Photo of attendees at Artlab disaster preparedness and response workshop Artlab disaster preparedness and response workshop

Artlab services cover the four stages of disaster management; prevention, preparation, response and recovery. A collections disaster can occur at any time and does not imply something necessarily large or catastrophic like a major flood, fire or earthquake; a minor disaster left undetected like a small water leak onto collection material, mould attack or a pest infestation can cause serious irreparable damage.

We have extensive experience in collections disaster management across the major South Australian Government collecting institutions, managing their disaster preparedness programs and delivering disaster response and recovery training to the South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia, Migration Museum, South Australian Maritime Museum and National Motor Museum, State Library of South Australia and Carrick Hill historic house.

Disaster management theory is closely aligned with risk management principles and is an essential activity of general collection care. It includes preparing a Collections Disaster Plan, determining salvage priorities within the collection, training a Collections Disaster Team to respond and recover from the disaster incident and ensuring there are adequate emergency supplies on hand.

We also provide educative services in collections disaster management, disaster preparedness planning and salvage training workshops to all sizes and types of cultural heritage organisations within metropolitan and regional South Australia, nationally and internationally. Our training is tailored to the needs of your organisation and includes theory and practical hands-on salvage sessions with wet materials.

Having a collections disaster management plan in place allows all of us to be well prepared for unexpected events in a way that minimises damage to the collection and allows the organisation to recover in a cost-effective and timely manner should an unfortunate event occur.