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Get Prepared: MayDay 2018

Category: Alliance Blog
Logo for MayDay May 2018 with icons for lightening and rain, fire, and water displayed across the top with words MayDay Saving Our Heritage May 2018 below that and words around the edges that say Archives, Historic Preservation, Historical Societies, Preparedness Protects Our Heritage, Libraries, Museums all around the edges.

Join museums around the country in doing at least one thing in the month of May to prepare for an emergency. MayDay is an annual call to action for cultural organizations to improve their disaster readiness. Need ideas for steps to take?

  • Review your disaster plan and update as needed.
  • No disaster plan? This activity guide can help you get started.
  • Create a Pocket Response Plan (PReP) with the most essential information: contact information for staff, first responders, and other critical individuals plus a checklist of actions to take in the first 24-72 hours following a disaster.
  • Conduct a building evacuation drill. Evaluate what could you do better.
  • Invite local firefighters and police to your museum so they can understand your special needs. This poster outlines tips for working with emergency responders before, during, and after an emergency.
  • Eliminate hazards, such as items stored in hallways, blocked fire exits, or improper storage of paints and solvents.
  • Create an emergency cart with supplies for collections threatened by damage from water (roof leaks, broken water pipes, malfunctioning sprinkler systems).
  • Identify and label priority collections for evacuation during an emergency. Which are most important to your mission, irreplaceable, or most fragile?
  • Register for a free course to learn how your institution fits into existing networks for emergency response and protocols for working with them effectively.

There are prizes! The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) has teamed up with Gaylord Archival to offer 6 gift certificates worth $50-$250 to organizations that participate in MayDay 2018. Submit your preparedness activities to FAIC by May 31. They will pick the lucky institutions on June 1.

MayDay is a national effort promoted by the Alliance and the other 41 members of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force to encourage disaster planning in cultural organizations of all types.

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