Emergency planning checklist

Here we are in the thick of hurricane season. If you have not yet considered how this might affect your collection, understand that when the actual need arises it is unlikely you will have enough time to adequately plan. Here is a list of things we consider when advising clients who engage us for Emergency Planning services.

Have an inventory

After a disaster is no time to realize you do not have a comprehensive list of your possessions. Make sure your inventory will be available when it is needed and consider backing it up regularly online, which makes it easier to access from any location in an emergency.

Consider the location

When we conduct an emergency planning survey we envision the exit path artwork must take and plan from there. Naturally, this will be unique to each property and collection.

Determine the local threats

Do you live in a brush-fire prone area, an earthquake zone or a coast area vulnerable to hurricanes? Invest the most time preparing for the most likely emergencies.

Decide which pieces you want to evacuate first

Create an evacuation priority list so you can easily communicate to help on-the-ground which pieces to remove first. It may not always be the most valuable items that get priority treatment, but perhaps those with historical value or family history.

Review your insurance coverages

Consult your broker to find out how they can help in a time of trouble and know which providers work with your insurers when disaster strikes. Make sure copies of your insurance information are in a safe, easily retrievable place.

Determine what materials and resources you would need

To have everything at the ready, we select materials appropriate for the priority works and place them in reserve for use when the need arises. With sensitive or valuable items we prepare crates and boxes that can be quickly packed for safest removal.

Sign up with a response provider in advance of an emergency

When local disaster strikes, everyone will be contacting the same limited set of service providers for help. Those who coordinate in advance — before the threat was even imminent — will receive the most responsive and cost-effective services. Be among that well-prepared group.

Make an evacuation contact sheet and checklist

Another checklist, this one is for the day you put your emergency plan into action. It will be highly tailored to the specifics of your collection and should encompass everything above, and more. This is one of the deliverables you should expect of any emergency planning service. Keeping this along with a list of emergency contacts will assure that when time is of the essence, the right steps are taken to protect your collection.