Last Wednesday and Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop hosted at the Labrador Interpretation Centre, taught by representatives from the Canadian Conservation Institute (it was jointly sponsored by the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives and the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador). It was about dealing with emergencies at museums and archives and making disaster preparedness plans…a very useful topic, as you might imagine!
Of course, we hope that we never have to deal with the sort of thing that we were talking about at the workshop (flooding, fire, break-ins and vandalism, digital failure, etc), but it’s best to be ready than not.
We learned about the theory behind these emergencies, how to deal with disasters thrown your way, and we also looked at disasters that had taken place at other institutions, like roof collapse from snow, fire, and flood. I was thanking my lucky stars that nothing like this has ever happened at Them Days. What a catastrophe those events would be!
Of course, not all emergencies are on a large scale. Some are smaller…like what if a pipe burst and things got wet? Well, now I know more about handling wet items.
We put our theory to the test with some activities.
And then, we even got to do some hands-on stuff!
Would you know how to pick up a piece of paper floating in a puddle? You wouldn’t want to just pick it up if it were fragile and important, because it could tear, fold in on itself and tear while you try to take it apart.
Well, I learned a way to do that! You can pick it up with a piece of plastic!
Simply lay the plastic on top of the paper floating in the water. It will stick itself to the paper in the water (yay water surface tension!). Touch the corners of the paper as you pull the plastic out, so that it doesn’t lift off. Ta-dah!
Now, I’m all excited to write an emergency preparedness plan. Funny how that might not seem like the most interesting thing to do, but I’m all energized about it from the workshop.
The North West River United Church ladies made some amazing food, too. I left with a full and happy belly each day! 🙂