MayDay! MayDay! 2012

Each year, archives, libraries, museums, and arts and historic preservation organizations set aside May 1 to participate in MayDay, an initiative to protect cultural heritage from disasters. The Society of American Archivists (SAA) created the MayDay initiative in 2006 and promoted the idea to its members and allied organizations. The following year, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force and SAA expanded the concept to include all kinds of collecting institutions and historic preservation interests. The Beaufort District Collection has been participating in MayDay since 2008.

Learn more about the MayDay movement at

What is the Beaufort County Library doing to celebrate MayDay this year?

Priscilla Pomazal, Ileana Herrick, and I participated in a PALMCOP (Palmetto Archives Libraries Museum Council on Preservation) workshop "Works of Art, Up Close and Personal" at Craig Crawford of Crawford Studios in Swansea on Thurs., Apr. 26th. We learned how to examine an oil painting in order to compile a condition report of it. We can use the information to determine insurance coverage needs, as well as to properly monitor the condition of an oil painting over time for preservation and conservation needs.

I am attending an online disaster preparedness webinar sponsored by Heritage Preservation, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of our country.

I am writing this blog entry to offer a few preparedness activities that you can undertake at a personal level to mitigate misfortune.

Q: What "1 Simple Step" will you take for MayDay 2012?

You could read previous Connections blog entries labeled "emergency preparedness" under the "BROWSE BY TOPIC' heading in the left column as your "1 Simple Step" towards personal preparedness.

You could identify the three biggest risks to your home or business (such as a hurricane, leaking water pipe, flood waters, or power failure) and outline steps to mitigate them as your "1 Simple Step" towards personal preparedness.

If you have a personal disaster plan, dust it off and bring it up to date as your "1 Simple Step" towards personal preparedness.

If you don't have a plan, make a timeline for developing one as your "1 Simple Step" towards personal preparedness.

An excellent resource for designing your family disaster plan is available online at "Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed" is the motto that the Federal Emergency Management Agency wants every US citizen and resident to internalize in order to be safe. There's even a section just for the kids to be involved.

With hurricane season almost upon us again, take "1 Simple Step" towards personal preparedness and review the Recovery Manual posted online by the Beaufort County Emergency Management department. The document is found at It'll will help you understand the framework for a local recovery process.