Writing a disaster plan is a great step towards improving your cultural heritage institution’s response to a disaster, but practicing your disaster plan is a crucial part of ensuring everyone involved is prepared to execute the plan in a disaster. A tabletop exercise, where plan stakeholders verbally walk through executing the plan in a hypothetical disaster scenario, can help institutions practice their plan in a low-stress, low-stakes environment. After the exercise, the institution improves their plan and can respond more effectively in a real disaster. Tabletop exercises are common in the emergency management field, but not used as frequently by cultural heritage institutions, so this session aims to provide cultural heritage professionals with the background and tools you need to run your own tabletop exercise. The session will cover more details of what a tabletop exercise is, how to plan and run a tabletop exercise, and how it can improve your institution’s disaster plan.
This class will be helpful to people working in libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, or other cultural heritage institutions, who have some responsibility for disaster planning and preparedness in their organization. Some prior knowledge of the basics of disaster planning for cultural heritage institutions will be helpful.
At the end of the session, participants should be able to:
Define what a tabletop exercise is and how it could benefit their institution
Plan and lead a tabletop exercise at their institution
Instructor: Annie Peterson
Annie Peterson is Preservation Services Librarian at LYRASIS. Before joining LYRASIS, Annie Peterson was the Preservation Librarian for the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University. She has an MLIS from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has a range of experience in preservation and conservation that provides a strong base for helping the archives, historical societies, libraries and museums that we reach through the Preservation Field Services project. She is active in the American Library Association and is the Chair of the Association of Library Collections and Technical Services Preservation and Reformatting Section. In 2016 Annie was awarded the Esther J. Piercy Award from ALCTS, an award that is given to recognize the contribution to areas of librarianship included in library collections and technical service by a librarian who has shown outstanding promise for continuing contribution and leadership.