In case of earthquake, floods, or human-caused emergencies such as fires, how does a cultural institution protect the people on site, its collections, and the premises from harm? Building an Emergency Plan provides a step-by-step guide that a cultural institution can follow to develop its own emergency preparedness and response strategy.
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Natural disasters are just that, something over which humans have no control. However, institutions responsible for the preservation of cultural material must be prepared to cope with the effects of these occurrences in a rapid and effective manner. The difference between an emergency and a disaster may well be the difference between readiness and panic. Based on the Getty Museum's own emergency planning handbook, this step-by-step guide is designed to allow an institution to develop plans specific to its own needs and facilities. The work is divided into three major sections, each dealing with the specific staff position involved in the planning and decision-making: the director, emergency preparedness manager, and departmental team leaders. The interaction of these posts is seen as vital to a successful response to an emergency. Examples drawn from a number of cultural institutions are provided, suggesting everything from evacuation procedures for staff and the public and the handling of art objects, to medical and disaster supplies, as well as exercises, checklists, and questions to be considered in the development of an effective strategy. The investment in collecting and maintaining our often fragile cultural heritage must include preparing for the unexpected. This practical guide is a fine contribution to the efforts to do just that. Highly recommended for libraries in museums and other cultural institutions.
-Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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