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Monday, May 16 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
(General Session: Get Ready, Get Set - Emergency Preparedness) Through Hell or High Water: Disaster Recovery Three Years after Alberta’s Floods

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In June 2013, the province of Alberta, Canada experienced severe overland flooding. In response to the flooding, the Archives Society of Alberta (ASA), a not-for-profit professional association, organized the Flood Advisory Programme. This programme is funded by Alberta Culture & Tourism, and is carried out by The Lead Team. The Lead Team visits each of ASA’s members to perform a site assessment and determine how they can assist with disaster recovery and salvage work, as well as disaster preparedness. The ASA is comprised of 44 institutional members, varying in size, location, type of institution, number of staff and available funding. Due to the unique situations of each institutional member, customized work plans are required for individualized assistance. Work plans have included hiring contract archivists, and conservators to assist sites in need; purchasing rehousing supplies, fire-proof shelving, freezers, disaster recovery kits, and safety supplies; writing disaster plans and editing existing ones; and providing advice on mandates, policies, insurance and facility risks. The hired contractors carry out a number of tasks including conservation treatment, rehousing, digitizing, reconciling damaged material with its original description, appraisal, accessioning, and arrangement and description. The Lead Team has taken a broad interpretation of what is considered disaster preparedness while conducting site assessments. They have found that improperly housed items, versus those that were properly housed, are less likely to be salvaged when affected by flooding. In addition to directly assisting members, they have also created a variety of educational resources found on their webpage (http://archivesalberta.org/programs-and-services/flood-assistance). These resources include how-to videos, informative blog posts and PDFs, staff training scenarios, and downloadable templates. Institutional members that received the most assistance will be highlighted to exemplify how the Lead Team develops and completes their proposed work plans. The Lead Team’s two goals are to help affected members recover from the flooding, and to thoroughly prepare all of their members for disasters by providing them with the recommended supplies, tools, training and knowledge.

avatar for Amanda Oliver

Amanda Oliver

Archivist, Western University Archives
Amanda Oliver is an archivist at Western University Archives. She holds an MLIS, with a concentration in archives, from McGill University.
avatar for Emily Turgeon-Brunet

Emily Turgeon-Brunet

Lead Conservator, Archives Society of Alberta
Emily Turgeon-Brunet is the Lead Conservator for the Archives Society of Alberta’s Flood Advisory Programme. She travels the province of Alberta assisting archives by writing site assessments and disaster plans, purchasing disaster preparedness supplies, treating flood damaged archival... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
Room 710 A