Every May Blue Shield Australia encourages cultural organisations to think about ways that they can be better prepared for disaster. MayDay for cultural heritage fuses two concepts – the distress signal, and the month of May – in order to create a memorable calendar date for events that improve disaster preparedness in archives, galleries, libraries and museums.
Download the flyers and logos at the bottom of this post and use them to start the conversation in your organisation.
Other things that your organisation could do include:
- Dust off your disaster plan and make sure it’s current, or make a timeline for developing one, using Be Prepared: Guidelines for writing a disaster preparedness plan: https://aiccm.org.au/disaster/disaster-planning
- Identify and prioritise your important collection items and heritage sites
- Identify the three biggest risks to your collection or heritage site
- Get to know your local firefighters, police and SES – invite them to tour your organisation to give you pointers on safety and preparedness
- Find a ‘partner’ heritage organisation to work with in case of an emergency. A model for collaboration is DISACT: http://www.anbg.gov.au/disact/
- Arrange or participate in an emergency response training day on firefighting, crowd control, flood water management etc.
- Attend a course on business continuity planning, a conference on resilience, or a workshop on emergency preparedness
- Host a morning tea to raise funds for Blue Shield Australia
- Consider the protection offered by your storage facilities – and plan to build safer repositories
- Familiarise yourself with Blue Shield Australia’s webpages – particularly the Disaster management pages regarding emergency prevention & preparedness, plus response and recovery – and share the information with your colleagues