Disaster Recovery

In recent years, many disaster-planning guides have published lists of supplies and companies that provide disaster services as well as sources of technical assistance. Research these services thoroughly – it is an essential part of the planning process. If possible, invite local service providers to visit your institution to become familiar with your site plan and collections in advance of an emergency. It is also a good idea to plan for back-up companies to provide critical supplies and services in case there is a community-wide or regional disaster. Consider coordinating with other local institutions.

The disaster planner should identify all appropriate disaster-response and recovery services. These can range from police, fire, and ambulance services to maintenance workers, insurance adjustors, and utility companies. Liaisons should be maintained with local emergency services so that they can respond appropriately in case of disaster. For example, you may want to provide the fire department with a list of high-priority areas to be protected from water if fire-fighting efforts permit. YOu may be able to arrange with the fire department to allow specific staff members from your institution to enter the building for evaluation or salvage if safety allows. It may be possible to rope off areas for arson investigation while allowing accessibility to other areas. All such agreements must be organized in advance for efficient response.

The following links includes companies that provide specialized services and information that may be useful in carrying out disaster recovery activities. Each entry includes the company’s name, mailing adress, phone number (where available), and a brief indication of their services. Inclusion in this list does not imply CPA endorsement.

Many other local resources can be identified through the Yellow Pages. Look under headings such as: dehumidifying equipment, which also includes firms that provide dehumidification services on-site and/or at their plants; fire and water damage restoration; janitor service for assistance with basic clean-up; pest control services, which will include fumigation as well as extermination; smoke odor counteracting service for firms that specialize in cleaning and deodorization; and water damage restoration. Local companies are likely to be lessa ware of current research and preferences associated with disaster recovery in libraries and archives, so the buyer must carefully evaluate them.

Before including any organization in an institutional plan, be sure to contact the company to verify that the information is correct, identify a contact person, gather cost estimates and other pertinent information.

Regional Archival Associations Consortium (RAAC) Disaster Planning and Response Resources

Services, Supplies and Suppliers