Collection Managers Attend Disaster Planning

From the desk of Amber Tews (Anthropology Collections Manager)

In a continued effort to maintain the collections for years to come IMNH collection managers attended disaster planning workshop. The workshop was hosted by the Idaho State University Eli M. Oboler Library. The disaster planning workshop was provided by Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS) and trainer Randy Silverman from the University of Utah.

Randy Silverman, University of Utah, demonstrating best technique to move mixed media when wet.

Randy Silverman, University of Utah, demonstrating best technique to move mixed media when wet.

WESTPAS service goal is to deliver education and training workshops on disaster preparedness, response, collection salvage, disaster scenario planning, mutual aid collaborations, and create and fund preservation projects. WESTPAS is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Disaster planning workshop

Collection managers, library employees, history professors, and other southern Idaho museum professionals take in disaster planning workshop.

Although, we have a disaster plan in place we wanted to this opportunity to revise and refresh our information. It allowed us to think beyond the initial step of planning to what do we do when a disaster happens. In addition, we had the chance to put some training into action. We worked through a disaster scenario and what we should do in the first few hours after the disaster.

I believe we have a confident team ready to take on a disaster if it comes to pass. Our leadership skills and calm demeanor will allows to work through the first 24 hours of a disaster with poise. We do hope it doesn’t come to pass but if it does we will be ready.

Silverman gave a wonderful hands-on training on drying wet materials. To learn the best techniques for drying wet collections we got pictures, books, magazines, textiles, and mixed media wet. The best tip

Amy Commendador (right) and Carli Chesebro (left) of the Bannock County Historical Museum work together to dry a book.

Amy Commendador (right) and Carli Chesebro (left) of the Bannock County Historical Museum work together to dry a book.

Silverman left us with and hopes we pass it all is: if your photographs get wet in a flood don’t wait for the restoration folks to come along. Take them out of the box, separate, and spread them out to dry. If you do this your photographs will be saved!

We will continue to attend workshops and training exercises in order preserve the collection for today, tomorrow, and future.