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Disaster Recovery training at The Beaney!

Museum Name

The Beaney House of Knowledge & Art, (part of Canterbury Museums & Galleries)

Museum Contact

Craig Bowen, Museums and Galleries Development Manager (Collections)

Title of Project

Delegates taking notes

Image credit: Craig Bowen

Disaster Recovery Training


12th November 2013

What was the Project aim(s)?

Delegates having a go at practical salvage

Image credit: Craig Bowen

To disseminate Disaster Recovery Training to a wider section of the Canterbury City Council museums workforce and across all sites.

There are many new staff within the service since the re-opening of the Beaney, many of whom do not have museum backgrounds and who have not previously considered Disaster response.

What was the impact of the project?

The training was a response to a need identified internally during the accreditation procedure for a more site specific Disaster Plan that is more widely understood by staff. The training also links to the “Sustainability” section of our Forward Plan.

A large number of staff, across all pay scales and sites, have received an introduction and some practical applications of Disaster response training.  There is now a more widespread knowledge of Disaster recovery across the service and a much more streamlined Disaster response if such an event were to occur. Many have even expressed an interest in being involved in further work which will streamline our Disaster plan.

What went well and what didn’t go well?

The training was delayed several times due to internal museum factors. It would have been better to have arranged this soon after the Beaney had opened, but this was not possible. 

The trainer had a wide range of knowledge and a helpful attitude. She was very practical and helped transform the paper based exercise into a very useful and realistic experience.

The practical element of the project was a big incentive to many staff, but there was a good deal of interest anyway, as many of the staff less familiar with disaster recovery were keen to find out about it.

Top Tips

  • Gather the material for the practical exercise well in advance.
  • Plan in follow up exercises directly afterwards to capitalise on staffs’ initial enthusiasm.

What are your plans for the future?

The benefits will be sustained through follow up work undertaken internally for example, more key staff will need a fuller knowledge of our Disaster Recovery plan. We wiill also sett up a Disaster Response group taken from all sections of the service who will assess the current Disaster plan for workability. 

Disaster recovery equipment needs sharing equally across museums and will probably require topping up.

Overall Cost of Project


If you would like to take part in a Practical Salvage & Recovery training day like The Beaney did, then the Kent & Medway Museum Development Programme is running one in Chatham on 26th February 2014. Bookings are now being taken.