1 Virginia Military Institute Preston Library, VMI Archives, and Institute Records Disaster Plan Updated 6/27/ :22 AM by VMI Archives Table of Contents Introduction Page 1-2 Response to Emergencies Overview/Priorities Page 2 Evacuation Procedures & Page 2-3 Teams Fire Page 4 Floods Page 5 Tornadoes Page 5 Hurricanes Page 6 Earthquakes Page 6 Bomb & Other Threats Page 7 Recovery & Salvage Resources Page 7-10 Establish Priorities Handling Damaged Material Water Damage Fire Damage Emergency Supplies Addition Helpful Resources Experts, Consultants, Equipment Page 10 Page 1 Introduction The purpose of this plan is to provide a basic guide for response to and recovery from disasters affecting library holdings, the VMI Archives, and other Institute Records. It is designed to assist library and archives staff, as well as other Institute personnel who are responsible for maintaining public records. This plan is in fulfillment of the Code of Virginia mandate that each agency shall maintain a disaster preparedness plan for the protection and recovery of public records. This Disaster Plan complements the Contingency Management Plan (CMP) maintained by the Information Technology (IT) Department. The CMP specifically addresses response to and recovery from computer systems emergencies. This disaster plan is available on the VMI website. Printed copies of the plan are located at the Circulation Desk; in the VMI Archives; and at the homes of the Library Director, Head of Archives & Records Management, and Head of Access Services.
2 This disaster plan will be revised and reviewed and updated annually by the Head of Archives and Records Management (currently Diane Jacob). Response to Emergencies-Overview Page 2 Response to emergencies is based upon the following priorities: 1. Most importantly, safeguard human life. Evacuate the building promptly, and call for help. 2. Assess and contain the damage to collections if it is possible to do so safely. 3. Salvage as many library materials as possible, beginning with the rare materials in Archives and Special Collections. 4. Staff of departments other than the library should focus on saving vital operational records first; then prioritize salvage of remaining items. Emergency Telephone Numbers Fire-Ambulance-Police 911 VMI Post Police VMI Guard Room 7294 VMI Physical Plant 7357 Preston Library Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Evacuation & Accountability Teams The Building Coordinator for Preston Library is Col. Don Samdahl. Lt. Col. Susie Hastings is the Alternate Building Coordinator. The responsibility of the Building Coordinator for COOP is to ensure the safe evacuation of personnel from the building in the event of an emergency. If the Building Coordinator is absent the Alternate will assume this responsibility. In an emergency the Evacuation and Accountability Teams will: 1. All patrons in your assigned areas are evacuated from the Library 2. Handicapped persons are evacuated or moved to Areas of Rescue Assistance 3. All Library staff members are accounted for
3 (Team Leaders in bold) View Evacuation Assignments on Building Map Floor Evacuation Teams 650, 600 Col. Janet Holly, Ms. Susan LeMert, Maj. Accacia Mullen 500, 550 Lt. Col. Susie Hastings, Ms. Tonya Moore, Ms. Sherry Teague Maj. Tom Panko stationed at Circulation Desk 400 Maj. Michael Brickler, Ms. Cathy Wells 300 Col. Diane Jacob, Ms. Mary Laura Kludy, Maj. Rachel Maderik Page 3 In an emergency, the alarm should sound via the phone system, , and an outside loud speaker. The Evacuation Teams will go to their assigned floors to facilitate evacuation of patrons and determine if there are handicapped personnel who cannot use the stairs or who need assistance. Try to help them to a safe area, as it is unlikely that there will be any additional assistance available. When the floors are cleared we will assemble in a designated assembly area and conduct an accountability of personnel. (The designated assembly area may be the Parade Ground or the 300 level, in the event of a tornado warning.) The Evacuation Team leaders will report to the Building Coordinator regarding personnel who have been moved to an Area of Rescue Assistance. The Building Coordinator will report the status of the Library to the chain of command. Please note that these evacuation procedures do not apply when there is a fire. Any fire is a special case with its own procedures. The fire alarm will sound, and library staff should exit the building immediately. They may help others in their path but should not detour to check other areas. The alarm will clear the building, and fire fighters responding to the alarm will check Areas of Rescue Assistance.
4 Fire If the fire alarm is activated, it may be the real thing. Do not assume that it is a false alarm. When the alarm sounds, do the following: Identify location of activated alarm from the fire alarm panel near the front door of the library. The alarm automatically summons both the Fire Department and Post Police. If the Fire Department does not arrive within a few minutes, do not hesitate to call 911 and Post Police ( ). A Post Police officer will investigate the area indicated by the alarm panel to see if there really is a fire. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS. Page 4 IF THERE IS A FIRE Your first priority is to ensure the safety of people in the building. Use common sense and don't panic. A minor, contained fire (trash can fire, for example) can be extinguished with the fire extinguishers located on each floor. Evacuation Procedures Fire Evacuation of the building should begin immediately in response to the alarm. Allow the alarm to clear the building. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR: use stairs only. A staff member should stay near the front door, encouraging everyone to leave and not allowing anyone except emergency personnel to enter. Fire fighters and Post Police will assist handicapped persons. FALSE ALARM- No Fire If the Post Police officer determines that it is a false alarm, open the alarm panel with the key tagged FIRE SYSTEM, which is kept in the key box located on the shelf behind the circulation desk, above the ILL shelf. You will find a second key on the ledge inside the alarm box. Insert this other key in the ENABLE /DISABLE slot. Turn to DISABLE and press the ALARM SILENCING button and then the button marked NEXT/ACK till the date and time reappear. Lock the panel and replace the key in the box on the shelf.
5 Floods/Water Emergencies If there is a serious leak, broken pipe, or a flooded area in building, call Physical Plant at and state that you are reporting an emergency water problem. After hours, notify the Post Police ( ) and request that they contact the designated Physical Plant staff. If water is leaking from the ceiling, cover the area with plastic sheeting (in a well-marked box behind the circulation desk). Place buckets under leaks. Buckets are located in janitor's closets. If there is water on the floor, remove books or records from lower shelves/file drawers onto higher shelves or tables well away from standing water. Do not place any material on the floor, even in a seemingly dry area, as the leak may spread. If possible, turn off electrical circuits to the flooded area, and unplug electrical equipment in the area if you can safely do so. If electricity in the building needs to be turned off, call Physical Plant The building needs to be evacuated only in case of major water damage and when structural damage can be expected. The decision to evacuate should be made by the department head, who will organize a team to assist in evacuation. Page 5 Tornadoes Tornadoes can occur in Virginia from March to October. They are not as likely to occur in mountainous regions as in more flat terrain. Tornadoes move rapidly. Most likely, there will be little warning if there is a tornado; consequently, there will be little time to seek shelter. When a tornado occurs, the building should not be evacuated. If possible, persons in the building should move to the lowest level, staying away from windows; or to an inner hallway or small inner room away from windows. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS. In the library, stay away from book stacks, since they may collapse. If there is time, staff should go to the 300 level computer lab, which has been equipped with a rechargeable flashlight plugged into an electrical outlet to the left of the door, as well as a whistle that can be used to alert rescuers. After the event: In addition to water damage, walls, ceilings, and shelves may collapse. When structural damage occurs, the person in charge of the over-all building maintenance needs to assess the structural damage and determine when it is safe to enter the building to assess damage and begin salvage efforts.
6 Hurricanes Hurricanes may occur on the Atlantic Coast of Virginia between June and November. Damage from heavy rain and flooding as well as high winds may occur. Hurricanes are slow moving so precautions can be taken before the storm actually strikes. Page 6 Evacuation Because sufficient warning can be given in a hurricane emergency, the building can be evacuated and closed before the hurricane strikes. The following precautions should be made: rare and valuable materials can be moved to a safe place; the power can be turned off; windows should be taped to reduce the danger of flying glass; and doors should be closed. If there are people in the building when the hurricane strikes, they should move to the lowest levels of the building, such as the basement level or the lower stacks and not leave until the storm is over. A battery-powered radio should be available so that weather reports can be monitored. Damage Most damage from a hurricane will be water damage, although there is a possibility of structural damage, broken windows, and collapsed shelving. If there is structural damage, the person in charge of the over-all building maintenance needs to assess the damage and determine when it is safe to enter the building. Then, damage to affected materials needs to be assessed. The recovery operation for library materials may include surveying water damage to books and other library materials, reshelving, and deciding upon repair of broken windows. Earthquakes Earthquakes may occur in Virginia. The danger from earthquakes is caused by what they do to man-made structures-debris falling from damaged buildings, flying glass from broken windows, fires caused by broken gas lines, and flooding due to broken water mains. There is no warning before an earthquake occurs. If an earthquake occurs, do not attempt to evacuate the building. Persons in the building should stay in the inner core of the building away from windows. Shelter should be taken in a doorway, in a narrow corridor, or under a heavy table, desk, or bench. Exits which lead into stairways should not be used because they may have collapsed. Also, be aware that after-shocks may follow for several hours or days after the earthquake. A battery-powered radio should be available so that instructions concerning the earthquake can be monitored. Damage from an earthquake may include structural damage to the building, collapsed shelving, damage to equipment and furniture, water damage from broken pipes, and fire and/or smoke damage caused by broken gas lines. All damage will need to be assessed by person in charge of building maintenance before re-entering to begin recovery operations.
7 Bomb & Other Threats If a bomb threat is received by telephone, evacuate the building and notify the Post Police, If a suspicious object or package is found, notify the VMI Post Police. The VMI printed directory contains a threat checklist and telephone procedure inside the front cover Page 7 RECOVERY AND SALVAGE EXTENSIVE DAMAGE Review Damage & Establish Priorities Rapid response is essential for an effective recovery effort. Paper-based collections begin to distort physically immediately after becoming wet. Books swell and distort; paper cockles; inks and pigments run; coated papers begin to adhere. The Librarian, Archivist/Records Manager, and appropriate department heads or library subject specialists should evaluate damage and establish salvage priorities. Consult Yolanda Merrill, (Washington & Lee University, Leyburn Library) who is the only locally available conservation expert. Archival records, rare books, records vital to the operation of the Institute, and any other irreplaceable items should receive the first attention. Determine the kind and degree of damage that materials in each location have sustained. Depending on the extent of the disaster, this may be as broad as a room-byroom designation or as narrow as an item-by-item review. Determine whether the salvage operation can be handled by staff or whether a disaster recovery specialist is required. Consult experts as needed. After reviewing the extent of the damage, the Librarian (in other offices, the appropriate administrator), should set up a disaster recovery team and assign personnel as needed. Handling and Removal of Material The most common emergencies (fire, flood) involve water damage. If possible, loosely sort materials according to degree of wetness (soaked, damp, dry). Pack like materials together, e.g. damp records in one box, soaked in another etc. See also specific instructions below relating to water damage and fire damage. Materials must be removed from affected areas, either to a salvage/drying area within the building, or to another area on Post. Likely locations are a classroom or gymnasium. Files: Place folders in boxes or milk crates. Place the folders vertically in boxes (standing as they would in a file drawer.) Fill boxes only about 75% full to allow for swelling. Bound Volumes: Load onto metal book trucks, or into boxes or plastic milk crates for transport. Place normal-size volumes in a spine down position. Pack large volumes
8 flat in boxes. If time allows, loosely place sheets of freezer paper or waxed paper around every volume. Boxes should be packed only about 75% full to allow for swelling. To ensure inventory control and for insurance purposes, it is necessary to know the condition and disposition of materials. As materials are removed, a staff member should be assigned to label each container with a brief designation of its contents (by call number range; cabinet/drawer, record group etc.); damage type (wet, dry, smoke etc), and salvage priority; and destination. Assign a photographer to document the damage and salvage operations. Page 8 Water Damage Evaluate the situation and decide whether the materials can be air-dried on-site or if they must be removed to a freezer facility. Refer to list of consultants for outside assistance in evaluating the disaster. If the damaged materials are not too numerous or too thoroughly soaked, air-drying will be a viable option and a drying area will be required. For detailed instructions on procedures to follow see the Northeast Document Conservation Center's Technical Leaflet "Emergency Salvage of Wet Books and Records" (appendix in printed copy of this plan). A summary of key steps is listed below. Consult the complete document for details. Secure a clean, dry environment where the temperature and humidity are as low as possible. The temperature must be below 70 degrees F. and the humidity below 50%, or mold will probably develop and distortion will be extreme. Keep the air moving at all times using fans in the drying area. This will accelerate the drying process and discourage the growth of mold. Books o Thoroughly soaked books, and books with coated paper should be frozen as soon as possible. Wrap them loosely in freezer paper or wax paper and pack them flat in boxes, preferably plastic mail crates, for transport to a freezing facility. If they cannot be frozen before they dry, interleave the pages with unprinted newsprint or paper towels. Keep an inventory of books packed and removed to freezer facilities. o Wet books with covers intact can be air dried. o Interleave every few pages, starting from the back of the book, turning pages carefully. For interleaving, use paper towels or clean, unprinted newsprint. Be careful to avoid interleaving too much or the spine will become concave and the volume distorted. o When books are dry but still cool to the touch, they should be closed and laid flat on a table or other horizontal surface, gently formed into the normal shape, with convex spine and concave front edge (if that was their original shape) and held in place with a light weight. Do not stack drying books on top of each other. In no case should books be returned
9 to the shelves until thoroughly dry; otherwise mold may develop, particularly along the gutter margin Manuscripts and Archival Records o Air drying is most suitable for small numbers of records that are damp or water damaged only around the edges. If there are hundreds of single pages, or if the water damage is severe, other methods of drying will be more satisfactory and cost-effective. o Single leaves can be laid out on tables, floors, and other flat surfaces, protected if necessary by paper towels or clean, unprinted newsprint, or clotheslines may be strung close together and records laid across them for drying. o If records are printed on coated paper, they must be separated from one another to prevent them from sticking. This is a tedious process that requires skill and patience. Place a piece of polyester film on the stack of records. Rub it gently down on the top sheet. Then slowly lift the film while at the same time peeling off the top sheet. Hang the polyester film up to dry on a clothesline using clothespins. As the document dries, it will separate from the surface of the film, so it must be monitored carefully. Before it falls, remove it and allow it to finish drying on a flat surface. o Once dry, records may be re-housed in clean folders and boxes, or they may be photocopied or reformatted in other ways. Dried records will always occupy more space than ones that have never been water damaged. Page 9 Microforms and Photographs o Microforms subject to water damage should be professionally cleaned and dried within hours. It will need to be sent to a processing laboratory. In most cases, the film should not be used again, but a duplicate copy should be made and the damaged one discarded. If the film is dirty/muddy, put in a bucket filled with clean cold water and agitate lightly to remove major dirt deposits. Pack for shipping. If film cannot be salvaged within about 60 hours, it can be frozen. o Photographs. Photographs in water will quickly deteriorate: images can separate from mounts, emulsions can dissolve or stick together, and staining can occur. Mold can grow within 48 hours at 60% RH and 70 degrees F, and it often causes permanent staining and other damage to photographs. For these reasons photographs need to be dried as quickly as possible. If photographs cannot be dried they should be frozen. Fire Damage If there is a fire, materials will suffer fire and smoke damage in addition to water damage. It is necessary to consult conservators and other experts listed in this plan. In the absence of professional help, handling of charred items should be avoided if possible, since handling will result in further damage. Rare, archival, or special collections materials must be evaluated by a conservator. For quick local assistance, contact Yolanda Merrill at Leyburn Library, Washington & Lee University.
10 Basic Emergency Supplies Essential supplies should be maintained in the department. Other emergency supplies are located at Physical Plant. Obtain additional items as needed. Emergency Supplies Located in Preston Library: Plastic Sheeting in box behind Circulation Desk and in 500 level supply closet Small buckets 500 level supply closet; custodians closets Book trucks in the stacks area, 500 level Flashlights Circulation Desk Fans - Technical Services office and supply closet Page 10 Located at or obtained by Physical Plant: Dehumidifiers; additional fans; generator, portable. Experts/Consultants/Equipment This is a basic list. A comprehensive list of disaster recovery vendors and consultants is available as an appendix to the printed version of this document. Northeast Document Conservation Center Emergency telephone consultation 24 hour Disaster Hotline (978) (day or night, seven days a week). Library of Virginia (Richmond) Contact the State Archivist or Librarian as soon as possible after the disaster occurs. The LVA will provide expert advice, assistance and support, as mandated by the Code of Virginia, Sec , in coordination with the state Department of Emergency Services. (804) (Main Number) Yolanda Merrill Conservator, Washington & Lee University Library If available, can provide immediate expert assistance. Office: Home: LYRASIS Preservation Department Can help with referrals Preservation Dept. Alderman Library, University of Virginia Alderman Library, (434) Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450
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