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Title:Keep Calm and Carry On: A Training Model for Integrated Disaster Response for Cultural Collections
Author(s):Lapinsky, Jessica W.
Subject(s):disaster planning
Incident Command System
disaster response
Abstract:Disaster planning in cultural institutions is an important area of collections management that is often overlooked, but vital to the continued operations of an institution when an emergency strikes. Current planning literature emphasizes the need for establishing cooperative networks between cultural institutions and emergency personnel, and standardized response structures for dealing with large scale disasters, such as tornados, floods, and hurricanes. Large institutions, such as the Smithsonian Institution (SI) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), are evaluating their current collection response plans and training methods to develop a comprehensively integrated response strategy. This strategy will ensure the long-term preservation of their library, archives, and museum collections in the event of a large-scale disaster. A significant first step for the development of integrated disaster response strategies is training all stakeholders in the use of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Incident Command System (ICS). The Incident Command System is a flexible, all hazards response structure that is utilized by first responders, government agencies, and private organizations like the Salvation Army and Red Cross. As part of the efforts to develop an integrated disaster response at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I created and implemented three workshops for local public library employees, university students studying library, museum, and archives courses, and the general public. The workshops included an introduction to the Incident Command System, salvage techniques for collections, and vital records protection. These workshops explore the different strategic ways collections repositories should respond to large-scale disasters. They can serve as a training model for other large and small institutions seeking to create new disaster response strategies.
Issue Date:2012-05-13
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-13

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