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The Dangers of Untested Assumptions

Before evacuating cultural property, secure permissions from the custodians, and ensure that they, or staff members, are present on site to give advice and supervise the entire operation. Documentation. A formal permission document is required, stating that the custodian has given permission for ‘x’ number of cultural first aiders to evacuate ‘x’ number of objects and transport them to another safe location (specify the exact location name and geo-coordinates). This document should bear the signature of the custodian, together with other important details, such as the date, time and place. Prepare 1 Gather a team for evacuation. It should include all of the officials who are directly in charge of the collection to be evacuated. Elect a team leader, who can explain the scope and the aims of the operation and assign specific tasks to team members. These tasks include: • documentation; • handling and packing; • transportation of objects; • organization of the temporary storage space; • logistics, such as supplies, food, water, etc.; • communication within the team, and with external actors and stakeholders. 2 Using the findings from the on-site damage and risk assessment, identify and prepare: a. A safe evacuation route for transporting objects within and outside of the affected building. b. A sorting and packing area, or room that is large enough to accommodate at least two workstations for sorting, documenting and packing objects. c. A safe location for storing the objects temporarily, either on-site or off-site. 82 First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis | 1. Handbook When selecting a safe storage space, ensure that: • it is large enough to accommodate the number of objects that have to be relocated; • it is clean and does not have any pest or mould infestations; • it is well-ventilated and is not damp or humid; • it has been secured against theft and vandalism; • it is accessible via a route that would allow the safe transportation of objects; • if needed, objects could be left in the storage space for an indeterminate period.