Museum Handbook: Primer on Disaster Preparedness
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In the past several years, the United States has suffered major disasters ranging from earthquakes in California to hurricanes in Miami. These disasters often cause severe and ongoing destruction in the form of water damage to cultural property, the most vulnerable being books, documents, and other paper based materi als. On such occasions the Conservation Analytical Laboratory - Smithsonian Institution (CAL-SI), Library of Congress (LC), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and National Park Service (NPS) receive increased requests for information on disaster preparedness, management, and response for the salvage of books, documents, and other paper based materials.

In order to facilitate a pro-active rather than reactive approach to disaster preparation with respect to cultural property, four basic references currently issued separately from CAL, LC, NARA, and NPS have been updated and combined into this single pamphlet. The editors hope that this streamlined publication will provide sound introductory information to private individuals and public institutions in preparing for either small or large scale events.

The SI handbook presents guidelines for general facilities preparation and response to a variety of events both natural (storms, floods) and man-made (hazardous material accidents). The NARA article addresses small scale events and procedures for the general public to be used for the immediate response action for water damaged documents, photographs, etc. The LC booklet provides more in-depth information for both public and private collections dealing with a larger, longer-term coordinated program to salvage bound volumes. Finally, the NPS Conserve O Gram supplies specific information about dealing with the prevention and treatment of mold, a frequent consequence of water damage.

Since little information has been published in Spanish pertinent to the salvage and recovery of cultural property, this consoli- dated brochure will be published in Spanish as well as in Eng lish.

CAL-SI, LC, NARA, and NPS all have additional guidelines and publications on a variety of preservation and conservation topics available to the general and professional public upon request:

Information Office, Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Museum Support Center, Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC 20560

Preservation Policy & Services Division, National Archives & Records Administration, 7th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20408

Preservation Directorate, LMG-21 Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20540-4500

Museum Management Program, National Park Service, 1201 Eye Street NW, Washington, DC 20005