Creating a Disaster Plan

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    • #132874

      Hi all, I just participated in the webinar series “Writing a Disaster Response Plan” given by Julie Page. I came away from the last webinar slightly confused – is the full disaster plan only comprised of the appendices she provided? I was under the impression that the “red binder” full disaster plan should include a written disaster plan and also the appendices.

      I am writing my organization’s disaster plan from scratch (no previous disaster plan) and am planning to buy the salvage wheel and book from Heritage Preservation, plus complete and provide the PReP to my staff. I am stumped on how to go about writing the full disaster plan, though (besides the appendices), and am wondering if any of you might have a plan I could look through to see what it should include.

      I am from a small historical society (1 full time staff, 3 part time staff, and a handful of faithful volunteers), but would be interested in seeing a sample disaster plan from any size or type of institution. I am just looking for any ideas I can get.


    • #132880

      Sorry for the confusion Casie! I’m contacting Julie and will get a definitive answer for you.

    • #132879

      Casie, There is so much information out there re: a Disaster/ Emergency Response Planning that you will be really overwhelmed. I attended the HP webinars that Julie Page taught recently and can say that she shared great resources and guidelines about how to create a written disaster plan. However, you need to draft you own ‘Emergency Preparedness Plan’ with your staff members at your institution and then form a TEAM of responders. Also, contact the AIC-CERT team to find out who is the team member in your region that can provide you with information such as trainings, discussions, tips and interactive exercises. These courses are advertised in the AIC website entitled: “Emergency Planning and Mitigation Strategies for Historic Sites.” Hope this comment will help and guide you.

      Valeria Orlandini
      Senior Paper Conservator of Works of Art and Photographic Materials
      AIC, Professional Associate
      Chevy Chase, MD

    • #132878
      Julie Page

      Cassie –
      Sorry for the confusion – I think I brought it on by naming all the Handouts as “Appendices” in order to keep them in numerical order for the 4 webinar sessions.
      The overview of what to include in your disaster plan was in Session 2, and I have summarized it below with comments. I hope this will make it clearer and you can work from the Appendices to complete your red binder. You shouldn’t have to do more than fill in the templates or print and add the webinar descriptive documents – very little original writing except to customize.

      PReP Pocket Response Plan – Communications and Actions
      Since you are a smaller institution, you should be able to fit a fair amount of information on your PReP by editing the PReP template to include the most relevant information to your historical society.

      RED BINDER — Emergency Preparedness and Response Documents
      INCLUDE in your red binder OR on your PReP
      • Immediate Emergency Response & Systems – immediate call information and locations of emergency systems (App 1 & 2). If you can fit this information on the PReP, you don’t need it in the binder. Be sure to include a floor plan on the PReP and/or in your binder.
      • Responsibilities – during a disaster response and recovery (App 3). Again, if you can fit it on the PReP, you don’t need it in the binder.
      • Damage Assessment – form to use to conduct an assessment after a disaster (App.6) Simply put this form in your binder.
      • Priorities – establishing collection and other priorities (App 7). Fill in the template OR include on your PReP OR on some other sheet in your red binder
      • Salvage Procedures – for the types of collections you have specifically (App 13 & 14). Print and put App 13 in your red binder. Select from App 14 the pages that correspond to your collections, print and put in your red binder. You may also want to include the Supplies& Equipment (App 12).

      ADDITIONS to Emergency Preparedness and Response Documents (Red Binder)
      You ADD these documents to your red binder
      • Emergency & Evacuation Procedures – these are your “people” procedures for evacuation, medical emergency, etc. If you don’t have something like this already, you can download a basic template at: AND click on “Staff Emergency Procedures”. Download and edit this to serve your specific needs.
      • Floor Plans – Add to your red binder if you don’t have them already on your PReP
      • Facility / Location Assessment – Add to your red binder any information about your most likely risks and/or what has happened to your institution before.
      • Insurance Policy – Add to your red binder a copy or summary of your insurance coverage. You can use App 4

      These are the main documents to make up your Disaster Plan. You can add any of the other Handouts (Appendices) from the webinar documents as you find useful. Just print and hole punch and you are good to go!
      Hope this helps, Julie Page

    • #132877

      Thanks so much Julie, that’s very helpful!

    • #132876

      Many thanks Julie for providing us with a list of all the appendices (handouts) and the order of topics covered in these webinars. It’s a lot of very useful resources.

    • #132875
      Julie Page

      It occurs to me that some of you may not know about the webinar series that just concluded – Protecting Your Collections: Writing a Disaster Response Plan.
      You can find the 4-webinar series information at the course page:
      The webinar recordings for the 4 sessions should be posted next week on this course page.

      The Disaster Plan Template Downloads are in the green shaded box toward the bottom of the course page. The Handouts for each session (in pdfs) include the numbered Appendices as I cited in my previous message. Many of them have corresponding templates (without numbering as that would just be confusing for your individual plan!)

      Happy to answer any questions. Julie Page

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