August Starts with an E?

We are now entering into the core months of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and it looks like a tropical disturbance has the potential to form Tropical Storm Emily!

Are you prepared for the threat of wind, rain, and flooding?  Not to mention the loss of power and other basic needs for days or weeks?

This is the time to look at your hurricane preparations and to make sure they are good to go—just in case.  If you haven’t discussed them and prepared a plan of action, it is essential for you and for your collection to do so before it’s too late.  North Carolina and three other southern states have led the nation in the number of billion-dollar weather-related disasters since 1980.  Most of those catastrophic events were tropical-storm related.  It is important for us to have respect for hurricanes and all other storms. There is not enough time to think of everything you need to do when a hurricane approaches our coast.

 Here are a few things to consider…

  • Do you know what needs to be secured? Are outside benches, ramps, and trashcans secured or could they fly away?
  • Do you have a backup copy of all digital records? Are they stored somewhere offsite that might be more protected from the storm’s path?
  • Have the gutters and drains been cleaned out? If not, could they add to a flooding problem?
  • If you are near the coast, have you made sure shutters or other coverings for windows and doors are available?  Have you conducted a drill to test how much time is needed to install them?
  • Have items been moved off the floor?
  • Do you have a back-up generator?  Weeks without power could pose a significant threat to collections during summer heat and humidity.
  • Do employees know what their roles are when you activate the emergency plan?

These are just a few things to think about.  The best plan in the world will not help unless you and your staff know what to do when a threat approaches.  Make sure that everyone knows his/her responsibilities, and staff members are prepared to take action, both at work and at home.  Have your employees check out www.readync.org for more information on what they can do to prepare their homes.

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About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on August 2, 2011, in collections management, disaster preparedness, hurricanes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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