Disaster Response Plans

Main Library


  1. Introduction
  2. Response Team Members and Duties
  3. Notification and Early Response
  4. Stabilizing the Environment
  5. Preparing for Recovery
  6. Pack-Out and Damaged Materials
  7. Recovery
  8. Cleanup and Reshelving
  9. Post-Disaster Procedures
  10. Preparedness Training
  11. Prevention
  12. Plan Review


  1. Emergencies Quick Manual
  2. Collection Priorities
  3. Floor Plans
  4. Supplies and Resources on Site
  5. Supplies and Resources off Site
  6. Restoration Facilities (Sites)
  7. Prevention Checklist
  8. Computer equipment
  9. Acknowledgements

I. Introduction

The Preservation Department can manage small emergencies without calling on the resources presented in this plan. For larger damage to collections, including those in the campus libraries, the plan details arrangements made before any disaster occurs and actions to take both during the process of recovery and after the recovery is complete. It also provides for a regular program of training and prevention.

A Disaster Response Team, under the direction of the Preservation Librarian, will have full authority to deal with the disaster and its aftermath. The Disaster Response Team will meet at regular intervals to review the plan and to verify the names and numbers of librarians, vendors, suppliers of materials and equipment, building management personnel, fire and safety officials and administrative contacts, such as Risk Management, which the Preservation Department will keep current.

Personal safety is the first concern in any disaster. Only after a building has been declared safe by the fire marshal, building supervisor and university safety representative will the Disaster Response Team begin its action.

Copies of the Disaster Plan are to be kept both on-site and off. Each member of the Disaster Response Team will have a personal copy of the full plan to be kept at home, as will the Dean of the Libraries. On-site copies will exist in each of the campus libraries and in the Preservation Department of the Main Library. Campus Librarians and Department Heads will make staff members aware of the plan, train them in its use and discuss with them any revisions to it. The Preservation Department will keep a current, electronic copy on the Library Web server.

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II. Response Team Members and Duties

Disaster Response Team Members


  1. Director:
    • responsible for overall management of recovery and salvage operation;
    • determines when to begin salvage after consulting with Physical Plant, Building representative, fire and safety;
    • notifies disaster response team members;
    • establishes command center;
    • assesses and records damage with the photographer, Recovery Specialist and Risk Manager;
    • determines the kind of salvage necessary;
    • determines the level of preservation response needed by consulting the Collection Representative and written priority lists;
    • informs the Administrative Coordinator and Campus and Media Liaison of needs;
    • directs Logistics Coordinator;
    • determines timetable for recovery;
    • requests volunteers, as needed, through Media and Campus Liaison;
    • arranges training of crew team captains;
    • receives team reports;
    • prepares final report.

  2. Recovery Specialist:
    • in cooperation with the Disaster Response Director and Collection Representative assesses damage;
    • with the Director designates treatment area;
    • advises Budget Officer and Campus Liaison on contacting outside agencies for assistance and supplies;
    • consults with Logistics Coordinator for the transport of supplies and materials and the movement of damaged collections;
    • responsible for hanuling and treatment of materials from the time they are removed from the disaster site until the materials are reshelved;
    • supervises in-house cleaning and drying;
    • trains volunteers;
    • prepares report to the Director, including a photographic record, on the rehabilitation process and unsalvageable materials.

  3. Photographer:
    • photographs the extent of damage to the building, the furniture and the collections as part of the initial disaster assessment;
    • provides a photographic record of the recovery, salvage, rehabilitation and restoration processes, with attention to recording unsalvageable materials, under the direction of the Recovery Specialist;
    • tracks the dates and times of the photographs or film for the reports.

  4. Campus and Media Liaison:
    • works with campus administration to establish in advance work space for recovery;
    • issues the approved authorization for the Disaster Recovery Team to do its work;
    • acts as liaison with campus administration and coordinates with them;
    • serves as source of all public information on the disaster;
    • deals with media inquiries;
    • arranges media announcements;
    • issues information to the staff and to the University administration;
    • keeps Dean of the Libraries informed;
    • authorizes temporary staff reassignments as needed;
    • receives reports from the Disaster Response Director;
    • solicits volunteers as requested by the Disaster Response Director;
    • thanks and acknowledges people who have participated in the recovery;
    • decides on restoration of services.

  5. Logistics Coordinator:
    • sets up the command post;
    • tells library staff and volunteers where to report on the advice of the Disaster Response Director;
    • delegates functions as appropriate;
    • makes sure any volunteers sign waiver forms;
    • issues name tags;
    • arranges for food and drink and sets up food area;
    • is responsible for all transportation and relocation activities;
    • makes any necessary arrangements to remove books from the disaster site;
    • arranges for transportation and moving equipment;
    • supervises loading and unloading;
    • oversees shipping of boxes to freezers or other sites;
    • supervises delivery and installation of needed equipment;
    • supervises crews which set up the established recovery work place;
    • arranges the return of books to their original location;
    • coordinates with the appropriate building services and library staff.

  6. Administrative Services Coordinator:
    • coordinates budget and supply;
    • is present at the command post;
    • authorizes payment and signs vouchers for supplies and services needed, for on-campus or outside vendors;
    • contacts vendors and services at the request of the Disaster Response Director;
    • works closely with the logistics coordinator to arrange transport and delivery of needed supplies and services;
    • with the Preservation Librarian is responsible for submitting insurance claims.

  7. Pack-Out and Relocation Supervisors:
    • perform regular safety inspections of library facilities;
    • supervise the training of volunteers in making and packing boxes;
    • keep count of boxes sent to other sites;
    • work with Collection Representative and keep general records of sections moved to other sites, depending on the size of the disaster;
    • prepare a written report of the packout activities;
    • monitor the progress and orderly restoration of the stack area, including clean up and resetting shelving;
    • organize and supervise the orderly return of library materials to approved shelving;
    • keep records of the number of boxes and sections returned to the stacks;
    • prepare a report on relocation activities which will include a photographic record.

  8. Collection Representative:
    • in consultation with the bibliographers, develops a pre-disaster priority list to be used during salvage operations;
    • reviews priorities and floor plans at least annually;
    • at the disaster site (in consultation with the relevant bibliographers, if possible) advises on priorities for action and salvage on the basis of the written guidelines;
    • acts as recorder in damage assessment;
    • consults with the Recovery Specialist, as needed, during the recovery process;
    • works with appropriate bibliographers and serves as liaison to the cataloguing and acquisitions departments to record destroyed items and to arrange for replacement copies;
    • maintains list of bibliographers and department heads with their telephone numbers. For disaster response in campus libraries, the Campus Librarian will act as the collection representative.

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III. Notification and Early Response

Persons to summon when a water emergency occurs

It is the responsibility of the person first observing a water emergency to call the Research Collections Access Services (Circulation) Desk at 855-4501 or 855-4673 (for emergencies in the Main Library) or Campus Librarian (for emergencies in a Campus Library) AND a member of the Disaster Response Team (see below). The Research Collections Circulation staff or Campus Librarian should call the Physical Plant 24 hour emergency number (855-8728) to report the problem. The Disaster Response Director is responsible for contacting all other appropriate personnel.

Other emergencies

While water emergencies are most common for libraries, due either to fire or leakage, any emergency which threatens the collections should be reported immediately to Access Services (for emergencies in the Main Library) or Campus Librarian (for emergencies in campus libraries) AND to a member of the Disaster Response Team (listed below).

Disaster Response Team (Call in order given until you reach someone)

Disaster Response Director: Lynn Hufford 855-6281
Recovery Specialist: Garry Harrison 855-6282
Campus and Media Liaison 855-3403
Logistics Coordinator 855-3403
Administrative Services Coordinator 855-3403
Collection Representative 855-3403
Pack-Out and Relocation Supervisors 855-8303

Others to be notified by the Disaster Response Director, if not already notified.

Dean of University Libraries 855-3403
Executive Associate Dean 855-3403
Library Human Resources 855-5988
Library Technical Services, Mechael Charbenneau 855-7747
Library Information Technology, Phyllis Davidson 855-3403
Security Emergencies 9-911
otherwise 855-3075
Physical Plant 24 hour emergency 855-8728
Zone manager: Ray Krebs 855-8728
Risk Management Emergencies 855-9758
Emergency pager 334-6385
Director: Larry Stephens 855-0104
Librarian whose area is affected Libraries staff directory

Management Zones

Buildings with Libraries

Zone 1
Ballantine Hall and points east
Supervisor: Bill Herrmann
Telephone: 5-7065

Zone 2
Chemistry, Crescent, and points west of Chemistry
Suprevisor: John Flake
Telephone: 5-1820

Zone 3
Fine Arts plaza area, HPER, and Main Library
Supervisor: Ray Krebs
Telephone: 5-2276

Zone 4
Sports Rec. Center and everything north of East 10th
Supervisor: Steve Hamm
Telephone: 5-1788

Zone 5
Education and many residence halls
Supervisor: Ed Bell
Telephone: 6-8046

Current as of 3/00

IV. Stabilizing the Environment

After the building or area has been declared safe to enter, and the initial walk through and assessment have been carried out, the Disaster Response Director may need to take some or all of the following steps, depending on the extent and type of disaster, to stabilize the environment.

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V. Preparing for Recovery

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VI. Pack-Out and Damaged Material

The Pack-Out Supervisors will be the Stacks Supervisors of the Access Services Department.

Packout of Damaged Materials


Microfiche can be separated and air dried with some success, but are prone to water spotting and scratching, so results are usually less than good. It is probably best to replace.

Magnetic Media

Water is especially damaging to magnetic media. The longer they have been wet, the greater the damage will be. Success rates for salvage of magnetic media are extremely low and the process is labor-intensive. If media are dried and saved, they can still cause damage to play-back equipment. A good rule of thumb to follow is not to attempt salvage of commercially available tapes and disks. Replacement may ultimately be cheaper. For unique magnetic media, the following may be attempted.

Tapes (audio or video)

Floppy Disks

Sound Recordings--Vinyl

Compact Discs (CDs)

Unbound Paper Materials

Loose papers can be dried by spreading them on clean absorbent (unprinted newsprint) flat surfaces in areas where there is good air circulation. Cover with non-woven polyester web if necessary to keep them from blowing away. Do not attempt to flatten; that can be done later if needed. Where the information on the page is the only value, damaged documents need only be dried enough to be hanuled and photocopied.

If the number of documents is quite large, or if their value is such that individual attention will be required, the items should be frozen as found. Do not remove from file cabinet drawers, document cases or folders; do not turn containers upside down to empty or drain.

A stack of wet unbound papers can be separated, but the process takes great care and is very time consuming:


In case of fire, all burned or charred materials will have to be removed from the area before ventilation of smoke and air cleaning can be effective. those items obviously beyond salvage can be placed on book trucks or in boxes or garbage bags and taken to another location for bibliographic control procedures. Those which can be salvaged can be removed to the recovery area.

Smoke and Soot Removal

If the only damage to books and papers is soot on the outside, it may be possible to remove most of it with a chemical sponge (see list of suppliers information on obtaining them). These sponges can be cut down to fit the cleaner's hand and can be washed and reused several times.

To clean a book, hold tightly closed and use a gentle stroking motion in one direction sway from the spine toward the fore edge on the head and tail, and the same kind of technique on the fore edge, spine and covers. Continue wiping until no more soot or debris can be removed without damaging the surface area.


Charcoal and/or baking soda can be used to deodorize fire-damaged materials. Place charcoal briquettes and/or bowls of baking soda in the area to absorb the odor. If a small number of books are affected, the books and charcoal may be placed inside a closed box or other enclosure. Wait two or three days or until the smell can no longer be detected.

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VIII. Cleanup and Reshelving


Following the removal of damaged materials, the Campus and Media Liaison will arrange for cleanup and repair of the damaged site by a campus or commercial cleaning crew.(as well as for temporary storage of materials, as necessary). The crew will clean the area and restore the shelves.


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IX. Post-Disaster Procedures

After recovery, using reports and feedback from Response Team members, the Preservation Librarian will draft a report, including photographs, and submit it to the Disaster Response Team which will examine the report and consider the effectiveness of the disaster response plan -- what worked? what didn't? The final report which the team will submit to the dean should also evaluate all sources of supplies and equipment and all off-site facilities used. The Team's report should revise the Disaster Response Plan, if necessary.

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X. Preparedness Training

Training of Library staff prior to an emergency is essential if the elements of this plan are to be carried out efficiently and smoothly.

The Preservation Department shall be responsible for working with the Access Services and the Disaster Response Team to schedule the above training sessions.

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XI. Prevention

Disasters usually do not appear out of nowhere. Library staff should be aware of all situations that have the potential for causing damage, and correct them before they develop into disasters. Man-made disasters can often be prevented by routine inspections of a facility. In addition, staff members should all be familiar with the layout of the building and with possible danger areas. They should know the location of all fire extinguishers and alarms and how to operate them. Fire exits and alternate escape routes should be clearly marked.

Some preventive measures should be carried out on a daily basis. It is important to check that:

Locks on doors and windows are secure and all keys accounted for.

No pipes, faucets, water fountains, toilets, or air conditioning units are leaking.

Electrical equipment is turned off or unplugged if not in regular use, and no frayed wiring is in evidence.

There are no signs of structural damage.

Combustible or burning materials are discarded in appropriate containers.

Areas known to be problem locations should be checked often.

Other areas will need to be checked regularly, but less frequently. The checklist in Appendix 7 should be used for this purpose, and should be completed at least annually, or semi- annually if possible.

The Head of Preservation will be responsible for inspection of the Main Library in consultation with department heads (and with the help of personnel responsible for facilities maintenance as necessary). The Campus Librarians will be responsible for the inspection of campus libraries in consultation with the Head of Preservation (and with the help of personnel responsible for facilities maintenance as necessary.

The Preservation Librarian should keep copies of the completed checklists and track progress in undertaking repairs and other actions noted on the list.

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XII. Plan Review

The Disaster Response Team, with the Preservation Librarian as an chair, will meet at least once a year to review the disaster plan. The review will include confirmation of information contained in the plan: vendor names, restoration facilities, availability of on-site supplies and off-site supplies, membership and telephone numbers of the Disaster Team, emergency telephone numbers, and collection priorities and floor plans. The committee will also take into account any university reorganization, library reorganization, new buildings or new facilities for storage and movement of materials in the stacks. The Team will distribute the updated plan.

The Preservation Librarian will inform the Team of any new techniques for recovery of materials, and the Team will write those techniques into the plan, as recommended.

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Appendix 1
Emergencies Quick Manual

Water emergencies--First Steps

If minor leak:

If major water problem occurs:

When calling the 24 hour emergency number to report a water emergency to the Physical Plant, BE SPECIFIC about the nature of the problem. Do not say there is "a leak" if there is water running on the floor or pouring from the ceiling. Tell them the exact nature of the problem and that library materials are being damaged.

Red Emergency phones are located on each stack floor in the Main Library, sometimes to per floor. When the receiver is lifted, a call is automatically placed to a dedicated emergency phone at Research Collections (RC) Access Services. The emergency phone may also be reached by dialing 855-4501. Calls to this number should be limited to emergencies of a serious nature.

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Appendix 2. Collection Priorities

Send updates/corrections to mgago@indiana.edu

Priority Designations

#1 - Salvage at all costs
#2 - Salvage if time permits
#3 - Salvage as part of general clean-up, if financially feasible

Priorities List

Main Library Research Collections:


Undergraduate Library:


Priorities Workform

Priorities should be established for each department, office, and area to be adhered to in the event of a disaster. To simplify this procedure, assign priorities as follows:

#1 - Salvage at all costs

#2 - Salvage if time permits

#3 - Salvage as part of general clean-up, if financially feasible

Priority decisions are based on a number of considerations:

Fund managers: please fill out this form if you think there are major parts of your collections that should be priorities for attention in the event of a disaster.


Library/Department: ________________ Date: ______________

Head: ______________________________ Location: __________

Briefly describe materials which should have the highest priority for first attention in salvage operations in the event of a disaster/emergency that may be potentially damaging to all or large parts of the library/department. Include any top priority parts of the collection shelved in another location as well. If an index or catalog of a collection, or other records (e.g. payroll) is itself a top priority, be sure to indicate it on this form. Set priorities simply. Detailed salvage operations will be undertaken in consultation with the appropriate fund managers.

COLLECTION: List in order of priority and describe briefly

LOCATION: Building, room, level, ranges, etc.

TYPE OF MATERIAL: Books films, manuscripts, maps, computers, etc.

AMOUNT: Volumes, boxes, shelves, etc.

CONSULTANT: Staff able to advise about the collection

First Priority



Type of material:



Second Priority



Type of material:



Third Priority



Type of material:



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Appendix 3
Floor Plans

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Appendix 4
Supplies and Resources on Site

On Site Supplies for Disaster Recovery

The following items are stored in the Conservation Section of the Main Library:

1 wet-dry shop vac
1 dehumidifier
4 fans
60 Rescubes (corrugated plastic boxes for transporting/freezing wet books)
23 plastic milk crates (for transporting/freezing wet books)
rolls of plastic sheeting
newsprint for interleaving
freezer wrap
disposable plastic gloves
duct tape
two heavy duty extension cords

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Appendix 5
Supplies and Resources off Site

Vacuum freeze drying

American Freeze-Dry
411 White Horse Pike
Audubon, NJ 08106

Disaster recovery services vacuum freeze drying

BMS Catastrophe
303 Arthur St.
Fort Worth, TX 76107
800-433-2940; 817-332-2770

Vacuum freeze drying

Document Reprocessors
2020 Pioneer #4
San Mateo, CA 94403

Freeze drying

McDonnell Aircraft Co.
P.O. Box 516
St. Louis, MO 63166

Disaster recovery services, humidity control, drying by dehumidification

Moisture Control Services
79 Monroe Rd.
Amesbury, MA 01913
508-388-4900; 800-843-5360

Smoke damage recovery

Re-Oda Chemical Engineering
100 Industrial Pkwy
P.O. Box 424
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

Vacuum freeze drying, portable freezing chambers, environmental control systems, decontamination

Solex Environmental Systems
P.O. Box 460242
Houston, TX 77056

Wide range of recovery services for library/archival materials including dehumidification, drying, smoke removal and deodorization, and fumigation

M.F. Bank Restoration Company
6659 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Suite AA
Norcross, GA 30092
800-843-7284 M.F. Bank has other regional offices

Dehumidification and vacuum drying

Munters Moisture Control Services
7534 Carolling Way
Indianapolis, IN 46237
Moisture Control has regional offices throughout the country

Salvage of computer media

Randomex, Inc.
Data Recovery Division
1100 East Willow Street
Signal Hill, CA 90806

Fire and water damage restoration, deodorization, dehumidification services

Unsmoke Systems, Inc.
1135 Braddock Avenue
Braddock, PA 15104

Full disaster recovery services

Disaster Recovery Services
414 Blue Smoke Ct., W.
Ft. Worth, TX 76105

Disaster recovery of computer media

Graham Magnetics, Inc.
4001 Airport Freeway
Suite 400
Bedford, TX 76021

Sponges for soot removal

The Quality Rubber Co.
or Zephyr Manufacturing
P.O. Box 71
Sedalia, MO 65302-0071

Disaster recovery of electronic equipment

Restoration Technologies, Inc.
1183 North Elsworth Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181

Freezing, vacuum freeze drying, vacuum drying, deodorizing

Blackmon-Mooring-Steamatic Catastrophe, Inc.
One Summit Ave., Suite 202
Fort Worth, TX 76102

Freezing, vacuum freeze-drying, fumigation

Document Reprocessors, Inc.
55 Sutter Street, Suite 120
San Francisco, CA 94103

Vacuum freeze drying

Mid-West Freeze Dry. Ltd.
7326 N. Central Pk.
Skokie, IL 60076
contact Robert Weinberg or William Crusius, 708-679-4756

Emergency Supplies for Collections disaster supplies packed in plastic crates for long term storage

Refrigerated trucks

Chicago Truck Leasing Co.
23 N. Aberdeen
Chicago, IL

Refrigerated trucks (24 hr. service)

Thermo King Transport Refrigeration
3405 Industrial Parkway
Jeffersonville, IN

Refrigerated trucks

Louisville Freezer Center and
LFC Transportation Center
607 Industry Rd.
Louisville, KY
502-634-4753 or 502-634-8501

Cold storage

Bearcat Cold Storage
3110 Homeward Way
Fairfield, OH

Cold storage

Merchants Ice and Cold Storage
801 Logan St.
Louisville, KY

Cold storage

Cinti Commercial Warehouse, Inc.
49 Central Ave.
Cincinnati, OH

Cold storage

Avalon Frozen and Refrigerated Storage
1 Avalon Dr.
Canal Fulton
Columbus, OH

Cold storage

Wales Industries, Inc.
3775 Zane Trace Dr.
Columbus, OH

Cold storage

Murray City Freezer Storage
1334 Edgehill
Columbus, OH

Disaster recovery service

Kodak Microimaging Products
S. Fifth
Chicago, IL

Data Doctors Compute Services
6255 N. Talman Ave.
Chicago, IL


Archers Meat Packing
259 S. Meridian
Greenwood, IN


Grassy Creek Farm Frozen Food Locker
10320 E. 10th
Indianapolis, IN


Booth Fisheries Corporation
17112 Stout Field Terrace
Indianapolis, IN


Cook's Pantry
8110 W. 10th
Indianapolis, IN


Indianapolis Fruit Company
4501 Massachusetts Ave.
Indianapolis, IN


Mid-West Repacking Company
3525 E. Washington, Suite B
Indianapolis, IN

Milk crates

Banquet Dairy Products
1214 Southeastern Ave.
Indianapolis, IN

Milk crates

Best Ever Dairy Products
5750 S. Harding
Indianapolis, IN

Milk crates

Borden, Inc.
N. Sherman Dr.
Indianapolis, IN

Milk crates

Meadow Gold Dairy
23 S. Main
Indianapolis, IN

Milk crates

Crossroad Farms Dairy
400 S. Shortridge Road
Indianapolis, IN

Milk crates

Indiana Milk Service
8350 Craig, Suite 270
Indianapolis, IN

bread trays (several hundred available in emergency)

Wonder Bread
Indianapolis, IN
contact: Vince Jolly, Operations Mgr.

Computer data and hardware recovery

Ontrack Data Recovery
6321 Bury Dr.
Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Computer data and hardware recovery

2726 Summer St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Computer Hardware Recovery and dehumidification service

7070 Sherry's Arm Rd.
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Dehumidification service

DryTech, Inc.
1925 Oakcrest Ave.
Roseville, MN 55113

Dehumidification service

2700 Post Oak Blvd. #1770
Houston, TX 77056-8088

Microfilm reprocessing and recovery

3M - 3M Center
Building 235-2G-40
St. Paul, MN 55144

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Appendix 6
Restoration Facilities (Sites)

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Appendix 7
Prevention Checklist

Disaster Prevention and Protection Checklist

Areas, items and contitions to be inspected

Any item for which the answer is "no" will require action.
Indicate the action required, the steps taken to correct the condition and initial and date the inspection checklist.

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Appendix 8
Computer Equipment

Personal files or software should be backed up consistantly; the Automation Office cannot take responsibility for such files or for replacing personally purchased programs.

Once the building has been declared safe, the Disaster Response Director will notify the Director of Information Technology who will direct salvage and replacement efforts for computer equipment.

Unlike some printed material which cannot be replaced, computer equipment can be. Replacement may, however, require considerable outlay of funds, so the Director of Information Technology must work closely with the Budget Officer in order to aquire the new equipment needed to return the library to full operation as quickly as possible. The Director of Information Technology will also work with the Budget Officer to claim monies for the equipment that is insured.

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Appendix 9

For the checklist (Appendix 7) we are indebted to the Southeastern Library Network, Inc. and the "Checklist for Disaster Prevention and Protection" prepared by Lisa L. Fox (1991).