Insights from practitioners in Information Management

The Place looked like a disaster zone

Organising an event such as the Disaster Preparedness and Response Workshop isinteresting. It’s also a great way to clear out the clutter. The plan was tosimulate a water based disaster using mixed media. The kind of things you wouldfind in a typical office / library / records management environment. 

Wewere using an outside venue, so of course we had to load up the goodies and headinto town. We borrowed Gail’s partners 4WD as it was the only thing big enoughto cope with the buckets and bookshelves and of course the material we weregoing to “destroy” and then attempt to salvage.

We were very good though, we also took copious amounts of black plastic toprotect the floor, something a real disaster would have to cope with – andsomething to consider if you are ever faced with water damage, and happily andliberally soaked everything with water…

Books, journals, photographs, negatives, Video, CD’s and lots of paper andboxes of course, but included in the mix we also found pictures, maps – namelythose things we hang on the walls and get just as wet when the sprinklers areactivated. 

The media had all morning to soak up the water as the attendees learned whatto include in a disaster plan and how to cope with one should ithappen.

During the afternoon session the attendees had to apply their newfound knowledge and apply the various recovery techniques.

Always a good idea to have a spare clothes line and some pegs in your disasterbins.

The feedback was excellent, and it appears the hands on component wasappreciated by all participants. Theory is all very well, but until youexperience first hand the damage, even in a simulated environment, you cannotbegin to appreciate how time consuming disaster recovery actually is.