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Flood Mitigation Resources | VTLIB Resource Update

Submitted by lilly.talbert@… on

VTLIB Resource Update (bi-weekly listserv message)

Dear Library Community,

Like other state government departments and agencies, our Barre offices are closed, and staff is working remotely. If you need support from us, please contact the Department at or by calling Kevin Unrath, Library Operations Consultant, at (802) 272-4386. Today’s resource update will focus on flood mitigation resources: 

 After a flood, the top priority is making sure people are safe and remain safe.

  Do not go in a flooded building, even if the water has receded, until it is deemed safe by authorities.  There could be hidden structural, electrical, or gas line damage.

After the building is determined to be safe, assessment of damage can begin.

 FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) provides a two-page basic guide, The ABC’s of Returning to Flooded Buildings, that outlines important safety procedures and highlights tasks to accomplish.

For libraries, assessment falls into three categories: building and grounds; fixtures and furnishings; and collections.

Building and grounds includes assessing the driveway, parking lot, and exterior of the building from the roof to the ground, as well as entrances.  Then, inside, assessing the condition of every room that is safely accessible. 

Fixtures and furnishings include anything that is non-permanent in the building.  Documenting damage using a fixed or video camera can be useful for insurance claims. It will also help you remember what was damaged.

Collections are a unique concern of libraries.  Before re-entering, consider what collections are most valuable and irreplaceable, and prioritize those for immediate action.  NEDCC (the Northeast Document Conservation Center) provides detailed information on conserving various types of material.  They operate a preservation hotline with 24/7 response available to address questions at 855-245-8303.

For local assistance and support during business hours, you can call the Vermont Arts & Culture Disaster and Resilience Network for assistance at 802-622-4092 or visit