Disaster Planning

  Nobody wants to think about disasters but disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year and they have lasting effects, both to people and property. Proper planning can make recovery possible. This means being ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.

This section outlines some ideas and resources to help you prepare your plan.

We have made the contents of the Protect-O-Wheel  chart  from the Studio Protector® wall guide available here. Use this for a quick guide of essential tips for protecting yourself and your studio from disasters. The Disaster Planning section of this website has more in-depth information on many of the topics covered in the wall guide. The print version puts this and much more information at your fingertips.

    • What are your location-specific risks? (weather, geographic, flood, seismic, etc.)

    • What are your property-specific risks? (potential structural problems, site problems, etc.)

    • What are potential risks from nearby commercial or industrial activities?

    • What are the safety risks related to your studio activity? (hazardous materials, equipment, etc.)


    • Make a fire safety plan; PRACTICE IT.

    • Properly mark and know the location of all exits (including windows); put an escape map near doors.

    • Install and maintain smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinklers, etc.


    • Protect items from moisture from above & below.

    • Avoid basement storage of art and valuables.

    • Check plumbing, fixtures, and sprinkler systems periodically & fix leaks.

    • Keep gutters and drains unclogged.


    • Determine safest shelter from tornadoes and windstorms - monitor a NOAA weather radio.

    • Protect items from above & below.

    • Install impact-resistant windows & doors, or plywood shutters.


    • Anchor equipment & fuel tanks to floor or wall.

    • Secure cabinets & shelves to walls; have safety latches on storage units.

    • Use museum wax to secure smaller objects to shelves.

    • Make sure your family and close contacts know how to reach you if a disaster strikes - don't rely exclusively on cell phone service.

    • Designate a contact person outside your region who will serve as an information conduit during & after an emergency.  


    • Have a personal support network of 3 people.

    • Work out and practice an emergency communication plan with them.

    • Rehearse telling first responders about your needs.

    • Keep handy: written directions about special equipment, drugs, & transportation you need.

    • Map out evacuation routes & a meeting place for your family and studio assistants.

    • Assemble a watertight container with copies of vital business documents (see "Warning" Pocket ProtectorTM for list).

    • Make a list of vital, portable items that can be safely and easily moved out in a hurry.



    • Assess both your capacity & limitations.

    • Prearrange support needed in an emergency.

    • Have kits of essential drugs and supplies ready to go.

    • Prearrange temporary workspace with other artists (inside & outside your area).

    • Identify alternative suppliers, markets, and/or temporary employment in case established relationships are disrupted.

    • Prepare to change or adjust your artwork to the situation until your studio is back to normal.

    • Allow time to grieve for your losses.

    • Form a mutual assistance arrangement with a fellow artist or friend living in another region.

    • Exchange lists of contacts and people to notify in case of an emergency.

    • Consider being one another's SOL (Safe Off-site Location) and providing one another temporary access to studio space after a disaster.