal growth. These items should be taken care of first.

    • All personal items that are being kept and that were under water should be rinsed off. Clothing and linens should be laundered in hot water and dried in a dryer, or sent to a dry cleaner.


    • Nonessential paper items should be discarded. Other paper items should be air dried. Photos can be wiped off and air dried. If possible, copy essential paper items after they have dried and discard the original. If you cannot tend to the paper items quickly, rinse and freeze them until you can.


    • Discard all health and beauty supplies, cosmetics, bandages and medicines that were under water.


    • Children’s toys that are being kept should be cleaned and decontaminated before the children play with them.


    • All other personal property will also most likely be contaminated. All replaceable property that cannot be cleaned, disinfected and dried thoroughly, such as upholstered furniture, and mattresses, should be discarded.


    • Property made from particle or wafer board should also be discarded. Property that doesn’t readily absorb water, such as metal or quality wood furniture, should be cleaned and decon-taminated. Invaluable property that has absorbed water should be professionally cleaned and decontaminated. If possible, upholstering and fabric on irreplaceable furniture should be replaced. If these cannot be replaced, the fabric should be removed and decontaminated, and the stuffing replaced.


    • Consider all electric appliances that were under water to be shock hazards. All appliances will need to be cleaned, decontaminated, dried thoroughly and checked before being used. Some appliances might have to be discarded. Qualified appliance service personnel should do the work on larger appliances, and probably on the smaller ones too.


Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems:

The interior surfaces of HVAC equipment that were under water are reservoirs for mold and bacteria growth. The interior components of the air handling unit (a.k.a. furnace, air conditioner, central air system) will need to be inspected, cleaned and decontaminated by professionals. Insulation inside the air handling unit might need to be replaced if it is damaged or if it has mold growing on it.

Fans will need to be removed, cleaned, decontaminated and dried thoroughly before being placed back in the air handling unit. Qualified service personnel need to replace the gas control valves on gas-combustion units. These personnel also need to clean, check and service the heating and air conditioning equipment, and control systems of all air handling units that were under water.

Registers or diffusers can be removed, washed, decontaminated, and reinstalled. Unlined ductwork can be disassembled, washed, decontaminated, dried and reassembled by persons doing cleanup if they have the necessary skills. Lined ductwork should be checked and cleaned by professionals. If the lining in the ductwork is damaged or has mold growing on it, the insulation should be replaced. Ductboard ducts should be replaced.

Exhaust fans need to be removed, cleaned, decontaminated and dried thoroughly before being reinstalled and put back in service. Persons doing the cleanup can do this work if they have the skills to do it.


Information Sources:

If you have any questions about information in this publication, please contact:

Matthew Klein Mark Fleming

Indoor Air Quality SolutionsBlue Chip Builders, Inc. PO Box 75160 Kieley Place Bethel, OH 45106 Cincinnati, OH 45217 513-734-6868513-242-1300 513-734-6860 (FAX) 513-242-2338 (FAX) mkklein@cinti.net

Other information sources are:

American Red Cross


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Center for Environmental Health


Ohio State University Flood Updates


National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Flood, Cleanup and Hazards


State of Ohio Department of Public Safety

Emergency Management Agency. Flooding Information


Appendix E: Chemical Hazards

Most libraries and archives house some chemicals that could pose a problem either in themselves (e.g., by spilling, exploding, etc.), by causing contamination in a flood, or by becoming hazardous in a fire. Cleaning chemicals may be present in janitorial closets, paints and solvents may be located in maintenance areas, and others may be used in microfilm, photograph processing, graphics, or conservation labs. Other chemicals and bio-hazards may be present if a medical facility or other scientific unit is located in your building. In a disaster situation, it is vitally important that emergency personnel know the nature and location of chemicals.

In this appendix, list locations of chemicals in the building. Even if the local command safety office has such a list, capture the information in your disaster plan and be sure it is linked to the master plan. Also be aware that chemicals should be stored in OSHA-approved cabinets.

If you know asbestos or PCBs are present, you should expand the scope of this appendix to include information about those hazards. Your local health and safety office should be able to assist.

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) must be retained for all chemicals as a result of OPNAVINST 5100.23d, Chapter 7, pp. 7-10, Paragraph 0708 e(6) and Paragraph 0702, pp. 7-1 to 7-6.

The following chemicals are typically retained in the building. For information or assistance regarding them, contact ____________________ [specify person or position who knows about them and has access to them].

Under “Chemical,” at least give the product or brand name; also give the scientific name whenever possible. Be as specific and precise as possible.

In the “Approximate Quantity” column, it is not important to give the precise quantity, but do provide an indication of the relative amount you typically maintain–e.g., a gallon or 50-gallon drums, a few ounces or hundred-pound bags, etc.

To supplement the “Location” information here, it is a good idea also to have floor plans that show the locations of these or other known hazards, as suggested in Floor Plans (Appendix K).

For “MSDS Location,” name the office where Material Safety Data Sheets are retained.

Chemical Approximate Quantity Location MSDS Location



Appendix F: Communication Plan

In this appendix, outline your plans for communicating with staff members, particularly members of the disaster team. Outline a strategy for notifying them of routine emergencies, but also list the systems and alternatives that can be used when telephone service is disrupted due to earthquake, flood, hurricane, or other natural disasters.

In most cases telephone systems and other communication services will be operating routinely when recovery procedures are initiated. Once the ________________________ [specify Operations Manager, Recovery Coordinator, or other staff authorized to initiate the disaster plan] declares a disaster and initiates the disaster plan, notify team members according to the following plan:

1. The ____________________ [specify Operations Manager, Recovery Coordinator, or other staff member] will notify the following:

List the senior disaster team members in the order you want them notified. It would be typical for first-phase notification to include the Chief Administrator, Chief Safety Officer, Collections Manager, Data Processing Manager, and Financial Liaison.

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

Full contact information for each of those is available in the Staff List (Appendix A3).

2. If any of those first-phase contacts cannot be reached within _______________ [specify a time limit such as 1 hour], s/he will then attempt to reach the person designated as that person’s alternate in the Disaster Team List (Appendix A1).

3. Those senior staff will call members of their teams, following the reporting order outlined in _______________. [You may cross-reference the Disaster Team appendix or here specify the names and phone numbers.]

4. If any of those second-phase contacts cannot be reached within _______________ [specify a time limit such as 1 hour], the supervisor will then attempt to reach the person designated as that person’s alternate in the Disaster Team List (Appendix A1).

NOTE: You may also wish to produce a graphic representation of the order of notification, perhaps in the form of a “communications tree.”

Alternative Communications in Natural Disasters

A major natural disaster is likely to disrupt telephone service, which will complicate the notification of disaster team members.

1. When There is Forewarning:

The organization will generally have forewarning of disasters such as area flooding, hurricanes, and wildfires. In those cases, the following steps will be taken:

• Prior to closing the building, the ________________________ [specify Operations Manager, Recovery Coordinator, or other position] will inform the staff when and where to rendezvous.

• The ________________________ [specify Chief Safety Officer or other position] will distribute beepers or pagers to the following staff members: [Note: If you use this strategy, you must also distribute these beeper/pager numbers to all personnel who might need to contact them.]

__________________________________ ___________________________________

__________________________________ ___________________________________

__________________________________ ___________________________________

__________________________________ ___________________________________

2. Without Forewarning:

In the event of a significant disaster such as an earthquake or tornado, much will depend on timing. If it occurs during working hours, most staff members will be on-site. If it occurs after-hours, all staff members will be expected to report for duty _______________ [specify a certain number of hours after the disaster or a certain time on the following day, keeping in mind that staff members may require some time at home to stabilize their own situations] with the exception of (a) personnel on authorized leave and (b) personnel who have had family injuries or sustained property damage.

If notification is required and phone service is unavailable, the following strategies may be used:

a. Staff members will monitor radio station _______________ for announcements. [Before including this item in your plan, you must identify an AM station that agrees to carry your announcements (just as many announce school and business closings in inclement weather), and all staff members periodically must be reminded of this arrangement.]

b. Notification may be made in person by traveling to staff members’ homes if roads are passable. Messengers for this purpose may include:

· members of the ____________________ [specify a department such as the security office]

· Sheriff’s Department

· Red Cross

[Before listing any organization there, be sure to contact its key personnel, explain your needs, and verify that they would be willing to provide such assistance in a large-scale disaster.]

c. Other. [Specify other methods that may be appropriate for you. Ham radio operators or CB radios may be a feasible option in some areas. If a large number of staff have e-mail access at home, this may be an option, for data lines are often more stable and may be restored sooner than phone lines; if you plan to use that option, be sure to include staff e-mail addresses in the Staff List (Appendix A3), and pre-program “nicknames” into the PCs of the Recovery Coordinator and other key staff.]

Media Communications

This generally will not be a concern in routine emergencies. In the event of a large-scale disaster, communication with print and electronic media may serve several purposes:

• to let users/constituents know about the event, and provide updated progress reports to them about the extent of damage, expected re-opening date/time, alternate points of service, etc.;

• to solicit (directly or indirectly) volunteer workers and contributions of goods, services, and space; and

• to communicate with staff when phone service is inoperable.

This plan will be used when media communications are warranted:

1. ____________________ [specify the Public Affairs Officer or other], in consultation with the Chief Administrator, will be responsible for preparing and distributing all media communications, including print and electronic.

2. Press releases will be distributed to the following:

[Consider local newspaper, radio, and television stations. In addition, you may wish to include local, state, or national professional associations, as well as relevant Internet listservs and World Wide Web sites.]

Source Contact Person Phone/Fax/E-mail

3. All communications, including requests for interviews, will be channeled through the ____________________ [specify Public Affairs Officer or other].



Appendix G: Data Processing Plans

In the event of a disaster, you may need to reconstruct your files or software, salvage computer equipment and peripherals, and/or move data processing operations to an off-site facility. In this section, outline:

• who is responsible for data processing functions;

• when and how routine backups are done, and where off-site copies are stored;

• how to get access to off-site storage copies, including at night, on weekends, and during holidays;

• hot- and cold-sites you can use if data processing functions must be transferred off-site, and how equipment, software, and data files will be moved to those sites; and

• companies that can salvage your computer equipment, data files, etc.

Backup of systems, software, and data files is the responsibility of ____________________ [specify the responsible position]. The backup systems and schedules are as follows.

Computer Backups

1. Software and data files are backed up under supervision of ____________________ [specify the Data Processing Manager or other position]. The backup systems and schedules are as follows:

In describing your procedures for daily, weekly, and other backups, be sure to include the following information:

• when each type of backup is done (e.g., on which day, at what time, etc.);

• how long backup files are retained;

• how backup tapes or disks are “cycled” (e.g., oldest tape being used for current week, etc.);

• where on-site and off-site copies are stored; and

• what documentation is maintained regarding the backups.

File(s)/System(s) Procedure Frequency






2. In case of an emergency, it may be necessary to get access to backups stored on-site or off-site. The following contacts can be used:

Item(s) Storage Location Phone (office/home/beeper)






3. On-site backups are stored in ____________________ [specify the storage room/location]. To get access to the backups, follow these procedures: [Specify procedure, who is authorized to make the contact, etc. Also note how long on-site backups are retained, which are transferred to off-site storage and when, and other relevant details.]






Off-site Storage

The following materials are stored off-site:

Materials/Holdings Storage Location Contact









To get access to those materials, follow these procedures: [Specify procedure, who is authorized to make the contact, etc.]

Off-site Operations

In the event of a significant disaster that disrupts critical data processing functions, it may be necessary to set up operations at a hot- or cold-site. Pre-identify potential sites during the planning process, and here record the facilities that are acceptable, what resources are available at those sites, and the procedures for transferring equipment, software, data files, etc. from your repository to the off-site facility.

In the event of a disaster, it may be necessary to operate data processing functions off-site. In such cases, the following facilities may be used: [List the sites you have investigated and found suitable for your functions. These may include commercial hot- and cold-sites, as well as allied units and agencies that have appropriate facilities and equipment.]

Location Contact Phone (Office/After-Hours)









When data processing functions must be transferred off-site, the following procedures will be used: [Describe who will be responsible for the move, how hardware (if any) will be moved, how software and data files will be moved or backups retrieved.]


In the event that data processing equipment, tapes, or other devices are damaged in a disaster, ____________________ [specify appropriate position] will be responsible for recovery operations.

We may require outside expertise in case of damage to data processing equipment, software, data tapes, etc. The following companies and individuals are available to provide specialized services and information:

Company/Person Summary of Services









[reference Appendix B2 or other section of the plan where suppliers and service providers are listed] provides full contact information on them.

Protection of Computer Assets

Describe additional systems and procedures used to safeguard computer assets. These may include information about issues such as:

• hardware or software support agreements;

• electrical cut-offs;

• temperature alarms or automatic cut-offs;

• fire protection systems; and

• water detectors.



Appendix H: Emergency Funds

This appendix describes funds available for use in disaster recovery and outlines the necessary authorizations and other procedures for using cash, credit card, and purchase orders and requisitions. Issues related to insurance coverage, amounts, and procedures are addressed in Appendix N.

Available Funds

Describe the funds available for disaster recovery. If your organization has a fund earmarked for this purpose, describe it, including the fund number or code and other relevant information. Do not include insurance issues here, as they are covered in Appendix N.

Credit Card

Describe the procedures for getting access to and using the government credit card. Include procedures to be followed in routine times–during the work day, when regular procedures and personnel are in place–and in times of emergency, such as at night and on weekends, or when a disaster has disrupted procedures and some financial staff may not be available.

Purchase Orders and Requisitions

Describe the procedures for getting purchase orders and requisitions. Outline the normal procedures–those to be followed during normal business hours when regular procedures and personnel are in place–and those to be used in times of emergency, such as at night and on weekends, or when a disaster has disrupted procedures and some financial staff may not be available.

Other Information

Provide other information required by your organization.



Appendix I: Evacuation

This plan provides instructions to be used during emergency evacuations for the protection and safety of building occupants. It is subject to change, either by written or oral directive of the ____________________ [specify appropriate safety officer] or his/her designated alternate, when certain emergency conditions arise. The plan will be followed in case of fire, bomb threat, tornado, or other threat to life and property.


The following are authorized to order evacuation of the building:

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

Membership and Assignments

The evacuation team is comprised of the following persons: [Include appropriate personnel such as suggested here. Multiple Floor Wardens are necessary in most libraries and archives. Consult with your safety officer to determine the number of wardens needed in your building and the areas for which they should be responsible.]

Primary Alternate

Safety Officer ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Floor Wardens____________________________________________________________________________________________


First Aid Officer ____________________________________________________________________________________________


The evacuation team will oversee the evacuation of the building when necessary. Its primary responsibility is the safety and welfare of the staff and patrons.

Under no circumstances are staff to endanger their own lives in the evacuation process. If there are any questions about building safety, the evacuation team should evacuate the building until appropriate emergency personnel arrive.

A. Safety Officer–upon receipt of an alarm signal, responds immediately to the area(s) involved.

B. Floor Warden

1. Preparedness Responsibilities

a. Become familiar with all aspects of his/her assigned floor, such as special hazards, exit locations, locations of alarm pull
stations, fire-fighting equipment, work locations of handicapped personnel, etc.

b. Maintain a roster of all personnel assigned to his/her floor, identify and locate all handicapped individuals and the personnel
assigned to assist in their evacuation, and keep this roster up to date. Each Floor Warden shall inform the Chief Safety Officer
of any changes in personnel on his/her assigned floor.

c. Designate an alternate Floor Warden to take over responsibilities during his/her absence. Appoint stairwell and elevator
monitors, office wardens, and their alternates as necessary. Keep the Chief Safety Officer informed of all assignments and
changes of assignments.

d. Inform personnel on his/her floor, especially newly assigned personnel, of location of nearest exit, any changes in emergency
procedures, and changes in assignment of duties on that floor.

e. Train personnel in the use of fire extinguishers and any special emergency procedures, especially those for hazardous areas.

2. Evacuation Responsibilities

a. Have authority (for the duration of the evacuation) over all personnel assigned to his/her floor. There will be no exceptions.

b. Upon receipt of an alarm signal, oversee the evacuation of all offices, determining that everyone leaves the building in an
orderly manner.

c. Check rest rooms, storage rooms, file rooms, etc. to be certain that every room is empty. Close all doors and turn off all lights
as he/she goes. Special attention will be given to the elevator on each floor; it will be the last place checked.

d. Gather any assistants and leave the building.

e. Report to the ____________________ [specify a security officer or physical area to which the Floor Warden reports] that
his/her floor is clear, also reporting injuries sustained by personnel assigned to his/her floor. He/she also will notify the
____________________ [specify a security officer or other appropriate position] of the location and number of handicapped
persons and those assigned to assist them.

C. First Aid Officer (in his/her absence, the Safety Officer)

1. Maintain supplies in all first aid kits.

2. In the event of an emergency evacuation, remove the first aid kit from _____________________ [specify location] and establish a first
aid station at a designated location for medical care to be administered.

Evacuation Because of Fire Alarm

When developing your evacuation plan, it is important that you understand the operating system of the building’s elevators. In many buildings, activation of the fire alarm automatically shuts down the elevators. This would require use of a different evacuation procedure for handicapped persons than is outlined in this template. Some organizations designate one room on each floor to which handicapped persons should be moved. Consult with your fire department and/or disability officer for guidance.

Notice to evacuate is indicated by the fire alarm system, which warns building occupants of danger and that the building should be evacuated. In the event of a fire alarm, follow these steps:

1. Turn off all lights and close all doors. Do not lock doors, unless necessary for security purposes.

2. Evacuate to the nearest safe exit. Do not use the elevator. Only handicapped person(s) and those assisting them may use the elevator.
Evacuation routes are posted throughout the building near stairways and exit routes.

3. Take handicapped visitors or staff members to ____________________ [specify a location, after consultation with fire department or
other safety personnel]
. Only handicapped person(s) and those assisting them may use elevators during an evacuation. If a problem
occurs in the evacuation of handicapped persons, call ____________________ [specify responsible unit such as security] for

4. Assemble at ____________________. [Specify a safe location outside the building. If there is any risk of explosion, the location should
not be near the building. Consult with the fire department for guidance.]

5. If safe to remain in the building, ____________________ [specify a person such as a security officer] will locate the reason for the
alarm while the fire department is en route.

6. ____________________ [specify responsible unit such as security] will escort the fire department to the location of the problem.

After evacuating the building, personnel will assemble at the designated point for a head count. Once the fire department verifies that the building is safe to re-enter, ____________________ [specify responsible unit such as security] will notify personnel. Personnel should remember that all exits must be monitored during an evacuation of the building. ____________________ [specify responsible unit such as security] will cover as many exits as possible.

Evacuation of Handicapped Persons

Handicapped visitors or staff members should be taken to ____________________ [specify a location after consultation with fire department or other safety personnel]. Only handicapped person(s) and those assisting them may use elevators during an evacuation. If a problem occurs in the evacuation of handicapped persons, call ____________________ [specify responsible unit such as security] for assistance.

Special Events

Specify procedures to be followed when an evacuation occurs during special events (meetings, lectures, after-hours social functions, etc.) with guests in attendance.


Give the locations of exits in your building. If one of your floor plans shows the locations of exits, cross-reference that diagram here.



Appendix J: Fire Safety

Background Information for Appendix J: Fire Safety

There is no disagreement that the Fire Department’s goal in a fire is to safeguard human life and to extinguish a fire as quickly as possible. Nationwide, firefighters are increasingly aware of the special issues involved in fire-fighting in libraries and archives. For example, it may be possible to use lower-pressure hose nozzles to reduce water-flow volume. If firefighters know the locations of high-priority collections, they may be able to throw tarpaulins over important areas or to drive the fire away from those collections.

Liaison and Training

Regular communication between the repository and the Fire Department will promote the overall goal of fire safety. Firefighters need to understand the special issues involved in disaster recovery for library and archival collections, and it may be useful for them to attend some in-service training sessions on library and archival disaster recovery.

Librarians and archivists must understand the Fire Department’s incident command system, and the repository’s plans should reflect the personnel and equipment resources that the Fire Department can provide. It may be useful to have Fire Department staff lead training sessions in evacuation, fire extinguisher operation, and so on.

The fire department may have skills and resources that the repository does not know about. For example, many are equipped and prepared to deal with water emergencies. It is not unusual for them to carry equipment such as pumps, water vacuums, hand trucks, and an assortment of tools. They may be a valuable and immediately available source of equipment and personnel.

A great deal can be achieved during the Fire Marshal’s safety inspections of the repository. Walk through the building with the Fire Marshal, and point out high-priority collections. The Fire Marshal is a vital link in your fire safety program. Be open and frank about issues that concern you regarding the building structure, systems, and use practices. Be sure the Fire Department has up-to-date floor plans (including ones that show the locations of high-priority collections). Solicit ideas on how you can make the building safer for firefighters. Keeping aisles clear and marking step-stools or other obstructions with phosphorescent tape are obviously helpful. The Fire Marshal may have other recommendations.


The majority of library and archives fires are set by arsonists. One report puts the figure at 77%. Therefore, effective security systems and procedures are a cornerstone of fire safety. Be sure your closing procedures are adequate to ensure that no one remains in the building after-hours. Intrusion systems and motion sensors are a wise investment to guard against arsonists when the building is closed.

Detection and Signalling

Although fire codes may only require manual pull alarms, these are not sufficient to protect the collections. Seventy percent of fires occur between 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.–hours when the building is probably unoccupied, and no one would be present to sound an alarm. There must be automatic detectors as well.

For firefighters to be successful, they must get the earliest possible notification. This requires that your detectors be wired directly to the Fire Department or to another office (such as security) that is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Fire develops in four stages:

1. chemical products only. The first stage of combustion is a chemical reaction in which a carbon-based material (fuel, such as wood or paper) mixes with oxygen and is heated to a point where flammable vapors are produced. At this point, there are no visible signs or smells. This stage may last from a few minutes to several hours.

2. smoke.

3. flame.

4. heat. Temperatures will quickly reach 1,800°F (1,000°C). Within only three to five minutes, the temperature may be high enough to “flash,” igniting all combustibles within the space.

For earliest detection of typical fires, use smoke detectors (also called photoelectric detectors) in combination with ionization (or “products of combustion”) detectors.

Your building may contain materials that could explode. This could happen in a conservation laboratory, photographic processing unit, or other areas where chemicals are stored. Flame detectors are appropriate for those areas.

Thermal detectors are triggered at a specified temperature or designed to sound an alarm when the temperature rises at a specified rate. They do not provide adequate safety for libraries, archives, or other cultural institutions. By the time sufficient heat is present, the fire is well advanced.

Detectors must be tested at the recommended frequency and by appropriate methods. Your fire department or alarm system provider can provide guidelines.

Fire Suppression

Libraries and archives should rely on automatic sprinkler systems, but also provide portable extinguishers for judicious use by staff.

Portable Extinguishers

Extinguishers are classified according to the type of fire they combat. There are three major classifications:

Type A: for solid combustibles such as wood and paper

Type B: for flammable liquids such as grease and oil

Type C: for electrical fires

Extinguishers filled with pressurized water are suitable only for type A fires. These extinguishers are quite heavy.

Carbon dioxide extinguishers are effective on both B and C type fires. They, too, are heavy. A 15-pound BC extinguisher will discharge for 15-30 seconds, and it must be used just 3-8 feet from the fire.

Dry-chemical extinguishers are rated for types A, B, and C fires. The most common type uses a chemical that is very caustic and difficult to clean up. They can be used 5-12 feet from the fire base.

Portable Halon extinguishers may be rated for A, B, and C class fires, but they are only effective if the fire is in an enclosed space such as inside a photocopier or a computer. Because Halon is an ozone-depleting substance, its production is highly controlled and it is increasingly scarce and expensive. Halon alternatives are now available. Consult your local fire department for information about the options and their appropriate uses.

Choose the appropriate extinguisher for your application. Carbon dioxide and other BC extinguishers are suitable for mechanical rooms, where fires are likely to be electrical or flammable liquid. Pressurized water extinguishers (rated for type A fires) will extinguish paper- and wood-based fire, but their weight makes them unsuitable in many repositories. Dry-chemical ABC extinguishers are excellent for all-around purposes, but the chemical is quite corrosive, so clean-up must occur promptly after their use.

Portable extinguishers are fairly simple to use, but trained personnel can use them with greater confidence and effectiveness. Many institutions want their staff to evacuate immediately rather than try to fight a fire. However, in some buildings, a fire could break out between people and the exit, so using an extinguisher could be a person’s only way out of the building. In addition, trained staff will be more sensible about whether the fire is small enough to control with an extinguisher. Schedule training sessions at least once a year in which Fire Department personnel provide hands-on training for the library or archives staff.

Sprinkler Systems

Water-based automatic sprinkler systems are the most reliable, safe, and effective means of fire suppression. Librarians’ and archivists’ bias against sprinkler systems has endured far beyond reason. The fear of massive water damage dates from the introduction of these devices. Current insurance statistics indicate a failure rate of approximately 1 sprinkler head per 16 million sprinklers installed per year. Nor is there justification for the fear that entire floors will be deluged to douse a small fire. Today’s sprinkler heads are individually activated, and approximately 61% of all sprinkler-controlled fires are extinguished by just one or 2 sprinkler heads. Water damage from a sprinkler is not generally great. A sprinkler typically discharges approximately 25 gallons of water per minute, while a fire department hose delivers 100-500 gallons per minute. Modern sprinkler systems typically include a water-flow alarm, which reduces the risk of an undetected sprinkler discharge.

The basic components of a sprinkler system are the sprinklers, system piping, and a water source. Most also include a water-flow alarm, control valves, and testing devices.

Sprinkler Heads

Sprinkler heads use a linkage device that is heat-sensitive. As long as temperatures are in the normal range, the head stays closed, so water cannot flow through it. But when the temperature reaches a specified temperature, the linkage melts or breaks, allowing water to flow onto the fire. Linkages may be metal or glass, and generally have operating temperatures between 135° and 225°F.

In recent years, the on/off sprinkler head has been introduced. It responds to fire like a conventional head. But when the fire is extinguished and temperatures fall back to the normal range, a bimetallic disk on the sprinkler head closes and stops the water flow. It is capable of opening again if the fire reignites and temperature rises again.

In theory, the on/off sprinkler could reduce the volume of water used in fire suppression. However, in practice, firefighters generally arrive and can close sprinkler system valves before these sprinklers shut off. On/off sprinklers also cost 8 to 10 times as much as conventional ones, and their greater complexity makes them less foolproof. For most institutions, conventional sprinklers are the better choice.

Sprinkler Systems

There are three major types of sprinkler systems: wet-pipe, dry-pipe, and pre-action systems.

In wet-pipe systems, the pipes are continually full of water. As soon as the sprinkler head opens, water is discharged. These are suitable for any area not subject to freezing. They should not be used in unheated attics or warehouses.

In a dry-pipe system, the pipes are full of pressurized air or nitrogen. When a fire causes the sprinkler heads to open, the air escapes, allowing water to flow into the pipes then onto the fire area. Many librarians and archivists see these as preferable to wet-pipe systems, because they do not retain water in the pipes where collections are stored. However, this supposed advantage is offset by other factors–especially their increased complexity, higher installation and maintenance cost, and slower response time.

A pre-action system is essentially a dry-pipe system equipped with fire detection. The pipes are filled with nitrogen, but the nitrogen is expelled and they fill with water as soon as detectors sense a fire. Water then flows only when the individual sprinkler heads are activated by heat (as in a wet-pipe system). These systems provide added security against accidental discharge, so they are generally used in critical storage areas such as archival vaults, rare book libraries, fine art storage rooms, and computer centers. However, they are more expensive than others to install and maintain, and their higher complexity increases the risk of malfunction.

As it happens, the most reliable option–the wet-pipe sprinkler system equipped with conventional sprinkler heads–is also the least expensive and the easiest to maintain.

Many archives, rare book libraries, and computer centers have used Halon, a gaseous fire extinguishing substance, to avoid the water damage associated with conventional sprinkler systems. Due to environmental concerns, the supply of Halon is now limited and prices have risen exorbitantly. As noted above, alternatives are now available. Consult with your local fire department for up-to-date information on their potential application in your repository.

A leading option now emerging is the “micromist” system, which discharges water in very fine droplets (under 20 microns in diameter) and high pressure. These systems give high-efficiency cooling and fire suppression with much less water than other sprinkler systems. It appears that micromist systems are an excellent replacement for Halon, especially because of the low volumes of water they employ. While a typical sprinkler uses 25-72 gallons of water per minute, micromist systems in test have extinguished library and archival fires with only 1 to 5 gallons of water.

No matter what kind of suppression system you use, it must be tested regularly and fully. Consult with your fire department and sprinkler system vendor for guidelines.

Staff Training

Your fire safety program can only be as strong as your staff expertise. The library or archives staff must be trained in protocols for notifying the Fire Department and in evacuation procedures (see Appendix I). They must be given live, hands-on training in how to operate fire extinguishers, and they need to understand how the sprinkler system operates and what responsibilities they have when it is activated.

An effective fire safety program is critical for every library and archives. No other disaster has such potential to completely destroy the collection. Wet materials can almost always be salvaged, but there is no way to reclaim the ashes that once were your books, journals, archives, and other collection materials.



Appendix J: Fire Safety

Liaison and Training

The ____________________ [specify Recovery Coordinator or other position] will meet at least quarterly with the Fire Marshal or appropriate other Fire Department staff to ensure coordination of plans and to identify areas of concern.

____________________ [specify frequency; annual or semi-annual is recommended] training sessions will be conducted for Fire Department personnel to:

• suggest how they can minimize damage to collections during fire-fighting operations, and

• enhance their awareness and effectiveness when fighting fires in the library/archives.

As appropriate, Fire Department personnel may be included in disaster training sessions conducted for the library/archives staff.

Staff training sessions will be conducted on the following cycle:

• alarms. All new staff will be informed about the operation of manual alarms and interpretation of annunciator panels. Refresher sessions for all staff will be conducted ___________________________. [Specify frequency; annual or semi-annual is recommended.]

• fire extinguisher operation. The ____________________ [specify Recovery Coordinator or other position] will arrange for the Fire Department to conduct live, hands-on training sessions for all staff ____________________ [specify annual or other frequency]. The session will include use of all the types of extinguishers we use in the building(s). [Be aware that you must arrange for prompt recharging of extinguishers immediately following these sessions.]


The building uses the following types of detectors in the specified locations: [List each type of detector present in the building(s), and indicate which room(s), floor(s), or other areas each is in.]

Type Location(s)




The ____________________ [specify Fire Department or other responsible unit] will inspect all detectors ____________________ [specify frequency]. These inspections will not only verify that each detector is present in its location, but also that its power source is valid (e.g., that batteries are operative) and that it is functioning at optimal sensitivity.

Portable Extinguishers

The building uses the following types of fire extinguishers in the specified locations: [List each type of extinguisher present in the building(s), and indicate which room(s), floor(s), or other areas each is in.]

Type Location(s)




The ____________________ [specify Fire Department or other responsible unit] will inspect all fire extinguishers ____________________ [specify frequency]. These inspections will not only verify that each extinguisher is present in its location, but also will ascertain the pressure, volume, etc.

Inspectors will use the Fire Extinguisher Inspection Log (see copy in Appendix L, Forms) and submit a copy to the ____________________ [specify Operations Manager, Recovery Coordinator, or appropriate other position].

In case a dry-chemical ABC extinguisher is discharged, prompt clean-up is essential, for the chemical is highly corrosive. The ____________________ [specify Recovery Coordinator or other position] and disaster team will be activated immediately for clean-up. The following clean-up procedures will be used: [Consult with your Fire Department to develop effective procedures.]

Fire Suppression

The building uses the following type of fire suppression system: . In the event of a fire, the suppression system will operate as follows: [Provide a simple description of how the system operates (perhaps drawn from the “Background Information” section of this appendix), what response the Fire Department will make, etc.]

When the sprinklers/suppression system discharges during working hours, staff will take the following actions: [Develop procedures in consultation with your fire department and other safety officers.]



Appendix K: Floor Plans

Insert floor plans that may be useful in a disaster situation. Even if Public Works or some other department has an official set of drawings and blueprints, it is generally prudent for the head librarian or archivist to have a set on hand within the repository. Remember to draw them simply, so that non-technical staff can use them successfully. Separate floor plans might be included, and it is useful also to provide natural-language descriptions of each of these.

A. Building Layout

Provide a simple floor plan that shows rooms (with their correct room numbers), aisles, exits and entrances, and windows. Highlight primary evacuation routes, perhaps in red.

B. Collection Locations

Insert floor plan(s) showing collection storage areas, with salvage priorities noted on it, followed by the following information:

Floor/Room Description of Materials Collection Specialist Salvage

Area Priority










C. Salvage Priorities

The attached floor plans identify materials that should be protected, removed, or salvaged first in the event of a disaster. Use these plans along with the “Salvage Priorities” section and Appendix P.

Insert Salvage Priorities floor plan here. Be sure the Fire Department has a copy of these plans, for they may be able to give special protection to your high-priority collections during fire-fighting operations.

D. Fire Safety

Insert floor plans showing locations of the following: extinguishers, fire alarms, sprinklers, detectors, annunciator panel(s).

E. Engineering and Mechanical Controls

Insert floor plans showing locations of engineering and mechanical controls such as shut-offs and master switches for gas, electricity (including fuses and circuit breakers), water, heating and air-conditioning system(s), and elevator.

F. Hazardous Materials

Insert floor plans showing locations of known hazards such as chemicals and other hazardous or toxic materials (including those that may be in janitorial closets, conservation laboratory, photography shop, or photoduplication department). Be sure that all hazardous materials listed in Appendix E, Chemical Hazards, are reflected in this floor plan.

Appendix L: Forms

Place in this section copies of forms you may need in a disaster. Useful forms might include:

• inspection checklists,

• inventory forms,

• medical/emergency information forms for staff and volunteers,

• packing lists,

• requisitions,

• purchase orders, and

• time-keeping forms for staff and volunteers.

Two sample forms–a Fire Extinguisher Inspection Log and a Packout Form–are reproduced here. If you retain them in your disaster plan, modify them for your situation.

Fire Extinguisher Inspection Log

Inspection Date:

Location Extinguisher Type OK? Action Needed






















Packout Form

A form like this may be used in a salvage operation to create a list of boxes removed from a disaster site. Adapt this model to suit your needs. Multiple copies of the packout form should be stored with your disaster stockpile, since you may not have ready access to a photocopier when collection materials are damaged.



Box #

Storage Location  




# of Units  


Salvage Priority  


   [area from which collections are removed — e.g., 2nd floor, Buchanan Room, etc.] [range of call numbers, archival series, etc.] [e.g., books, journals, archives, manu-scripts, etc.] [e.g., number of volumes, folders, items, etc.] [e.g., wet, damp, or dry; smoke or soot; mold; etc.] [e.g., #1, #2, or #3; A, B, or C; etc.] [area to which box should be transferred — e.g., freezer, air-drying, freeze-dryer, etc.]






























































































































































Background Information for Appendix M: Inspection Checklist

The inspection checklist is designed to be used as part of a comprehensive disaster preparedness program. Staff can conduct periodic inspections and information-gathering activities to reduce the repository’s vulnerability to disaster. Some information will be gathered in regular tours of the building, while much will be provided by others in the organization.

The information gathered will be used primarily in two ways:

• Some conditions will be found that require repair, replacement, or other maintenance activity. For example, if drains are not flowing freely from the roof, a simple cleaning will remedy that condition. Or if fire extinguishers are missing from a critical area, they may be purchased and installed.

• Some conditions are not easily remediable, but their existence will alert the staff to vulnerabilities that must be considered in the disaster plan. For example, if there is no automatic fire suppression capability, it may not be immediately installed, but the vulnerability should signal the disaster preparedness team to develop other strategies that will reduce the risk of fire. Similarly, if the roof is unsound but no replacement is imminent, the disaster team probably should prepare for regular roof leaks.

In general, the repository should create its own checklists based on the frequency with which each item needs to be checked. Some will need attention only once–for example, determining geographic or weather-related hazards, identifying the type of roof, and so on. Others will only require annual or semi-annual attention, as is the case with furnace and boiler inspections. Others will merit monthly or quarterly action, such as fire extinguisher inspections and examination of the plumbing.

Many of the inspections outlined here are likely to be the duty of facilities maintenance, rather than library or archives personnel. Work with that staff to develop a reasonable schedule for the inspections, mechanisms to verify that inspections are done on schedule, and procedures that ensure you will be informed of remedial actions that are needed. Those areas not included in inspections by maintenance staff should be assigned to staff in the repository. One individual should keep copies of the completed checklists and track progress in completing repairs and other actions noted on the forms. This may be done by the administrator responsible for the building or by the chair of the disaster preparedness committee.

In most cases, staff will require some education and training before they can carry out the inspection program. A bibliography of readings (see Appendix T) will provide a

good starting point. Training programs on disaster preparedness are offered by organizations throughout the country, several of which are listed in the “National Suppliers and Service Providers: Resource List” in Appendix B2.



Appendix M: Inspection Checklist

The Prevention/Protection Plan in the body of the workbook notes when, by whom, and how inspections are done. Keep a clean master of this checklist in this appendix. Also retain copies of completed inspection reports in the disaster plan or other designated location.


General Preparedness

OK? Needs Action



Complete(Date & Initial)

Disaster plan written/updated    





Emergency Instructions posted at all staff phones






Disaster supply kit(s) created and inventoried on schedule






All shut-off valves, breaker switches, etc. clearly labeled






Staff have keys to mechanical rooms and janitorial closets





























 Site/Area Hazards OK? Needs Action


Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Flood plain vulnerability      
 Nearby rivers, creeks, oceans, lakes, arroyos, etc.
 Tornado incidence  
 Hurricane threat    
 Earthquake fault line    




 Wildfire threat    




 Railroad tracks nearby    




 Interstates or major roadways nearby    




 Airport flight paths identified    




 Nuclear power station nearby    




























 Building & Grounds OK? Needs Action


Action Complete
(Date & Initial)
Railings, benches, planters, light poles, flag-poles, etc. well anchored    




Overhanging trees and branches trimmed    




No sign of cracks or seepage visible in exterior or interior walls    




Compliance with seismic, fire, electrical, and other codes    




Asbestos, PCBs, etc. identified    




Flammable vegetation removed from a 30-foot perimeter around building(wildfire control)    




 Leaves, twigs, and limbs removed from grounds (wildfire control)    




























Roof and Drainage
(including eaves, gutters, downspouts, scuppers, drains, interior columns)
OK? Needs Action
Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Roof inspections conducted regularly    





Roof covering sound. No buckling, bubbles, leaks, cracks, standing water






Flashing and/or caulking intact






Equipment on roof prohibited or (if present) properly anchored






Drains connected into sewer system






Water directed away from building footings






Drains clear






Gutters cleaned






Effective drainage around doors






Leaves, pine needles, and other combustible material removed from roof





























 Plumbing OK? Needs Action
Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Pipes and plumbing well supported    





Pipes/plumbing free of leaks






Staff know location of water main and have appropriate tools (if needed) for shut-off






Staff know whom to contact (workday and after-hours) for water main shut-off





























 Windows and Skylights OK? Needs Action
Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Window frames and sills in good condition    





Caulking and window seals sound






No cracked or broken windows






Hurricane shutters and/or boards (if applicable) prepared and labeled






Double-pane windows (in areas prone to wildfires)





















Fire Safety OK? Needs Action
Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Fire-resistant structure    





Concrete flooring; no air passages between floors






Concealed spaces (e.g., false ceilings) identified






Fire detection in all concealed spaces






Stairways and pipe shafts enclosed






Electrical wiring in good condition






Appliance cords in good condition






Appliances turned off/unplugged nightly






Before wildfire season . . .






• flammable vegetation cleared away 30 feet from building






• pine needles, leaves, and other debris removed from roof


(Fire Safety, continued)


Regular Fire Marshall visits






Fire Marshall visits used productively (e.g., floor plans given to Fire Department; high-priority collection areas noted; appropriate follow-up on observed Code violations)






 (Fire Safety, continued) OK? Needs Action


Action Complete(Date & Initial)
• appropriate type(s) present    





• wired to 24-hour monitoring station






• tested regularly






Appropriate extinguishers present, inspected appropriately and on schedule






Automatic suppression system (e.g., sprinklers) present and operating






Suppression system tested according to manufacturer’s recommendations






Fire drill conducted twice per year






Staff trained in . . .






• sounding alarms






• interpreting annunciator panels (if present)






• notifying Fire Department and others as called for






• using extinguishers






• turning off power, HVAC, sprinklers, gas main






• closing fire doors






• overseeing evacuation














 Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) System OK? Needs Action
Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Automatic shut-off capacity in case of fire    





Furnace/boiler inspected each fall






Air conditioning:






• free of leaks






• free of mold/algae






• effective drainage from condensation-collecting pans






• dehumidification capacity






• capable of operating on exhaust to reduce smoke






Smoke detectors present in ductwork





























 Stack Areas OK? Needs Action


Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Shelves well braced    





Shelves braced to California seismic codes (in earthquake-prone locations)






Books shelved snugly, bookends properly used






Shelving 4-6″ off floor






No materials stored on floor






“Canopies” atop shelving to deflect water






No valuable materials in basement






Exits unobstructed






High-priority collections away from windows






Collection priorities clearly marked






Transport cases located nearby






Insect and animal activity monitored













 Protection from Water Damage OK? Needs Action
Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

No water sources (pipes/plumbing, ice machines, etc.) located above collections    





Water detectors present and wired to monitoring station






Storage areas checked daily for leaks, seepage, etc.






Sump pumps and backups present






Appropriate dehumidifiers available






No leakage or seepage through walls






Valuable materials stored above ground level






Valuable and fragile media stored in protective enclosures





























 Security OK? Needs Action
Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Building exterior well lighted    





Light bulbs replaced as needed






Locks and alarms on all windows and doors






Intrusion detectors and alarms present and monitored 24 hours per day






Ground-level windows secured






No glass in or near ground-level doors






Limited number of staff with master keys






Locks re-keyed and vault combinations changed regularly






Keys collected from staff upon termination






Effective closing procedures to ensure building is vacant






Book drops (if any) located apart from building or in fire-resistant enclosure





























 Housekeeping OK? Needs Action
Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Cleaning supplies and other flammable materials stored safely    





Chemicals stored in OSHA-approved cabinets






Trash removed nightly from the building






Staff room cleaned daily and well






Food and drink prohibited and prohibition enforced






Pest management strategies in place and effective





























 Insurance OK? Needs Action


Action Complete

(Date & Initial)

Policy reviewed and updated annually    





“Acts of God” covered






Replacement costs specified as needed






Photographs taken to document normal condition of building (interior and exterior), storage areas, collections






Staff aware of records required for claim, and those records maintained safely






Duplicate collection records (shelflist, catalog, inventory, and/or back-up computer tapes) for entire collection stored off-site






Insurance records stored off-site













Construction Projects OK? Needs Action


Action Complete(Date & Initial)
Responsibility for fire safety precautions clearly specified in contract    





Fire guards used in all cutting and welding operations






Debris removed nightly






Fire-resistant partitions used






Extra fire extinguishers on hand






Construction equipment secured and locked each evening
































Appendix N: Insurance

As part of your planning, determine whether your installation or organization is self-insured or has commercial insurance. Most Navy libraries are self-insured. Commercial insurance, if any, is generally provided only for items of exceptionally high value or rarity and for those on loan to the repository (e.g., for use in an exhibition). In this section, outline procedures mandated for coverage under your risk management program. Also record the basic information about commercial insurance coverage (if any), and attach a copy of the policy or note its location.


Risk Manager_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Phone: _______________________________________ After-hours Phone: _______________________________________

Description of coverage: [Provide a non-technical description of the coverage. Explain what is covered, procedures to follow, types of documentation required, what kinds of resources are provided for salvage operations or replacement, and attach a copy of any necessary documentation.]

Commercial Insurance

Insurance Company: _______________________________________

Insurance Agent: _______________________________________

Phone: _______________________________________ After-hours Phone: _______________________________________

Policy Number: _______________________________________

Location of Policy: _______________________________________

[Note where the policy is kept, or attach a copy of the policy, claim forms, and other critical documentation.]

National Office: _______________________________________

Phone: _______________________________________

Contact: _______________________________________

Description of coverage: [Provide a non-technical description of the coverage. Explain what is covered, the amount of the deductible, procedures for initiating a claim, types of visual or written documentation required to document a claim, and what kinds of coverage is provided for salvage operations or replacement.]



Appendix O: Operations Center

Identify the spaces you could use for recovery operations. Offices and operational spaces in which you could manage the recovery effort will need to have desks, phone, and other basic equipment. You will also need space for rinsing, air-drying, and other salvage activities. During the planning process, identify some areas within your building and elsewhere on your installation. Also identify some off-site spaces you could use if the repository were significantly damaged. Outline the procedures you would use to transfer office equipment and supplies, as well as telephone, electricity, and other utilities and services to spaces that do not have them already.

Most emergencies will not entail significant damage to the building, so recovery operations can be executed on-site. The ____________________’s [specify Operations Manager, Recovery Coordinator, or other appropriate position] office will be the operations center in that case, with most functions being directed and coordinated from that office.

On-site Space

If additional work space is required for rinsing/cleaning, air-drying, and other salvage procedures, the following areas may be suitable: [Specify areas in your building where there is adequate and appropriate space, equipment, climate control, and security for such functions.]

Area/Room Contact Phone (Office/After-Hours)




Off-site Space

When the building has sustained significant damage, off-site spaces may be required. It is useful to identify potential areas in advance. Consider facilities such as:

• public buildings such as armories and schools;

• private meeting facilities such as those of veterans groups, Elks, Girl/Boy Scouts, etc.;

• church activity buildings;

• commercial property that is for rent or lease; and

• rented tents, trailer homes (such as used on construction sites), and other properties.

If off-site space is required, the following facilities may be used:

Space/Address Contact Phone (Office/After-Hours)

The ____________________ [specify Operations Manager, Recovery Coordinator, or other appropriate position] is authorized to approve the use of off-site space. The procedure for using off-site space is as follows: [Describe the procedure, who is to have keys to the site, what security measures will be used, etc.]

If equipment, supplies, and utilities (e.g., telephone, electricity) must be provided in the operations center, they will be handled as follows: [Describe your plans for providing phone service, electricity, climate control, security, etc. if those are not available in the off-site facility. Also note how you will transfer to the site any office equipment such as photocopiers, desks, PCs, and fax machines, as well as recovery supplies that are not available there.]

Data Processing Operations

Plans for off-site operation of data processing functions are detailed in Appendix G, Data Processing Plans.



Appendix P: Salvage Priorities–Detailed

Record your detailed list of collection salvage priorities–by room, floor, department (History, Literature, Mathematics, Reference, Special Collections, etc.), or other unit–in this appendix. Develop priorities not only for materials in the stacks, but also for collections and working tools in office areas. Be sure to include items in the building on loan (e.g., for exhibition) and materials brought in on approval or for appraisal.

Create a separate sheet for each department or other unit. The body of the plan should provide your collection- or organization-wide priorities. If you wish also to establish salvage priorities for computer equipment, photocopiers, audiovisual equipment, and so on, do so in a separate worksheet.

Salvage Priorities–Detailed

Department/Area: _____________________________________

Priority Materials [specify call number range, record group, item, etc.] Location Staff Specialist

























Appendix Q: Salvage Procedures

Insert detailed instructions for packing, rinsing, freezing, drying, and other salvage procedures that relate to the formats in your collection (papers, bound volumes, photographic materials, maps, drawings, etc.). A few leaflets and instructions are provided in Appendices Q1 through Q5 for your reference. The bibliography in Appendix T lists other works, many of which have sections you might want to copy and insert in this appendix.


There are currently five ways to dry wet books and records. All have undergone at least minimal testing under emergency conditions; several have been used extensively. These are described to assist you in making the best choice given your circumstances: cause of damage, level of damage, number of items involved, rarity/scarcity, personnel available, budget available, and drying service available. Advice from a conservator or preservation administrator experienced in disaster recovery can be helpful before making the final selection(s). Successful recovery operations have proven that it is less expensive to dry original collections than to replace them, even if they are replaceable.

It is important to understand that no drying method restores materials. They will never be in better condition than they were when drying began. If time must be taken to make critical decisions, books and records should be frozen to reduce physical distortion and the risk of mold.


Air-drying is the oldest and most common method of dealing with wet books and records. It can be employed for one item or many, but is most suitable for small numbers of damp or slightly wet books and documents. Because it requires no special equipment, it is often believed to be an inexpensive method of drying. But it is extremely labor-intensive, it can occupy a great deal of space, and it can result in badly distorted bindings and text blocks. It is seldom successful for drying bound volumes on coated paper. Book and paper conservators should always be consulted for the drying of rare or unique materials. They may choose to air-dry items or may suggest one of the other alternatives.


This is the newest method to gain credibility in the library and archival world, although it has been used for many years to dry out buildings and the holds of ships. Large commercial

dehumidifiers are brought into the facility with all collections, equipment, and furnishings left in place. Temperature and humidity can be carefully controlled to specifications. Additional testing is being undertaken, but the technique is certainly successful for damp or moderately wet books, even those with coated paper, as long as the process is initiated before swelling and adhesion have taken place. The number of items that can be treated with dehumidification is limited only by the amount of equipment available and the expertise of the equipment operators. This method has the advantage of leaving the materials in place on the shelves and in storage boxes, eliminating the costly, time-consuming step of moving them to a freezer or vacuum chamber.

Freezer Drying

Books and records that are only damp or moderately wet may be dried successfully in a self-defrosting blast freezer if left there long enough. Materials should be placed in the freezer as soon as possible after becoming wet. Books will dry best if their bindings are supported firmly to inhibit initial swelling. The equipment should have the capacity to freeze very quickly, and temperatures must be below -10°F to reduce distortion and to facilitate drying. Documents may be placed in the freezer in stacks or may be spread out for faster drying. Expect this method to take from several weeks to several months, depending upon the temperature of the freezer and the extent of the water damage. However, caution is advised: with this method, leaves of coated paper may adhere to one another.

Vacuum Thermal Drying

Books and records may be dried in a vacuum thermal drying chamber into which they are placed either wet or frozen. The vacuum is drawn, and heat is introduced. Drying typically occurs at temperatures above 100°F, but always above 32°F. This means that the materials stay wet while they dry. It is an acceptable manner of drying wet records, but often produces extreme distortion in books, and almost always causes blocking (adhesion) of coated paper. For large quantities of materials, it is easier than air-drying and almost always more cost-effective. However, extensive rebinding or recasing of books should be expected. This method is a solution for materials that have suffered extensive water damage. Given the elevated temperature used in drying, it is most appropriate for materials with short-term (under 100 years) value.

Vacuum Freeze-Drying

This process calls for very sophisticated equipment and is especially suitable for large numbers of very wet books and records as well as for coated paper. Books and records must be frozen, then placed in a vacuum chamber. The vacuum is pulled, a source of heat introduced, and the collections, dried at temperatures below 32°F, remain frozen. The physical process known as sublimation takes place; that is, ice crystals vaporize without melting. This means that there is no additional swelling or distortion beyond that incurred before the materials were placed in the chamber.

Many coated papers can be difficult to dry without sticking together once they are wet. Because it is nearly impossible to determine which papers will block, all coated papers should be treated the same way for the purpose of vacuum freeze-drying: before any drying takes place, and ideally within six hours of becoming wet, materials should be frozen at -10°F or lower. Then they may be vacuum freeze-dried with a high potential for success. Rare and unique materials can be dried successfully by vacuum freeze-drying, but leathers and vellums may not survive. Photographs should not be dried this way unless no other possibility exists. Consult a photograph conservator.

Although this method may initially appear to be more expensive because of the equipment required, the results are often so satisfactory that additional funds for rebinding are not necessary, and mud, dirt, and/or soot is lifted to the surface, making cleaning less time-consuming. If only a few books are dried, vacuum freeze-drying can indeed be expensive. However, companies that offer this service are often willing to dry one client’s small group of books with another client’s larger group, thus reducing the per-book cost and making the process affordable.

How to Air-Dry Wet Records

Wet records may be air-dried if care is taken to follow guidelines suggested by preservation experts. The technique is most suitable for small numbers of records that are damp or water-damaged only around the edges. If there are hundreds of single pages, or if the water damage is severe, other methods of drying will be more satisfactory and cost effective. Stacks of documents on coated, or shiny, paper must be separated immediately to prevent adhesion, or they must be frozen to await a later drying decision. Care must be taken with water-soluble inks as well. Records with running or blurred inks should be frozen immediately to preserve the written record. After the items are dry, conservators can be contacted for advice and assistance.

If records must be air-dried, the following steps will help achieve satisfactory results. Wet paper is extremely fragile and easily torn or damaged, so care must be exercised. Once wet, records will never look the same, and at least some cockling or distortion should be expected.

1. Secure a clean, dry environment where the temperature and humidity are as low as possible. The temperature must be below 70°F and the humidity below 50%, or mold will probably develop and distortion will be extreme.

2. Keep the air moving at all times using fans in the drying area. This will accelerate the drying process and discourage the growth of mold. If materials are dried outdoors, remember that prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may fade inks and accelerate the aging of paper. Be aware that breezes can blow away single records. Train fans into the air and away from the drying records.

3. Single leaves can be laid out on tables, floors, and other flat surfaces protected if necessary by paper towels or clean, uninked newsprint. Or clotheslines may be strung close together (6-foot lengths spaced ½-inch to 1-inch apart) and lightweight records, manuscripts, photographs, and pamphlets laid across them or clothespinned to them for drying.

4. If records are printed on coated paper, they must be separated from one another to prevent them from sticking together. This is a tedious process, which requires skill and patience. Practice ahead of time will prove useful. Place a piece of polyester film (such as Mylar) on the stack of records. Rub it gently down on the top document. Then slowly lift the film while at the same time peeling off the top sheet. Hang the polyester film up to dry on the clothesline using clothespins. As the document dries, it will separate from the surface of the film. Before it falls, remove it and allow it to finish drying on a flat surface.

5. Once dry, records may be rehoused in clean folders and boxes. Or they may be photocopied or reformatted onto microfilm. Dried records will always occupy more space than ones that have not been water damaged.

How to Air-Dry Bound Volumes

Air-drying is most appropriate for books that are only damp or wet in places, such as along the edges. Books that are soaking wet should be vacuum freeze-dried to minimize cockling of leaves and distortion of bindings. Books containing coated paper should be frozen while still wet and vacuum freeze-dried. Books with running or blurred inks should be frozen immediately, then vacuum freeze-dried.

1. Refer to steps 1 and 2 of the previous section.

2. Volumes can be dried on any flat surface, but tables make far easier work. Cover the tables with plastic or uninked newsprint.

3. Interleave at least every 50 pages, starting from the back of the volume. Turn pages carefully to avoid tearing them. For interleaving, use paper towels or clean, uninked newsprint. Be careful not to interleave too much, or the spine will become concave and the volume distorted. Complete the interleaving by placing clean blotter paper inside the front and back covers. Stand the volume on its head, fan it open, and place it on several sheets of absorbent paper. Change the interleaving frequently. Turn the volume over each time it is interleaved.

4. When volumes are dry but still cool to the touch, they should be closed and laid flat on a table or other horizontal surface, gently formed into the normal shape, with convex spine and concave front edge (if that was their original shape) and held in place with a light weight. Do not stack drying volumes on top of each other. In no case should they be returned to shelves until thoroughly dry; otherwise mold may develop, particularly along the inner margins.

5. Dampness will persist for some time in the inner margins, along the spine, and between boards and flyleaves. You may use a moisture meter to determine whether the paper is dry. Normal dry paper generally has about 7% moisture content. Check often for mold growth while books are drying.

6. If the edges are only slightly wet, interleaving is not required. Stand the volume on end and fan it open slightly in the path of a flow of air (as from a fan). To minimize distortion of the edges, lay volumes flat under light pressure (e.g., a book press or paper-covered bricks) just before drying is complete.

7. If you can establish an air-conditioned room capable of maintaining a constant relative humidity of 25 to 35% and temperatures between 50 and 65°F, books with only wet edges can be dried successfully in approximately 2 weeks without interleaving. Do not try to dry books printed on coated paper by this method. In most cases, the only chance of saving such books is to freeze them while wet and dry them by vacuum freeze-drying.

Sally Buchanan: 6/94

Rvsd. Lisa Fox: 12/97


Because of the number of photographic processes and their wide variety, responsible advice for the emergency salvage of wet photographs is difficult to provide. Some processes can withstand immersion in water for a day or more, whereas others would be permanently disfigured or even destroyed by a couple of minutes of exposure. In general, wet photographs should be air-dried or frozen as quickly as possible. Once they are stabilized by either of these methods, there is time to decide what course of action to pursue.

Ideally, salvage should occur under a conservator’s supervision. A conservator can minimize damage to a collection if he or she can direct the salvage and treat the collection immediately after the damage has occurred. Time is of the essence: the longer the period of time between the emergency and salvage, the greater amount of permanent damage that will occur.

Minimum Immersion Time

Photographs in water will quickly deteriorate: images can separate from mounts, emulsions can dissolve or stick together, and staining can occur. Mold can grow within 48 hours at 60% RH and 70°F, and it often causes permanent staining and other damage to photographs. For these reasons photographs need to be dried as quickly as possible. If photographs cannot be dried promptly, they should be frozen.

Salvage Priorities for Wet Photographs

• In general, films (plastic-base materials) appear to be more stable than prints (paper-base materials); therefore, prints should be salvaged first. Important exceptions include deteriorated nitrate and safety films, which are extremely susceptible to water damage.

• Some photographic processes will not survive immersion. Photographs made by the following processes should be salvaged first:

· ambrotypes

· tintypes

· collodion wet plate negatives

· gelatin dry plate negatives

· lantern slides

· deteriorated nitrate or safety film

 · autochromes

· carbon prints

· woodburytypes

· deteriorated or unhardened gelatin prints

· color materials

• Photographs that are more stable in water include:

· daguerreotypes

· salted paper prints

· albumen prints

 · collodion prints

· platinum prints

· cyanotypes

Air-Drying Photographs

• If personnel, space, and time are available, photographs can be air-dried.

• Separate photographs from their enclosures, frames, and from each other. If they are stuck together or
adhered to glass, set them aside for freezing and consultation with a conservator.

• Allow excess water to drain off the photographs.

• Spread the photographs out to dry, face up, laying them flat on an absorbent material such as blotters,
un-inked newsprint, paper towels, or a clean cloth.

• Photographs may curl during drying. They can be flattened later.

Freezing Photographs

• If immediate air-drying of photographs is not possible or if photographs are stuck together, freeze them.

• Place the photographs in small plastic bags before freezing, several to a bag.

• If possible, interleave photographs before freezing with a non-woven polyester material or wax paper.
This will make them easier to separate when they are eventually treated.

Drying Frozen Photographs

• Frozen photographs are best dried by thawing, followed by air-drying. As a group of photographs thaws,
individual photographs can be carefully peeled from the group and placed face up on a clean, absorbent
surface to air-dry.

• Vacuum thermal drying, where the frozen material is thawed and dried in a vacuum, is not recommended
for photographs. Gelatin photographs undergoing this procedure have a tendency to mottle severely and
stick together.

• Photographs can be vacuum freeze-dried; in this process, no thawing occurs. Gelatin photographs may
mottle during the procedure, but they will not stick together.

• Wet collodion glass plates must never be freeze-dried; they will not survive. This is also true for all similar
collodion processes such as ambrotypes, collodion lantern slides, and tintypes.

Salvaging Slides

• Slides can be rinsed and dipped in a water/Photo-flo® mixture, slide cleaner, or a similar commercial
product and air-dried, preferably hung on a line or propped on edge.

• Ideally, slides should be removed from their frames for drying and then remounted.

• Slides mounted between glass must be removed from the glass, or they will not dry.

Call a Qualified Conservator

Dried or frozen photographs are reasonably stable. Store them until you can talk to a conservator who has experience with photographs and can advise you of treatment needs.

Gary E. Albright: 6/94




Microforms subject to water damage should be professionally cleaned and dried within 48-60 hours. Generally this involves the use of a service bureau that will rewash, process, and dry the film. In most cases, the film should not be used again. Instead, make a duplicate copy and discard the damaged one. Both Fuji and Kodak offer reprocessing services for their films (see listings in Appendix B2). Coordinate microfilm salvage with service bureaus and processing laboratories.

Salvage Priority

1. Color microforms are most vulnerable. If the film is important, it should receive high-priority attention.

2. Silver-gelatin and other emulsion film, while relatively stable, should generally be salvaged next.

3. Diazo and vesicular films are most stable and should generally be salvaged last.

Procedures for Roll Microfilm

If the film is a duplicate and replacements are readily available, do not attempt salvage. If salvage is required, follow these steps:

1. Fasten a rubber band around the box so the box, label, and roll will remain together.

2. If the film is dirty/muddy, put in a 5-gallon bucket filled with clean, cold water. Agitate gently to remove major dirt deposits.

3. Drain off water. Replace with fresh water that is clean (preferably distilled) and cool until ready for packing.

4. Observe the film brand identification on top of each film carton. Kodak film can be packed for delivery to Eastman Kodak Company, and Fuji Film can be packed for delivery to Fuji Film Company, since both provide no-cost salvage of their film. (See Suppliers and Service Providers, Appendix B2.) Other brands of film may be sent to various film processing labs.

 5. Pack wet or damp reels of film in boxes lined with three layers of heavy duty plastic garbage bags (10-gallon size). Fasten each plastic bag separately and seal all boxes, marking them “WET FILM FOR REWASHING & DRYING.” Each box may contain 40-50 reels of 35mm film (about 80-100 reels of 16mm film) with a maximum weight of 35 pounds.

6. Prepare and enclose a packing list in the container, and retain a copy of it.

7. Arrange for shipping via Federal Express, UPS, or other carrier, and be sure the service bureaus know to expect receipt.

Procedures for Microfiche

If the fiche is a duplicate and replacements are readily available, do not attempt salvage. If salvage is required, follow these steps:

1. Keep the fiche in clean, cool water until ready to salvage.

2. Set up small buckets, shallow dish pans, or photo trays with clean, cool water.

3. Dip the fiche in the series of water baths to rinse off dirt, mud, or other debris.

4. Hang individual microfiche sheets on clothesline to dry. Be sure clothespin is attached to edge of sheet
and does not contact the image area.


If film cannot be salvaged within about 60 hours, it can be frozen.




The best procedure for salvaging computer media is to use your backups to recreate whatever data and files were lost. If you attempt salvage techniques described here, never put the salvaged media in one of your newer or better machines, as it could damage the equipment. If in doubt, always consult a data recovery specialist. Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers, lists some of those companies.

CD-ROM and Optical Disk

1. Rinse in cool, clean water.

2. Dry with a very soft, non-abrasive sponge. To accelerate drying, use a blow dryer turned to the “cool” setting.

Hard Drives and Magnetic Tapes

To the extent possible, use backups stored off-site. If salvage is required, contact specialized companies listed in Appendix B2, Suppliers and Service Providers.


The objective in salvaging diskettes is not to save the diskettes themselves, but to allow you to copy data from a wet disk to a new one.

1. Remove the disk from its plastic casing.

a. 3½” diskette: Gently pry up the metal “door” and remove the diskette inside. A spring will be visible, and it needs to be removed. (It comes out easily as it is held in place by the metal “door.”) The plastic disk will now be visible. Using a microspatula or thin screwdriver, slide the end in slightly so as not to touch the magnetic medium, and pry open each end to break the plastic seal that holds the two sides together.

b. 5¼” diskette: Use scissors to cut off the very edge of the diskette housing so that you create an opening on the edge of the diskette that faces outward when it is in the disk drive.

2. Reach in (using clean hands or lint-free gloves) and gently remove the magnetic medium.

3. Gently rinse the magnetic medium in clean, cool water. (Several rinses may be required if the disk was in dirty water.) Wipe with a lint-free cloth.

4. Open a new diskette, using the procedures outlined in step 1. Remove the magnetic disk from within the casing. Place the salvaged magnetic medium into the new case. When salvaging 3½” diskettes, you do not need to reattach the metal “door” or spring, but be sure the plastic fits snugly together so it does not get jammed in your disk drive.

5. Insert the disk into the floppy drive of a PC. It is a good idea to use an older PC, in case the disk still has some dust or other defects that could damage the disk drive.

6. Copy the damaged disk onto a new diskette.

7. Remove the salvaged magnetic medium and discard it. You can then continue using the diskette housing for additional salvaged diskettes.




Before salvaging fine art materials, identify the media of the materials to select the appropriate treatment. This section includes instructions for salvaging the following media:

• works of art on paper

• paintings

• animal materials: bone, hair, horn, ivory, shell

• animal skins:

• buckskin and other flexible leathers

• leather and rawhide

• parchment and vellum

• basketry

• ceramics, glass, and stone

• furniture

• metal

• natural history specimens

• textiles

• wood

Works of Art on Paper

The following procedures are appropriate for framed or matted items that are damp, but in generally sound condition. They must be frozen or dried within 48 hours.

    1. Preparation for drying


a. Place frame face-down on smooth, flat surface covered with blotting paper or bubble pack where necessary.

b. For wood frames, carefully remove hanging hardware, dust seal, nails, glaziers points or brackets, and backing boards not attached to mat.

c. For metal frames, carefully remove corner hardware, hanging hardware, and backing boards not attached to mat.

d. Ensure that work of art has not adhered to rabbet of frame, spacer, or glazing. For work of art that is framed, matted, and wet, use a screening support behind the back mat; then lift the entire unit (glazing, mat, and support) from the frame and lay it face up on a smooth, flat surface. Carefully remove the glazing, first ensuring that it has not adhered to the work of art. For a framed and unmatted work, the glazing and the work of art should be carefully removed together and laid face down on a smooth, flat surface. Apply blotting paper to the back to absorb excess moisture. It may be possible with a screening support to remove the work of art. As a last resort, leave the glazing and work of art to air-dry between blotting paper under a light weight.

e. Remove matting (window and attached back mat) with work of art.

f. Transfer matting using support where necessary and place face up on smooth, flat surface.

g. Lift window mat and detach work of art from back mat by carefully cutting hinges. If work of art is not mounted according to conservation standards and is attached firmly and directly to mat or backing board, consult a conservator.

h. Proceed to dry work of art.

2. Drying: Prints and other works with non water-soluble components should be frozen or dried within 48 hours. Paper-based works with stable media may be vacuum freeze-dried. If air-dried, use the following procedures:

a. Support the item with a non-woven support (e.g. Pellon or other brand of spun polyester) to aid in safe handling.

b. Place the item on a smooth, flat surface between layers of blotting paper.

c. Place a sheet of masonite on top with the rough side of the masonite facing away from the item. Weigh the masonite down evenly.

d. Change the blotters frequently until the item is dry.

3. Drying: Watercolors and other works with water-soluble components must be frozen or dried immediately. Paper-based works may be vacuum freeze-dried. For air-drying, proceed as follows:

a. Support the item with a screen or a non-woven support.

b. Place the item on a clean, dry surface and allow it to air-dry. Do not attempt to blot the item, since this may result in offset losses of water-soluble components.

c. Consult a conservator after air-drying.

Easel Paintings

The following procedures are suggested for framed (glazed and unglazed) items in damp, but sound condition.

1. Priority: Paintings should be dried immediately.

2. Preparation for drying

a. Place frame face down on smooth, flat surface covered with blotting paper or bubble pack where necessary.

b. For wood frames, carefully remove hanging hardware, dust seal, nails, or brackets and backing boards.

c. For metal frames, carefully remove corner hardware, hanging hardware, and backing boards.

d. Ensure that painting has not adhered to rabbet of frame, spacer, liner, or glazing by gently lifting each side of the painting one at a time to ensure freedom of movement. If glazing is broken but glass is still intact, hold the glazing together with pressure-sensitive tape. The frame may then be laid face down and the painting removed. If the glazing is shattered and broken pieces have dropped behind the remaining glass, keep the frame in a vertical position and use extreme care to remove all loose pieces of glass. If the painting is damaged by the glass, consult a conservator.

e. Carefully lift painting straight up and out of frame.

f. Proceed to dry work of art.

3. Drying: oils, acrylics, temperas, etc. on solid supports (cardboard, canvasboard, masonite)

a. After the painting is removed from its frame, place it face-up on several layers of clean white blotting paper or uninked newsprint on a clean, flat surface.

b. Cover the face of the painting with Japanese tissue or (if unavailable), uninked newsprint, then place 3-4 layers of white blotting paper on top of the painting. Where the paint is irregularly applied with thick impasto, use sufficient layers of blotting paper to cushion the projections against their possible flattening under pressure.

c. Place a slightly larger sheet of masonite on top of the painting, taking care to ensure that the rough side of the masonite faces away from the painting. Weigh the masonite down, particularly around the edges, to prevent curling.

d. Change the blotting paper until the painting is dry.

e. Replace with fresh, dry blotting paper and let the painting stabilize under the weights for several days. Do not change the first layer of Japanese paper or newsprint until drying has been completed. If this layer does not easily detach, leave it in place to be removed later by a conservator. If this layer becomes detached at any time before the drying process has been completed, replace it carefully with a fresh protective layer when changing the blotters.

4. Drying: oils, acrylics, temperas, etc. on canvas (linen, cotton, synthetics)

a. Do not remove the unframed painting from its stretcher.

b. Protect the face of the painting with Japanese paper (if available), or uninked newsprint. Keep the layers of tissue or newsprint flat and wrinkle-free.

c. Place the painting face-down onto a flat, firm surface covered with layers of white blotting paper (if available) or uninked newsprint.

d. Add layers of white blotting paper to the back of the canvas in the area of the stretcher bars. Fill to a depth somewhat higher than the bars. When weighted, a slight pressure will be exerted on the canvas.

e. Cover the entire back of the painting with a sheet of masonite and weigh it down. The edges should be especially weighted to prevent warping of the wooden stretcher bars.

f. Change the paper, ideally every half-hour, until dry. Leave the protective layer of Japanese paper in place until drying is completed. Check this layer for creases every time the blotting paper is changed.

g. If the protective layer of Japanese paper has not come off on its own when the drying is complete, leave it to be removed by a conservator at a later date.

Animal Materials: Bone, Hair, Horn, Ivory, Shell

1. Priority: Begin air-drying within 48 hours.

2. Handling Precautions: These may be extremely fragile when wet. Use supports to move items.

3. Preparation and Packing

a. Rinse or sponge with clean water to remove mud and other debris.

b. Drain and blot to remove excess moisture.

c. Separate items with freezer paper or waxed paper to prevent bleeding of colors between objects.

d. Transport in boxes lined with open plastic (polyethylene) bags.

4. Drying Method: Air-dry slowly on non-rusting screens.

Animal Skins: Buckskin and Other Flexible Leathers

1. Priority: Air-dry within 48 hours.

2. Handling Precautions: Leather may be extremely fragile when wet, and metal fasteners may tear through skin. Use supports to move items.

3. Preparation and Packing

a. Rinse or sponge with clean water to remove mud and other debris.

b. Drain and blot to remove excess moisture.

4. Drying Method: Air-dry. May require manipulation while drying to retain flexibility.

Animal Skins: Leather and Rawhide

1. Priority: Air-dry within 48 hours.

2. Handling Precautions: Leather (especially items with red-rot) may be extremely fragile when wet. Use supports to move items.

3. Preparation and Packing

a. Rinse or sponge with clean water to remove mud and other debris.

b. Drain and blot to remove excess moisture.

c. Pad shaped artifacts with toweling or uninked paper.

4. Drying Method: Air-dry.

Animal Skins: Parchment and Vellum

1. Priority: Immediately freeze or dry.

2. Preparation and Packing: Interleave sheets between folders, and pack items flat.

3. Drying Method: Air-dry or vacuum freeze-dry. Do not freeze-dry gilded or illuminated manuscripts.


1. Priority: Air-dry as soon as possible.

2. Handling Precautions: May be fragile and heavy when wet. Use supports to move items.

3. Preparation and Packing

a. Rinse in clean water to remove mud and debris.

b. Drain and blot to remove excess water.

c. Separate items with freezer paper or waxed paper.

4. Drying Method: Air-dry. Pad out with uninked paper, toweling, or colorfast fabric.

Ceramics, Glass, and Stone

General Instructions: These can be allowed to air-dry if they have been immersed in relatively clean water. However, if exposed to salt water, mud, oil, or other contaminants, keep them wet until you can consult a conservator. Pottery that has been previously restored using a water-soluble glue should be left for treatment by a conservator.

1. Ceramics and Porcelain

a. Handling Precautions

(1) Many old pieces have been repaired, and these repairs will come apart when immersed for any length of time.

(2) Keep pieces together in plastic bag or box, and label bags.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Glazed pieces can wait until there is time to wash them off. Gilded pieces should be dabbed off with a soft cloth.

(2) Bag or box when possible, and pack dry if possible.

(3) Wrap pieces individually to prevent more damage.

d. Drying Method: Air-dry.

2. Unglazed Pottery/Porcelain

a. Handling Precautions: same as Ceramics and Porcelain

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Wash off as soon as possible, or dry with mud on and remove later with a soft brush.

(2) Bag or box when possible, and pack dry if possible.

(3) Wrap pieces individually to prevent more damage; can be packed in one box with dividers.

d. Drying Method: Air-dry.

3. Painted Ceramics (unglazed)

a. Handling Precautions: same as above

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Do not wash; dry as is.

(2) Bag or box when possible, and pack dry if possible.

(3) Wrap pieces individually to prevent more damage; can be packed in one box with dividers.

c. Drying Method: Air-dry.


1. Solid wood pieces

a. Handling Precautions: If joints are saturated, tie up with cord or thick string.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Wash off mud with clean water as soon as possible, then dab dry.

(2) Wipe with disinfectant if necessary. A solution of 50% alcohol in water will discourage mold but may damage finish.

(3) Do not stack or place other objects on top to dry.

c. Drying Method

(1) Air-dry under cover if possible.

(2) Dry slowly to minimize cracking and splitting.

(3) Expect surface coatings to discolor.

(4) Contact a conservator.

2. Veneered pieces

a. Handling Precautions: Handle as little as possible.

b. Preparation and Packing: Follow instructions for solid wood pieces.

c. Drying Method

(1) Air-dry, following instructions for drying solid wood.

(2) Air-dry in an “envelope” of cotton fabric or plastic, if possible, to catch pieces that may fall off. Keep all pieces for replacement when piece is dry.

(3) Dry under weights to hold veneer in place.

3. Partially upholstered furniture

a. Handling Precautions: Keep pieces together.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Follow instructions for solid wood pieces.

(2) Remove lift-out seats and rinse with clean water.

c. Drying Method

(1) Air-dry, following instructions for drying solid wood.

(2) Wrap upholstered/textile seats and other parts in clean sheet or towels to wick dry.

4. Upholstered furniture

a. Handling Precautions: Handle all furniture with gloves.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Follow instructions for solid wood pieces.

(2) Remove and rinse textile objects such as cushions.

c. Drying Method

(1) Air-dry, following instructions for drying solid wood.

(2) Wrap upholstered components such as cushions in clean sheet or towels to wick dry.


1. In most cases, the best treatment for wet metal is to remove mud and debris with clean water, then blot off the water with toweling.

2. Air-dry as soon as possible. Items can be dried in an oven at 100° Fahrenheit.

3. If the item has moving parts (e.g., camera, watch), wash the item in clean water, freeze it, and leave it for a conservator for special treatment. One may attempt freeze-drying of these objects, but it is best to leave this decision to a conservator.

4. Painted metal objects should be rinsed in clean water before drying. However, avoid cleaning flaking or peeling areas. Painted surfaces or other applied decorations or labels may be soft and fragile, so avoid touching them. If possible, keep flaking areas horizontal and face-up during handling, packing, and/or drying.

5. Fragile metal objects should be frozen without washing. Although one may attempt freeze-drying of these objects, as well as items with moving parts, it is advisable to leave this decision to a conservator.

6. Items that are a combination of metal and other materials may fall apart as a result of washing. If this happens, keep the components together to be reassembled at a later date. Consult a conservator to determine the appropriate drying treatment.

7. In the case of iron, steel, and copper, there is a risk of damage because of the stains (including rust) caused by these wet metals. Avoid letting them contact other materials.

Natural History Specimens

1. Priority: Freeze or air-dry within 48 hours.

2. Handling Precautions: Use gloves and wear surgical mask while handling, for many stuffed mounts contain arsenic or other pesticides and may be extremely hazardous to your health.

3. Preparation and Packing

a. Drain and blot to remove excess water.

b. Separate items with freezer paper or waxed paper.

c. Support items with padding.

d. Isolate items from other objects in boxes lined with plastic sheeting, and limit handling to avoid contamination.

4. Drying Method: Air-dry or freeze-dry.


Because of the risk of mold developing on organic materials, textiles should be frozen or air-dried within 48 hours.

1. Small, flat textiles

a. Handling Precautions: Do not unfold if fragile layers are stuck together.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Drain and blot to remove excess water.

(2) Separate items with freezer paper or waxed paper to prevent dye staining between items.

(3) If items are to be frozen, individual pieces can be placed in plastic trash bags to prevent dye transfer, then packed together into boxes.

c. Drying Method: Air-dry or consult a conservator about freeze-drying.

2. Beadwork and painted fabrics

a. Handling Precautions: Use supports to move items.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Drain and blot to remove excess water.

(2) Separate items with freezer paper or waxed paper to prevent dye staining between items.

(3) If items are to be frozen, individual pieces can be placed in plastic trash bags to prevent dye transfer, then packed together into boxes.

c. Drying Method: Air-dry. Do not freeze beadwork or painted/stenciled items.

3. Framed textiles

a. Handling Precautions: Unframe and remove mounting if possible. See instructions for works of art.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Drain and blot to remove excess water.

(2) Separate items with freezer paper or waxed paper to prevent dye staining between items.

(3) If items are to be frozen, individual pieces can be placed in plastic trash bags to prevent dye transfer, then packed together into boxes.

c. Drying Method: Air-dry or consult a conservator about freeze-drying.

4. Large, flat textiles: blankets, coverlets, etc.

a. Handling Precautions: Drain items to reduce water weight, then use supports to move items.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Drain and blot to remove excess water.

(2) Separate items with freezer paper or waxed paper to prevent dye staining between items.

(3) If items are to be frozen, individual pieces can be placed in plastic trash bags to prevent dye transfer, then packed together into boxes.

c. Drying Method: Air-dry or consult a conservator about freeze-drying.

5. Garments

a. Handling Precautions: Buttons, metal fasteners, bodice boning, etc. will easily tear through wet fabrics. Use supports to move items.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Drain and blot to remove excess water.

(2) Separate items with freezer paper or waxed paper to prevent dye staining between items.

(3) If items are to be frozen, individual pieces can be placed in plastic trash bags to prevent dye transfer, then packed together into boxes.

c. Drying Method:

(1) Air-dry. Pad out with uninked paper toweling, net, or colorfast fabric to restore shape.

(2) Consult a conservator about freeze-drying.

6. Tapestries and rugs

a. Handling Precautions: These are extremely heavy and fragile when wet. Use supports to move items.

b. Preparation and Packing

(1) Drain and roll with toweling to remove excess water.

(2) Unroll item, remove toweling, and repeat procedure if needed.

(3) Fold or roll individual items.

c. Drying Method: Air-dry or consult a conservator about freeze-drying.

Wood, unpainted

1. Priority: Begin to air-dry within 48 hours.

2. Preparation and Packing

a. Remove mud and debris with clean water.

b. Drain and blot to remove excess water.

c. If packing is necessary, wrap items in blotting materials under loosely draped plastic (polyethylene) sheeting.

3. Drying Method: Air-dry slowly, under plastic sheeting. Use fans to increase air circulation but not aimed directly at objects.

Wood, polychromed

1. Priority: Begin to air-dry within 48 hours.

2. Handling Precautions: Surfaces may be extremely fragile and flaking. Avoid touching painted areas. Keep flaking areas in horizontal, face-up position if possible.

3. Preparation and Packing

a. Wrap under loosely draped plastic (polyethylene) sheeting, avoiding contact with painted surface.

b. Contact a conservator immediately for advice.

4. Drying Method: Air-dry slowly, under plastic sheeting. Items may require immediate attention by a conservator.



Appendix R: Utility/System Malfunctions


Notify one of the following staff when there is a problem with the facilities such as a power outage, water leak, breakdown of the heating/air-conditioning system, suspected gas leak, accidental sprinkler discharge, etc. They are authorized to initiate a service request.

Name/Title Office Phone Home Phone/Beeper

Emergency Contacts

The following other contacts may be made as necessary: [You may list here some of the more common problems and the person/office to contact (e.g., utility companies, maintenance staff, etc.). These may be reproduced from the “Emergency Instructions” sheet.]

Problem Contact Office Home/Beeper




Emergency Shut-Offs

Many of these shut-offs require special tools, and in most institutions only a member of the facilities/maintenance department has access to those tools and authorization to operate the shut-offs. List here the location of shut-offs and be sure all switches, valves, and breakers are clearly labeled. The “Procedure” may be to contact a particular staff member, but in some cases it may also be appropriate to outline the procedure the maintenance staff uses to operate the shut-offs.

Main electrical cut-off switch



Main water shut-off valve



Main gas shut-off:



Sprinkler system controls:



Heating/cooling system controls:





Appendix S: Vaults, Keys and Combinations

Vaults and Combinations

Use the following procedures when opening the vault located [specify location(s)]:

[Be aware that vaults may be covered by different fire protection systems than the general collections. Consult with the fire department regarding procedures for opening vaults after a fire, and outline the procedures here. If your vaults contain classified materials, also outline any special procedures for entering those vaults after a disaster.]

The following staff know the combinations or have special keys for safes, vaults, and other high-security areas:

[If special procedures or security clearance is required for access to those areas, you may wish to outline the procedures in this section. However, be aware that everyone who receives a copy of the disaster plan will then see the access procedures. Therefore, in the interest of security, it is most prudent to outline the procedures in a separate document that has more limited distribution.]

Area Name/Position Phone: Office/Home







Master Keys or Cards

The following staff have master keys or key-cards that may be needed in order to get access to parts of the building:

Name/Position Phone: Office/Home







Mechanical/Janitorial Rooms

[If janitorial closets or mechanical rooms are locked and require special authorization or restricted-access keys, provide a listing of those rooms and identify the staff member or unit that has keys and how to contact them.]

For emergencies in these areas, contact the following:

Room Name/Position Phone: Office/Home









Appendix T: Bibliography

Use this bibliography as the basis for creating your own bibliography of reference materials. In place of the ordering information in the citations below, add information about the in-house location of each or the names of organizations that might lend a copy.


Anderson, Hazel, and John E. McIntyre. Planning Manual for Disaster Control in Scottish Libraries & Record Offices. Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland, 1985. 75 p.

A useful compendium of basic information (conveyed primarily through summary checklists) on disaster prevention, response, and recovery.

National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW, Scotland.

ARMA International Guideline for Records and Information Management: Magnetic Diskettes— Recovery Procedures. Prairie Village, KS: Association of Records Managers and Administrators, Inc., 1987. 6 p.

Well-illustrated, practical instructions for salvaging water-damaged diskettes through a simple procedure.

ARMA International, 4200 Somerset Dr., Ste. 215, Prairie Village, KS 66208 (913-341-3808). $19, $14 to ARMA members.

Artim, Nick. “An Introduction to Automatic Fire Sprinklers.” WAAC Newsletter 16: 3 (September 1994), 20-27 and 17: 2 (May 1995), 23-28.

Clear explanation of the types of sprinkler systems and sprinkler heads, with practical assessment of the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Barton, John P., and Johanna G. Wellheiser, eds. An Ounce of Prevention: A Handbook on Disaster Contingency Planning for Archives, Libraries and Record Centres. Toronto: Toronto Area Archivists Group Education Foundation, 1985. 192 p. Out of print.

One of the most practical and comprehensive manuals published on disaster prevention, planning, and recovery.

Brooks, Connie. Disaster Preparedness. Washington, D.C.: ARL Office of Management Services, 1993. 184 p.

Developed to help libraries develop disaster plans. Outlines a participative, staff-led planning process and includes copies of some articles and models and documents. Augments the ARL Preservation Planning Program Self-Study Manual (see Merrill-Oldham and Reed-Scott).

ARL/OMS, Dept. #0692, Washington, DC 20073-0692 (202-296-2296). $15. Prepayment required.

Buchanan, Sally A. and Toby Murray Disaster Planning: Preparedness and Recovery for Libraries and Archives–A RAMP Study with Guidelines. Paris: UNESCO, 1988. 187p.

A good guide to disaster prevention, protection, recovery, and planning, with many useful forms and resource lists in appendices. Includes comprehensive bibliography by Toby Murray.

UNESCO, Maison de l’Unesco, 7 Place du Fontenoy, Paris F75007, France.

Disaster Readiness, Response and Recovery Manual. Providence, R.I.: Rhode Island Department of State Library Services, 1992. Approx. 125 p.

Essentially a “fill-in-the-blanks” disaster workbook, with some basic information on emergency procedures and resources. Also see the New York University workbook (cited below). Should be used in conjunction with more detailed literature.

Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02903-4195 (401-222-2726).

Drewes, Jeanne. “Computers: Planning for Disaster.” Law Library Journal, 81 (Winter 1989), 103-116.

Outlines strategies for protecting hardware and software against loss, protecting them from damage, and incorporating them in disaster plans. Includes practical, detailed guidelines for backup of mainframes, mini- and microcomputers, and optical disk systems, along with guidelines for protection and insurance coverage. Good bibliography.

Eulenberg, Julia Niebuhr. Handbook for the Recovery of Water Damaged Business Records. Prairie Village, KS: Association of Records Managers and Administrators, 1986. 54 p.

Basic guidance on recovery of magnetic media, photographs, and business records.

ARMA International, 4200 Somerset Dr., Ste. 215, Prairie Village, KS 66208 (913-341-3808). $23, $18 to ARMA members.

Fortson, Judith. Disaster Planning and Recovery: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians and Archivists. How-To-Do-It Manuals for Libraries, no. 21. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 1992. 181 p.

Practical handbook on planning, recovery, and prevention with respect to books, papers, photographs, microforms, and tapes. Includes sample disaster plan and lists of suppliers and resource people.

Neal-Schuman Publishers, 100 Varick St., New York, NY 10013 (212-925-8650). $39.95, plus shipping.

Fox, Lisa L. “Management Strategies for Disaster Preparedness.” Pp. 1-6 in The ALA Yearbook of Library and Information Services, vol. 14. Chicago: ALA, 1989.

Addresses four key concepts for moving an institution beyond the planning stage and into successful implementation.

Hendriks, Klaus B. and Brian Lesser. “Disaster Preparedness and Recovery: Photographic Materials.” American Archivist 46 (Winter 1983), 52-68.

Provides excellent, research-based advice on techniques for salvaging photographic materials.

The Inside Track to Disaster Recovery. Prairie Village, KS: Assn. of Records Managers and Administrators, 1986. 14-minute VHS color videotape.

Basic introduction to disaster recovery (packing, drying and restoration, and relocation) of records, microforms, books, and magnetic media. Useful, but must be augmented by other readings and training.

ARMA International, 4200 Somerset Dr., Ste. 215, Prairie Village, KS 66208 (913-341-3808); $30.

International Directory of Public Refrigerated Warehouses. Bethesda, MD: International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses. Annual.

International listing of freezer facilities.

International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, 7315 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 1200 North, Bethesda, MD 20814 (301-652-5674). $150 for clients outside the perishable foods industry.

Lundquist, Eric G. Salvage of Water Damaged Books, Documents, Micrographic and Magnetic Media. San Francisco: Document Reprocessors, 1986. 103 p.

Case histories of a major library fire and an area-wide flood, with useful tips on factors that should be accommodated in disaster planning.

Document Reprocessors, Inc., 41 Sutter St., Ste. 1120, San Francisco, CA 94104 (800-437-9464). Free.

Mathieson, David F. “Hurricane Preparedness: Establishing Workable Policies for Dealing with Storm Threats.” Technology & Conservation (Summer 1983), 28-29.

Practical, basic tips.

Merrill-Oldham, Jan, and Jutta Reed-Scott, eds. Preservation Planning Program: An Assisted Self-Study Manual for Libraries. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C.: ARL Office of Management Services, 1993. 138p.

Developed to help libraries plan and implement preservation programs in a process that educates and involves a large number of staff members. Outlines a comprehensive self-study process, and augmented by a guide to disaster planning (see Brooks, Disaster Preparedness).

ARL/OMS, Dept. #0692, Washington, DC 20073-0692 (202-296-2296). $40. Prepayment required.

Morris, John. Managing the Library Fire Risk. 2 ed. Berkeley: Univ. of California, 1979. 147 p.

While the discussion of fire prevention and extinguishing technologies are now dated, the case studies of some disastrous library fires are informative and suggest critical issues in fire safety planning.

John Morris, 3333 Nutmeg Ln., Walnut Creek, CA 94598 (415-933-3365). $15.50.

Myers, Gerald E. Insurance Manual for Libraries. Chicago: ALA, 1977. 64 p. Out of print.

Concise, helpful guide, though now somewhat dated.

Myers, James N., and Denise D. Bedford, eds. Disasters: Prevention and Coping. Proceedings of the Conference, May 21-22, 1980. Stanford: Stanford University Libraries, 1981. 177 p.

Various papers on the Stanford University flood; planning; freeze drying; disaster prevention; cooperation; fire, insect, and water damage.

Stanford University Libraries Publications Office, Stanford, CA 94305 (415-723-9434). $18.

National Fire Protection Association. NFPA 910: Recommended Practice for the Protection of Libraries and Library Collections. Quincy, MA: NFPA [most current].

Information on technologies for fire detection and extinguishing systems, with results of tests on the efficacy of compact storage in reducing fire damage. ANSI-approved as a national standard.

NFPA Publication Sales Div., Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169 (800-344-3555). $12, plus shipping.

NFPA 2001: Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems. Quincy, MA: NFPA [most current].

Key standard for fire-suppression systems designed to provide an alternative to Halon.

NFPA Publication Sales Div., Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169 (800-344-3555).

National Task Force on Emergency Response. Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel. (Washington, D.C.: The Task Force, 1997).

Brief, at-a-glance information on response and salvage procedures for cultural institutions.

National Task Force on Emergency Response, c/o National Institute for Conservation of Cultural Property, 3299 K St., N.W., Washington, DC 20007 (888-979-2233); $9.95 each, with discounts for multiple copies and non-profit organizations.

New York University Libraries Preservation Committee. Disaster Plan Workbook. New York: NYU Libraries, 1984. 75 p.

Essentially a “fill-in-the-blanks” disaster plan, with some basic information on emergency procedures and resources. Also see Disaster Readiness, Response and Recovery Manual (cited above). Should be used in conjunction with more detailed literature.

Collection Management Office, Bobst Library, NYU, 70 Washington Sq. S., New York, NY 10012. $10.

Nyberg, Sandra. The Invasion of the Giant Spore. Atlanta: SOLINET, 1987. 19 p.

A comprehensive guide to the prevention and eradication of mold.

SOLINET, 1438 W. Peachtree St., Ste. 200, Atlanta, GA 30309-2955 (800-999-8558). Free.

O’Connell, Mildred. “Disaster Planning: Writing and Implementing Plans for Collections-Holding Institutions.” Technology and Conservation (Summer 1983), 18-24.

A good introduction to the key issues in disaster planning.

Ogden, Sherelyn, ed. Preservation of Library and Archival Materials: A Manual. 2nd ed. Andover, Mass.: Northeast Document Conservation Center, 1994. one volume.

A collection of practical leaflets, including ones on drying collections, salvaging photographs, mold prevention, and vulnerability of collections during renovation. In addition to disaster-related leaflets, includes others on preservation planning, environmental control, storage and handling, reformatting, and conservation.

NEDCC, 100 Brickstone Sq., Andover MA 01810 (978-470-1010) or e-mail nedcc@nedcc.org; $40.

Parker, Thomas A. “Integrated Pest Management for Libraries.” In Preservation of Library Materials, ed. Merrily A. Smith, IFLA Publications 40/41. Munich: K. G. Saur Verlag, 1987, 103-123

Excellent descriptions of common library pests, with illustrations, descriptions of damage, and controlling strategies (especially non-chemical).

K.G. Saur, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010 (212-982-1302). $70 for the 2-vol. set.

Price, Lois Olcott. Mold–Managing a Mold Invasion: Guidelines for Disaster Response. Technical Series No. 1. Phila.: Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, 1994. 6 p.

Good introduction to issues related to insurance coverage for libraries.

CCAHA, 264 S. 23rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215-545-0613).

Schnare, Robert E. “Incendiary Gilt: When Your Labels Go up in Smoke.” Conservation Administration News, 36 (Jan. 1989), 1-2.

Case study with practical guidance on recovery from fire.

Seal, Robert A. “Insurance for Libraries.” Conservation Administration News, 19 (October 1984), 8-9 and 20 (January 1985), 10-11, 26.

Good introduction to issues related to insurance coverage for libraries.

Trinkley, Michael. Can You Stand the Heat? A Fire Safety Primer for Libraries, Archives and Museums. Atlanta: Southeastern Library Network, 1993. 70 p.

Practical introduction to all the major components of fire safety. Includes detailed explanations of all the fire detection mechanisms and suppression devices typically used in repositories, with analysis of their features and benefits. Stresses the importance of conducting fire safety inspections and outlines the necessary elements of a fire safety program.

SOLINET, 1438 W. Peachtree St., Ste. 200, Atlanta, GA 30309-2955 (800-999-8558). $10. Prepayment required.

Hurricane! Surviving the Big One: A Primer for Libraries, Museums, and Archives. Columbia, S.C.: Chicora Foundation, 1993. 76 p.

Detailed guidance on preparation for and recovery from a hurricane. Includes sections on building construction methods that withstand hurricane-force winds, along with a step-by-step discussion of activities before, during, and after a storm. Several suppliers and service providers recommended within the text.

Chicora Foundation, P.O. Box 8664, Columbia, SC 29202-8664 (803-787-6910).

Walsh, Betty. “Salvage Operations for Water Damaged Collections.” WAAC Newsletter 10: 2 (May 1988), 2-5.

. “Salvage Operations for Water Damaged Archival Collections: A Second Glance.” WAAC Newsletter 19: 2 (March 1997), 12-23.

Wilson, J. Andrew. “Fire Fighters.” Museum News (November/December 1989), 68-72.

Excellent introduction to the types of automatic fire suppression systems available and strong arguments for their use. Equally applicable to libraries and archives.

Serial Publications

The Abbey Newsletter. 8 issues/year.

Excellent source of timely information on preservation and conservation subjects, including bookbinding, commercial binding, educational programs, publications, supply sources, and news.

Ellen McCrady, editor; Abbey Publications, 7105 Geneva Dr., Austin TX 78723 (512-929-3992). $40/year.

Disaster Recovery Journal. Quarterly.

Focuses on disaster preparedness for business organizations, with particular attention to data processing issues. Ads are a useful source of information on specialized recovery companies.

Disaster Recovery Journal, P.O. Box 510110, St. Louis, MO 63151 (314-894-0276); e-mail drj@drj.com; Web site http://www.drj.com. $10/yr.; free to qualified contingency planners.

Internet Resources

Arts, Crafts, and Theater Safety, Inc. (ACTS)

Web site addresses hazards posed by toxic or dangerous materials used in the arts, including conservation. Offers health and safety information, educational and technical information, referrals to physicians and other professionals. Publications for sale (at $.25 per page) include a 4-page data sheet about understanding Material Safety Data Sheets and a 9-page data sheet about biological hazards.

Access http://www.caseweb.com/acts/ or contact ACTS, 181 Thompson St., #23, New York, NY 10012-2586 (212-777-0062); e-mail ACTS@CaseWeb.com.

Bomb Data Center

FBI-maintained repository of bomb incident data, summarized with data on U.S. incidents since 1990.

Access http://www.fbi.gov/lab/bomsum/eubdc.htm

The Chubb Corporation: Insurance Library

One of the nation’s leading providers of insurance for cultural institutions offers a Web site with information on insurance policies, claims, procedures, etc.

Access http://www.chubb.com/library/

Conservation DistList

Electronic discussion forum for a wide range of preservation and conservation issues, from highly technical to programmatic and philosophical. Associated database, Conservation OnLine (CoOL), has full-text resource materials, including some disaster plans, related publications, and links to disaster-related Web sites.

Send subscription request to consdist-request@lindy.stanford.edu. CoOL is accessible via the World Wide Web at http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/ and includes a section related to disaster preparedness.

Dartmouth Flood Observatory

The “Flood Archive” has a worldwide index map, report summaries, and a table that displays the start and end dates, number of deaths, damage estimates, and amount of land impacted for flood events since 1994. Includes many satellite images of flood events.


Disaster Mitigation Planning Web Site

The Eisenhower Library Preservation Department at Johns Hopkins University, with the help of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCHA), the Preservation Department at the Smithsonian Libraries, and the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress have mounted this Web site.

Access: http://pres01.mse.jhu.edu/index.html

Federal Emergency Management Agency

A wealth of information about FEMA’s role and functions, a great deal of information on disaster response and recovery for a wide variety of natural disasters, and links to weather information, the U.S. Fire Administration, and other sources. While designed primarily for private citizens, the resources are generally relevant to organizations. Includes the Global Emergency Management System, a searchable database of disaster-related Web sites.

Access: http://www.fema.gov/

Harvard University Library

Harvard’s Preservation site includes procedures, supply and service sources (especially those for Boston and New England), and guidelines for disaster planning and recovery.

Access: http://preserve.harvard.edu/resources/disaster/

Hurricane/Tropical Data

Purdue University Weather Processor provides storm track charts and text-based tables for storms in the Atlantic (from 1886), Eastern Pacific (from 1949), and Western Pacific (from 1945). Provides a composite chart for each season and for each storm. Extensive links to satellite and radar imagery.

Access: http://wxp.eas.purdue.edu/hurricane.html

Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tropical Cyclones FAQ

Lists the costliest, deadliest, longest, and most intense events, as well as other records and data about tropical storms.

Access: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/tcfaqHED.html

Internet Resources for Risk Management and Information Systems

Articles from trade journals on risk management and information technologies.

Access: http://rmisweb.com/

The IRIS Consortium

University research consortium provides a clickable epicenter map that supplies information on events in the last 30 days. IRIS SPYDER database provides detailed event-specific data files and maps for events since October 1996.

Access: http://www.iris.edu

Library of Congress Preservation Directorate

Access: http://lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/

Michigan Technological University Volcanoes Homepage

Information on current volcanic activity, remote sensing images of volcanoes, and links to other volcano-related Web sites. Coverage includes location/geological setting, topographic maps and air photos, meteorology, and bibliography.

Access: http://www.geo.mtu.edu/volcanoes/

Migratory Pests

Tracks information about migratory pests such as the desert locust, including situation reports and maps of infestations.


http://www.fao.org/WAICENT/FAOINFO/AGRICULT/AGP/AGPP/ Locusts/Default.htm

National Archives and Records Administration

Access: http://www.nara.gov/. From “Professional Services,” select “preservation.”

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

Access: http://www.cr.nps.gov/ncptt

National Earthquake Information Center

Information and maps on the latest earthquakes worldwide. Includes an interactive database that produces customized reports.

Access: http://wwwneic.cr.usgs.gov/

National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA)

Access: http://www.nfpa.org

National Hurricane Center

Provides current and historic tropical cyclone, hurricane, and high seas data, along with high wind/wave alerts and ocean weather for mariners and aviators.

Access: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

National Interagency Fire Center

Features wildland fire information for the U.S. Includes weekly incident reports by region and summaries of previous fire season statistics.

Access http://www.nifc.gov

National Landslide Information Center

Access to fact sheets, reports, and images of specific U.S. landslide events.

Access http://geohazards.cr.usgs.gov/html_files/nlicsun.html

National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI)

Nonprofit research organization’s site contains lightning safety information, statistics on losses and damage from lightning, and quick facts.

Access http://www.lightningsafety.com/

National Media Laboratory

Research laboratory specializes in research on magnetic media, and provides useful information on Web site.

Access http://www.nml.org. From “Search,” select “preservation.”

National Park Service

Access http://www.nps.gov

National Storm Prediction Center

Statistics on tornadoes and other severe storms, including monthly totals and averages for the U.S. Its historical archive contains data on tornadoes, hail, and convective winds. Statistics are given by state from the 1940s to 1995 for injuries, fatalities and costs, overall rankings, etc. Most files in the archive must be downloaded and unzipped.

Access http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/~spc/

National Transportation Safety Board

Data on current and historic accidents in the U.S., by transportation mode (aviation, highway, marine, rail, pipeline) and hazardous materials.

Access http://www.ntsb.gov/

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Access http://www.nthp.org

National Weather Service

Access http://www.nws.noaa.gov/

Natural Hazards Center

Comprehensive information on natural disasters, including quick response reports of natural and man-made disasters, full text of many of the Center’s publications, lists of organizations, and extensive links to other Internet sites.

Access http://www.colorado.edu/hazards

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)

Web site includes excellent resources on disaster preparedness, including NEDCC publications and frequently-asked questions about disaster preparedness.

Access http://www.nedcc.org

PADG-L. Preservation Administration Discussion Group

Listserv designed to address various issues of preservation management, including disaster planning and preparedness.

Send subscription request to: padg@ala.org

Severe Weather Data

Provides links to current watches, warnings, advisories, and bulletins for all types of natural disasters including avalanches, earthquakes, flooding, fog, tornadoes, and wind. Focuses on the U.S.

Access http://asp1.sbs.ohio-state.edu/severetext.html

The Tornado Project Online

Commercial site with links to descriptions of current (and some historic) tornado events in the U.S. Includes explanation of the Fujita tornado intensity scale.

Access http://www.tornadoproject.com/


Provides access to near-real time events via a link to the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

Access http://www.geophys.washington.edu/tsunami/welcome.html

U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S.G.S. maintains a Web page on natural hazards. Also has a series of regional volcano observatories in the Pacific Rim.

Access natural hazards page at http://www.usgs.gov/themes/hazard.html. Also the Cascades Volcano Observatory (for Cascade Range, including Mt. St. Helens) at http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov, Alaska Volcano Observatory (for area along the Aleutian arc) at http://www.avo.alaska.edu, and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/.

USA Today Weather Page

Gives temperature means, extremes, weather records, and recent weather highlights for locations worldwide. Includes good explanations of weather phenomena, and information and statistics on weather events such as hurricanes, severe storms, tornadoes, and water spouts.

Access http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wfront.htm

WAAC Newsletter

Art conservation newsletter Includes articles on various aspects of disaster preparedness.

Access http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/waac

The Weather Channel

Access http://www.weather.com

Westwide Avalanche Network

Maintained by the American Association of Avalanche Professionals. Contains extensive information on current and past avalanche seasons.

Access http://www.avalanche.org/toc.htm


Index to disaster links on the Web is a useful compilation of miscellaneous sources for disaster events.

Access http://www.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Environment_and_Nature/Disasters/