Disaster planning questions

The following questions will be of assistance in developing a disaster plan suitable for your collection.

Collection size and dispersion

  1. Has your organisation surveyed the size of the collection (number of carriers or objects: e.g. films, videos, audio tapes, records, CDs etc.)?
  2. Does your organisation keep records of the number of each carrier type (films, video tapes, audio tapes etc.)?
  3. Is your organisations entire collection held in a single location?
  4. Are different carrier types (films, video tapes, audio tapes, etc) kept in different locations?
  5. Has your organisation prioritised the collection and identified the most valuable components?
  6. Does your organisation assign different status — such as preservation and access — to materials and limit their use accordingly?
  7. Does your organisation keep back-up records of collection information?
  8. If so, are these duplicate records kept in a separate location?
  9. Are any duplicate records regularly updated?

Collection condition

  1. Are the carriers in the collection adequately housed in enclosures?
  2. For film and tapes: are the carriers wound to the correct tension for long-term storage?
  3. Are the carriers stored in the correct orientation for long term storage? (i.e. horizontally for film & vertically for tapes and disks)
  4. Have the carriers in the collection been condition reported?
  5. If so are there duplicates of these records?
  6. Are these duplicate records kept in a separate location?

Building and building services

  1. Does your organisation’s collection storage vault have reliable communications (e.g. telephone links)?
  2. Does your organisation’s collection storage vault have a reliable power supply?
  3. Does your organisation’s collection storage vault have a backup or emergency power supply?
  4. Does your organisation’s collection storage vault have a reliable access to clean water?
  5. Is your organisation’s collection storage vault readily accessible by vehicle?
  6. Is your organisation’s collection storage vault below ground level?
  7. Is your organisation’s collection storage vault near a river or a low lying area?
  8. Is your organisation’s collection storage vault well drained (e.g. roof guttering and stormwater drains)?
  9. Is the storage vault’s air conditioning system regularly serviced?
  10. Is the storage vault building regularly inspected for structural problems?
  11. Are the conditions in the storage vault monitored for temperature?
  12. Are the conditions in the storage vault monitored for humidity?
  13. If the conditions are monitored are they recorded?
  14. Is your organisation’s storage vault constructed from substantially non-flammable materials? e.g. concrete and metal
  15. Does your organisation’s storage vault have fire alarms?
  16. Does your organisation’s storage vault have a built in fire suppression (water or gas dump extinguishers) system?
  17. Does your organisation’s storage vault have portable or hand held fire extinguishers? e.g. fire hoses and foam or dry powder extinguishers
  18. Are any fire alarms, fire suppression systems or hand held extinguishers regularly inspected or tested?
  19. Are there water pipes, drainage or sewerage pipes running through or directly above the storage vaults?
  20. Are there gas pipes running through or directly above the storage vaults?
  21. Are there electricity cables running through the storage vaults?
  22. Does your organisation’s storage vault have a regular fumigation or other pest control process?
  23. Is this annually or more frequently?
  24. Does your organisation’s storage vault have regular internal cleaning (floors swept or washed, any rubbish cleared away)?
  25. Is this annually or more frequently?
  26. Does your organisation’s storage vault have regular external cleaning (e.g. any rubbish cleared away from around the walls)?
  27. Is this annually or more frequently?

Location risks

  1. Is your organisation’s collection storage vault in an earthquake area?
  2. Is your organisation’s collection storage vault near active or potentially active volcanoes?
  3. Is your organisation’s collection storage vault in an area prone to tropical storms (typhoons/cyclones)?
  4. Is your organisation’s storage vaults located in an industrial area with high levels of air pollutants?
  5. Is your organisation’s storage vaults located in an industrial area where there is a risk of explosion or large scale fire (e.g. near a petrochemical refinery or other chemical installation)?
  6. Are the storage vaults located near a boiler or air conditioning plant room in the same building?

Support options

  1. Has your organisation identified external sources of mechanical assistance in case of a disaster (e.g. building contractors, electricians & plumbers)?
  2. Has your organisation identified external sources of technical assistance in case of a disaster (e.g. materials conservators)?
  3. Has your organisation identified and confirmed external sources of emergency storage in case of a disaster (e.g. food cold storage companies, shipping container rental agencies)?
  4. Are these external sources recorded in a readily accessible location?
  5. Has your organisation identified any methods of rapidly protecting the collection in the event of a disaster(e.g. tarpaulins to cover roofs or walls)?
  6. If yes to the above question, are these instantly accessible in the event of a disaster?

Internal organisation

  1. Have staff been trained to respond to a disaster (first aid and/or collection materials)?
  2. Has an individual staff member been identified to oversee the disaster recovery (e.g. director, collection manager)?
  3. Does this person have the authority to direct any necessary disaster recovery actions?
  4. Have staff been trained in fire emergencies (e.g. fire evacuation drills)?
  5. Have staff been trained in contact procedures in the event of a disaster (e.g. emergency services, director and/or managers)?
  6. Has the organisation allocated or identified a source of disaster recovery funding that be accessed immediately?