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Susan’s Suggestions for Pain-free Disaster Planning

Suggestion #13: Collection recovery procedures.  Your library probably already has a document that specifies how and by whom your collections will be salvaged in the event of damage from a disaster. If so, ask that a copy be sent to you for inclusion in the plan. If not, now is the time! Depending on your situation, it may be you who is responsible, or there may another person in your organization who is responsible. If you are starting from scratch, check the internet for some valuable guidance, including SoliNET (“Contents of a Disaster Plan,” SoliNET Preservation Services Leaflet, and the Library of Congress (Library of Congress, Preservation, “Emergency Preparedness for Library of Congress Collections.” There is a wealth of information, virtually something for everyone, available. Most libraries own at least several books on the topic. You can borrow from much information that is free, and then add the information specific to your organization, such as names of point people, how to contact them, lists of recovery companies, etc.

Whether you are including an existing document or creating a new one, keep in mind that all supplies mentioned in the recovery procedures need to be on hand before the disaster strikes (sponges, buckets, rubber gloves, dust masks, paper towels, etc.). Add them to your list of Disaster Supplies if you don’t already own them, and make sure that whoever orders your office supplies is notified about the need.

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