A Primer on Disaster Preparedness, Management and Response: Paper-Based Materials

Selected Reprints issued by
Smithsonian Institution,
National Archives and Records Administration,
Library of Congress,
and National Park Service

A Collaborative Publication Sponsored by
the Conservation Analytical Laboratory
and the Office of Risk Management, SI;
the Preservation Policy and Services Division, NARA;
the Preservation Directorate, LC; and the Curatorial Services Division, NPS.

In commemoration of Arts and Humanities Month and Hispanic Heritage Month

October 1993

Table of Contents

Introduction
by Trudy Huskamp Peterson
Foreword
Acknowledgements
"Smithsonian Institution Staff Disaster Preparedness Procedures"
Smithsonian Institution, Office of Risk Management, revised October 1993
Introduction
Staff Evacuation Procedures
Fire
Severe Storms
Hurricane Warning
Tornado Warning
Winter Storm
Utility Failure
Flood
Hazardous Material Accident
Civil Disorder and Demonstrations
Terrorism
Bomb Threat and Checklist
Explosion
Major Transportation Accident
Earthquake
"Emergency Salvage of Flood Damaged Family Papers"
National Archives & Records Administration, Preservation Policy & Services Division, July 1993
Mold
Cleaning and Drying Flood Damaged Items
Air Drying
Books
Documents
Photographs, Negatives, and Motion Picture Film
Framed Items
"Procedures for Salvage of Water-Damaged Library Materials"
Library of Congress, extracts from unpublished revised text, by
Peter Waters, July 1993
How Water Affects Books and Unbound Materials
Estimating Water Absorption
Coated Papers
Archival Box Files
Access
Stabilizing the Environment
Assessment of Damage and Planning for Salvage
The Recovery Team
Primary Considerations for Recovery of Water-Damaged Collections
Preliminary Steps in the Evacuation from Water-Damaged Areas
Removal and Packing of Water-Damaged Materials--The Work Force
Removal from Water-Damaged Area--The Catalog and Other Records
Removal and Packing
Disposition of Remaining Materials and Cleaning of Water-Exposed Areas
Cleaning After a River Flood
Thorough Washing to Remove Heavy Deposits of Mud
Principles of Stabilization by Freezing
Cold Temperature Storage Conditions
Preparation for Freezing
Containers and Methods of Packing for Freezing
Vacuum and Freeze Drying Technologies
Rehabilitation After Drying
Evaluation of Loss
Summary of Emergency Procedures
"Mold and Mildew: Prevention of Microorganism Growth In Museum Collections"
National Park Service, revised Conserve O Gram Number 3/4, by
Jane Merritt, July 1993
The Microorganisms
Susceptible Materials
Damage
Detection
Prevention
Treatment
Sources

Foreword

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 materials. 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 consolidated brochure will be published in Spanish as well as in English.

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
Curatorial Services Division
National Park Service
800 North Capitol, Suite 230
Washington, DC 20013

Acknowledgements

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
Office of Risk Management:
Jacqueline Young, Assistant Director
Priscilla Terry, Risk Manager

Conservation Analytical Laboratory:
Lambertus van Zelst, Director
Dianne van der Reyden, Senior Paper Conservator
Ronald Bishop, Senior Researcher
Alan Postlethwaite, Deputy Director

NATIONAL ARCHIVES & RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
Preservation Policy & Services Division:
Cynthia G. Fox, Acting Director
Diana Alper, Regional Preservation Coordinator
Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler, Supervisory Conservator

Public Affairs:
Shirley Clarkson, Acting Public Affairs Officer
Susan Cooper, Public Affairs Specialist

Public Programs:
Thomas King, Marketing Specialist

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
Preservation Directorate:
Diane Nester Kresh, Acting Director
Peter Waters, Preservation Strategic Planning Officer
Amparo de Torres, Assistant to the Conservation Officer

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Curatorial Services Division:
Ann Hitchcock, Chief Curator
Virginia Kilby, Staff Curator
Anthony Knapp, Staff Curator
Diane Vogt-O'Connor, Archivist

Division of Conservation:


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