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Disaster response and salvage training

This Preservation Advisory Centre training day was held at the British Library Centre for Conservation on 4 July 2012.

This intensive course focuses on preparing for disaster response and salvage. The course uses experience of responding to real incidents to demonstrate how planning can minimise the impact of emergencies in libraries and archives as well as outlining the practical steps to take when responding to situations. With reference to case studies, the course includes strategies for dealing with damage, an emergency decision-making exercise and a hands-on salvage exercise. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • identify the key issues that a disaster plan needs to address
  • give examples of the decisions to be made when responding to an incident
  • source salvage equipment to build a disaster kit
  • deal with a variety of wet items.

The day is led by Harwell Document Restoration Services.


Why did you attend this training day?

  • Introduction to disaster response and need to create plan.
  • Updating our salvage plan and thinking about internal training.
  • Learn ways to deal effectively and efficiently with various disasters.
  • I have responsibility for business continuity. My main reason is to develop disaster plans, informed by conservation issues.

What did you learn?

  • Practical handling skills.
  • Priorities and techniques.
  • The necessity of planning and rehearsing.
  • Useful tips and ideas for improving our existing disaster plan.

What will you do differently as a result of attending this training day?

  • The session will help me to create a plan and identify priorities.
  • I'll be reviewing our disaster kits and suggesting that we prioritise collections to save, and create a location map for the collections and disaster kits.
  • Review our plan and think practical rather than theoretical.
  • Stress the importance of disaster planning on senior management as part of their whole business/operational plan.

Other comments?

  • A useful training session which provided a lot of good ideas and helpful information.
  • A very useful course - thank you!
  • Very comprehensive. Good variety of activity.
  • Excellent day, thanks.


10.00 Registration
10.10 Welcome and introductions
10.15 Case studies
11.00 Minor incident response
11.40 Break
12.00 Salvage strategies and techniques
13.00 Lunch
13.45 Practical exercise
14.30 Challenges in major incidents and desktop exercise
16.00 End