Many disasters we face – from hurricanes to fires – are largely out of our control, but in most cases, steps can be taken to lessen the impact to our collections. One important step to take is to include Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in your daily operations and emergency planning so you are not caught unaware.
The REALM (Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) Project began last summer in an effort to monitor COVID-19 as it relates to archives, libraries, and museums – our collections, staff, and visitors. It has become an invaluable resource, both through original research in finding how long the virus can survive on all manner of objects, as well as acting as a hub that collects and distributes case studies to help institutions re-open as safely as possible. Their January 29th webinar is available to view for free and discusses their findings and experiences over the last year:
Dealing with a pest infestation starts with identification: once you know what you’re dealing with, you can tailor your plan to remove the pest with the least damage to your collection. The Integrated Pest Management Working Group has created an excellent library of fact sheets to help with this important step:
Although not specifically geared toward cultural institutions, FEMA’s Case Study Library is an excellent resource for preparedness and mitigation in emergency situations, and even contains COVID best practices studies. You can browse their collection, or filter by keyword, location, or incident or report type.
We want to give a big round of applause to the members of TX-CERA and the Texas Heritage Responders who ventured out when snow was still on the ground in February to help institutions that were affected by Uri. News coverage of one of the locations we visited can be viewed below.
The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) is hosting a free webinar titled Implementing the Incident Command System at the Institutional Level on March 31, 2021 at 1:00-2:00 pm Central Time (2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time).
The speaker, David Carmicheal, will discuss the Incident Command System (ICS), and how to adapt ICS to cultural organizations.
The webinar will take place on Zoom and automated live captions will be available for those who choose to use them. For inquiries about accessibility or other questions about the program, please contact email@example.com. The webinar will be recorded, and the recording will be available to view shortly after the live event is complete.
When disaster strikes, it’s a good idea to have anything you might need for staff safety, cleanup, and collection recovery in a single location that any staff member can access. Necessary equipment may vary by institution, but these checklists are a great way to get started.