Remaining calm to think clearly is the most critical asset in an emergency.
The guidelines below focus on what to do when things get wet, as water exposure is arguably the most common problem.
These guidelines are based on good practice in libraries and other collections-holding institutions. These recommendations may be superseded by specific institutional requirements or by the instructions of on-site conservators and preservation managers. Where human life and safety are threatened, these recommendations may be superseded by the instructions of civil defense or other emergency responders.
Response describes the immediate (within 48 hours) actions taken to stabilize affected collections. The objective is to prevent further damage and, in situations with water, to prevent mold growth.
A complete response means collections have been stabilized and all active threats (e.g., fire, wetness, growing mold) have been eliminated. Now there is time for recovery: to consider addressing the damages, if necessary or desirable.