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flame illustration   SPECIFIC EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
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WATER DAMAGE / FLOODING

This serious threat to Library materials can result from natural causes, such as flooding brought on by severe storms or accidents like dam bursts, from the results of suppressing fires, from leaks in roofs or pipes, or from the malfunctioning of water systems such as fire prevention sprinklers.

Destructive floods have occurred in Tucson with some regularity, but due to its generally favorable location the College of Law has not been affected. For this reason, it is not anticipated that the probability of the Law Library being gravely threatened by this type of disaster would be high. The potential for damage from fire fighting efforts or from a malfunctioning water system, however, poses a much greater possibility. In the case of water damage caused by firefighting efforts, it is of some consolation to know that at least books damaged by water may be restored, while fire will usually leave nothing to be salvaged.

If a water leak occurs in pipes or from other sources and is minor or localized in nature, proceed as follows:

box bullet Attempt to minimize damage by moving materials affected away from the water source. If possible, cover the affected area with plastic sheeting (a supply of plastic sheeting is kept in the Supply Closet outside of Technical Services for this purpose) or, depending upon circumstances, attempt to collect water in wastebaskets or buckets before it can damage materials.

box bullet If the problem occurs during regular hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), report the problem to the Building Monitor at 621-1547. Facilities Management will then be contacted.

box bullet If the problem occurs after regular hours, call Campus Police at 621-8273.

box bullet If none of its members are available when the problem occurs, contact the Disaster Action Team.
 

If forewarning of a potential flood threat to the Library is received, proceed as follows:

box bullet If they are not already controlling the situation, contact the Disaster Action Team.

box bulletEvacuate the Library according to the procedures specified in the section on Evacuation Plan.

box bullet The Disaster Action Team should take measures, when possible, to move valuables and high-priority areas of the collections, as specified in the section on Salvage Priorities, to a safe location.

box bullet The Disaster Action Team should make preliminary preparations for the salvage of Library materials in anticipation of the need for this action after the flood emergency is over.
 

Should major water damage or flooding occur in the Library, follow these procedures:

box bullet DO NOT enter the flooded area. Many hazards will exist, among them the danger of electrocution.

box bullet During regular hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the Disaster Action Team is expected to take control of the situation.

box bullet If the emergency occurs after regular hours, it should be reported to the emergency number 911.

box bullet If none of its members are present when the emergency occurs, contact the Disaster Action Team.

box bullet Evacuate the Library as specified in the section on Evacuation Plan.

NOTE: In cases of flooding when evacuation from the Law College building may endanger users and staff, the Disaster Action Team should evaluate the circumstances and, with the advice of emergency authorities, take appropriate alternative action in regard to evacuation.

As with the threat of fire, some basic preventive measurescan help eliminate hazards and reduce the potential for damage from water:

box bullet Do not store Library materials on the floor, especially on the lowest level of the Library.

box bullet Do not store Library materials on the top shelf of shelving units.

box bullet Avoid storage of Library materials directly below water pipes.

box bullet Shelving should ideally be installed at least 2" away from walls to avoid damage from condensation or water running down walls, and bottom shelves at least 4" above the floor.

box bullet Ensure that roofs and water systems are inspected regularly.

box bullet Report any leaks, heavy condensation areas, or clogged drains immediately.

box bullet Never let water run unattended.

box bullet Installation of carpeting in stack areas should be avoided as it retains water, prevents drainage, and creates a problem in stabilizing humidity in a flood situation.

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