Earthquake Strapping for Collections
Southern California may have beautiful scenery and mild weather, but it also has its share of natural disasters. Los Angeles and its environs experience as many as thirty earthquakes in a typical day, although most are very small and go unnoticed (See: TriNet). An earthquake of significant magnitude could strike downtown Los Angeles at any time without warning. To mitigate potential earthquake damage to collections, staff from the Natural History Museum have started an earthquake strapping project in targeted collection areas. Immobilizing 33 million artifacts and specimens is a tall order, so we are addressing the most vulnerable collections first. Our method of earthquake strapping is not new, but it is low cost, easy to install and use, and adaptable to many different types of collection storage units. This presentation will show the steps involved in making the earthquake straps and will provide examples of their use in museum collection storage areas.