Even with all our preparation and planning, unexpected events still make us realise how challenging it is to manage the unpredictable. A major chemical fire in the industrial suburbs of Canberra in September 2011 resulted in a large area being shut down by the police and fire services. This included storage facilities belonging to the NFSA and other major cultural institutions. Fortunately only some minor precautionary cleaning was required when we were able to re-enter the buildings, but this led to a review of surrounding businesses to see how likely this was to happen again.
Unpredictable events like this collapsing sink hole swallowing eight cars at the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky, USA in February 2014 remind us that we can’t be prepared for everything.
What are we doing for the Blue Shield MayDay?
At the NFSA we are reviewing our Collection Emergency Management Response and Recovery Plan and will be meeting with key staff to make sure that everyone knows what to do when disasters happen. The NFSA also undertakes an ongoing disaster response and recovery training program for staff.
The Blue Shield MayDay Campaign reminds us that it is a good time to look at any plan you might have, or even to start planning, regardless of whether you are an organisation or an individual with cherished possessions.