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Subject: Salvage priorities

Salvage priorities

From: Jack C. Thompson <tcl>
Date: Friday, November 22, 1996
John McIntyre <pr261jm [at] admin__nls__uk> writes

>Finally, may I pass on a comment which I frequently make and feel is
>very important in planning a reaction capability. Your reaction
>document should be as simple and uncomplicated as possible in order for
>it to be workable.  For the problem Karen wisely raises colour coded
>floor plans serve well to identify priority salvage areas. Nobody knows
>how people will react in an emergency until one is experienced and
>simplicity and workability is vitally important.

I second John E. McIntyre's admonition for simple recovery plans.
The worst I have seen took up three large binders.  A plan which is
more than one or two pages in length (plus floor plans and call-up
list) is likely to be ignored, or too closely examined (which can
take a great deal of time.) Either condition is antithetical to the
preservation of collections under the stress of fire or flood.

However, having gone into fire damaged areas wearing a hard hat and
protective clothing, carrying emergency lighting, hammers and pry
bars (to open distorted filing cabinets), I have begun to question
the value of color coded floor plans.  Under poor lighting
conditions, colors which appear clear and distinct on a well lit
table during committee planning meetings may blend into each other.

It may be better to have areas designated by graphic signs;
slashes/dots/blacked out, etc.  And the fewer the better.

There are two other things which I recommend when advising on the
development of disaster recovery plans.  Once the plan has been
written and refined in-house, bring in the insurance company
representative and the captains of the closest (i.e., first
responding) fire fighting unit and walk them through the collection
areas.  Each of these, the insurance company and the fire
department, should have a copy of the (regularly updated!) recovery

If there is a fire or other emergency requiring assistance from the
fire department, and they are familiar with the collections, they
MAY have time to run into an area and throw protective coverings on
identified areas, reducing the potential water damage.

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab
Portland, OR

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:50
                 Distributed: Monday, November 25, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-50-002
Received on Friday, 22 November, 1996

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