Before the Storm
Emergency Preparation of Collections
By April Hann Lanford
Before the Storm, Emergency Preparation of Collections
By April Hann Lanford
When there is a pending storm, time is of the essence to safeguard collections. Hurricanes and heavy storms can bring an onslaught of rain which can result in flooding, loss of power, and strucutral damage. While evacuation of a collection is the ideal solution, limited timing, access to packing materials, or the sheer volume of items, may prove it to be prohibitive.
If you cannot remove items prior to the storm, the following are recommendations to help protect your pieces, and assist with potential recovery in the future.
-Maintain an updated collection inventory
-Identify priority items
-Always have images of the collection
-Relocate items to interior rooms, away from windows and exterior doors
-Items should be elevated off the floor by 3” or higher
-Contact your local art handling firm to confirm their availability of staff and available space.
-Photograph or video the collection in their temporary locations for future reference.
-Archive the inventory and all documentation
-Designate a trusted local contact to access and check on the collection in the event you are not able to.
If you are in an area that is prone to hurricanes and storms, we recommend preparing for a longer term plan to further safeguard your collection.
A few additional key components to include in your plan are:
-Identify the top 3-5 priority items for evacuation
-Keep materials on hand for potential evacuation
-Contact your local art handling firm, learn about their services and if secured storage is available in the future
-Create a file of documents including collection inventory, appraisal, insurance policy, and emergency contacts
There are may variables to consider to safeguarding collections from storm damage. A little prevention can go a long way. These days, even a 60 second video walkthrough of a collection can significantly help with recovery efforts in the future.
If you have questions, or want to learn more, please contact us at:
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