We felt the earth move under our feet

Yes folks. The quake was felt here at the Brooklyn Museum. Unlike our colleagues in California, Tennessee and even Indianapolis, we Brooklynites do not live along a major fault line. Consequently, we tend not to make earthquake preparedness a high priority on the museum’s disaster plan.  While preparing for earthquakes are part of the plan, it’s just not the primary concern—we don’t have earthquake drills like they do in California. We may practice for flooding or fire, but not earthquakes.

Quake map

Map of damage reports from the New York Times.

What is a Disaster Plan? It is a written document outlining the procedures and policies that staff will follow in the event of various emergencies and disasters. The American Association of Museums requires that museums have this written document as part of becoming an accredited institution.

The museum does have such a document and in response to this quake professional staff—all conservators, registrars, collections manager, and the curators of each department—followed our disaster plan and performed a systematic check of objects in storage and on display. We are happy to report that we have nothing to report and no mishaps occurred.

For more information on disaster preparation as it relates to art collections go to the American Institute for Conservation and Heritage Preservation. Having a disaster plan is not only for Museums. NYC is encouraging all residents to have their own personal disaster plans. For more information about making your plan Ready NY go to their website.