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Disaster Planning

In an uncertain world Museums and Heritage sites must plan for all eventualities. No matter how much an organisation likes to think that a disaster will never happen to them, the reality is that we are all susceptible. However, through planning,  an organisation can reduce or remove risks.    

Nigel Sadler has first hand experience of disaster management. His interest began whilst working as an archaeologist in Iraq in 1987. The country was at war and museums and their collections were at risk.

His Masters' degree thesis was 'Disaster Management Planning for Museums' and knowledge gained from this study has been put to use in all the museum posts he has held since 1991. He has implemented new procedures at all museums and written thorough disaster plans for each museum.

When needed the plans have stood the test of real events. The most dramatic was when the Turks and Caicos National Museum was in the path of Hurricane Frances in 2004. The plans were put into motion and ran smoothly.  

In 2011 Nigel Sadler was nominated onto the Disaster Relief Task Force (DRTF) operated by ICOM. DRTF is tasked with monitoring large scale emergencies and disasters as they occur and identify if museums require the support of the international community.

 Does your Museum need a disaster plan written, or an existing plan reviewed or tested? If the answer is yes then Sands of Time is the answer.


The Turks and Caicos National Museum after Hurricane Francis. Shutters are visible on all windows.