Disaster Response Plan Information
The Disaster Response Plan represents an important component of the Cornell University Library's continuing effort to protect its collections.
In 1989/1990, the Cornell University Library Conservation Department administered a New York State Coordinated Preservation Grant to develop a Regional Emergency Mutual Response Team for the central region of the state. The Team consists of representatives from SUNY-Binghamton, Cornell University, University of Rochester, and Syracuse University. Under this grant, Cornell University Library purchased and installed a freezer at the Library Annex for the storage of water-damaged materials, and major disaster supplies were purchased for each of the participating institutions as well. The Cornell University Emergency Manual was developed at this time.
The Department updated the CUL Emergency Manual in 2008. While the Manual provides some basic information on responding to disasters, its purpose is broader in scope and intent. Believing that it is always better to prevent a disaster than to recover from one, the Manual contains a "Safety and Security Audit" which is designed to help collections avoid situations that could lead to disasters. However, even with the best of precautions, disasters do occur, and the intent of this Disaster Response Plan is to aid libraries in responding quickly and effectively to minimize the damage and speed recovery.
The Disaster Plan is organized to move from first response through the steps involved in recovering from a minor disaster, usually involving fewer than 500 volumes, followed by steps to be taken in the event of a major disaster. The last section of the manual contains appendixes which explicate the text and include a list of additional supplies and services available locally and regionally. The basic Plan is generic. It is designed to accommodate the individual unit's conditions and needs. But it is useful only if it is completed and updated periodically. This is the responsibility of the disaster liaison in each unit. Once completed, copies of the Plan should be kept in the homes and offices of each member of the unit's disaster response team (see page 2). One copy should be placed in the emergency unit supply box, and another filed with the Conservation Department.
The full Disaster Response Plan in Word format can be found here.
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