What Is Museum SOS

Barbara Moore
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BUSINESS IMPACT ANALYSIS: Identification of critical business functions within an organization and determination of the impact of not performing those functions for a period of time. Examples are visitor service, internal operations, legal and financial activities.

CRITICAL INCIDENT: An event or situation that threatens people, property, business or the community.

CULTURAL PROPERTY: Objects, collections, specimens, structures or sites identified as having artistic, historic, scientific, religious, or social significance.

DISASTER: An event that results in significant loss, damage or destruction, and that makes it impossible for an institution to carry on operations for an extended period of time.

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT: Evaluation and documentation of damage to collections or structures that has occurred as the result of an emergency event.

DISASTER RECOVERY TEAM: A working team of individuals who are trained to 1) respond appropriately during disaster to ensure human safety and the well-being of collections, 2) conduct a successful recovery operation, and 3) re-establish service.

EMERGENCY: A situation or an occurrence that develops suddenly and unexpectedly and threatens people, property, or business continuity. An emergency may develop into a disaster if immediate action is not taken to protect staff, visitors and the collections.

EMERGENCY (DISASTER) PREPAREDNESS: Those activities that prepare a framework for organized and immediate response to an emergency situation.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE PLAN (DISASTER PLAN): A document that 1) identifies an institution's vulnerabilities to emergency situations; 2) indicates how to prevent or mitigate potential effects; 3) describes staff response to an emergency situation; and 4) provides information and procedures to be followed during the recovery process.

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES: A supply of disaster recovery materials kept on hand for immediate use in the event of an emergency.

EMERGENCY OPERATING RECORDS: Records that are essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency. Included are emergency plans and directive(s), orders of succession, delegations of authority, staffing assignments, business and collections records needed to continue the most critical operations, and related policy or procedural records that assist agency staff in conducting operations under emergency conditions and for resuming normal operations after an emergency.

OFF-SITE STORAGE: A facility other than an institution's normal place of business where collections or other items are stored for protection following an emergency or disaster affecting the institution's normal place of business.

COLLECTIONS PRIORITIES: Mitigation or salvage priorities for objects within collections based on a variety of factors including importance to the institution's mission, monetary value, uniqueness or irreplaceability, condition, and vulnerability to damage.

RECOVERY: The actions taken following an emergency in order to return operations to normal.

RESPONSE: The actions taken during the first 48 hours following an emergency that lay the foundation for the recovery period.

RISK ASSESSMENT: The evaluation of existing environmental, technological and human threats to an institution.

RISK MITIGATION: Preparedness planning and activities that are directed toward eliminating or reducing the probability of a disaster-producing event or reducing the effects of those events that are unavoidable.

SALVAGE: Actions taken to minimize damage to collections objects that have been compromised as the result of an emergency event.

VULNERABILITY: The extent to which geographic region, community, services, collections, and structures are likely to be damaged or disrupted by the impact of a critical event.

August 20, 2003
Sources: Vital Records and Records Disaster Mitigation and Recovery Glossary, National Archives and Records Administration, Instructional Guide Series, 1996; An Ounce of Prevention , Wellheiser, J. and Jude Scott, 2002; Building an Emergency Plan , The Getty Conservation Institute, 1999.

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