Collection care is a big part of our responsibility for LHSA: we work hard to ensure that our holdings are safe, but we also need to prepare in case something outside our control goes wrong. It’s easy to think it will never happen to you, but the recent Glasgow School of Art fire shows that no-one is immune to disaster, and we need to be ready to deal with any problems that may face our collections calmly and efficiently.
The last few months have seen a lot of work on the University’s Disaster Response and Recovery Plan, which also covers LHSA’s collections. Much of this work has seen new additions to the Plan itself: freshly-written sections provide suggested responses to various possible scenarios, and checklists for key members of a response team have been expanded, to name just a few improvements. It’s not all been additions to a Word document though, there’s been some hands-on activity too!
This week I helped provide a bit more practical infrastructure to our Plan, mainly to improve access to useful materials and equipment, with the assembly of grab bags for those members of staff who are most likely to lead a response effort. The grab bags are full of useful pieces of kit including protective clothing (shoes, gloves etc.) and practical equipment like torches and stationery (including a LHSA pencil!).
We produced grab bags for eight members of staff and several, smaller, bags to be kept in strategic positions in our building. The images show the staff grab bags (complete with wellies, safety shoes and hard hats) immediately below, and then the smaller grab bags in various stages of construction.
One of the bigger staff grab bags is for me, so now to find somewhere to stash it at home!