Bay Area Mutual Aid Network

Background: The Bay Area Mutual Aid Network is an organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting disaster preparedness and response among its member libraries, archives, and museums. Membership includes those libraries that originally joined the Disaster Response Mutual Aid Pact, an outgrowth of the Bay Area Preservation Network (BAPNet) in 1998. Their 5-year mutual aid contracts expired in 2003 and BAPNet no longer exists. Because the California State Library and the California Preservation Program (CPP) are committed to facilitating disaster recovery plans in as many California libraries as possible, the CPP requested local representative, Mary Morganti, to reactivate and expand the network. In January 2006, the mutual aid pact was reinstituted and renamed the Bay Area Mutual Aid Network (BAMAN).

BAMAN goals are:

1)  to facilitate a network of people willing to help each other in times of local disaster with advice, support or actual recovery assistance;

2)  to ensure the continuing viability of the Network; and

3)  to establish and stock at least one more disaster response supplies container.

Benefits: BAMAN currently owns 1 large cargo container stocked with disaster recovery supplies on the campus of Mills College in Oakland. BAMAN container access instructions are here.

We have just arranged for a new San Francisco storage location at the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management facility on Turk Street, and have refined things to be more user-friendly. We’ve purchased and stocked 4 rolling storage bins full with the idea that when an emergency happens you can just sign out for a bin, grab it, and go. Every BAMAN member has access to these supplies on an as-needs basis, plus an up-to-date list of member institutions with contact information. Contents of a third container owned by NARA, the National Archives and Records Administration in San Bruno, may also be made available to BAMAN members by special request in an emergency. All supplies taken must be replaced within 30 days.

BAMAN members are kept informed of disaster planning meetings and related activities through its occasional News Notes, which are distributed by email to all contacts at member institutions. BAMAN has previously hosted disaster plan update workdays at which members with existing disaster preparedness plans can work on updating them and sharing information, and special events such as “coffee at the container” for members to see the location, learn how to open the container, and to meet each other. BAMAN members are encouraged to attend CPP Disaster Preparedness Workshops and special water salvage workshops that are occasionally offered in the Bay Area.

BAMAN is open to and encourages new members. We would like to expand our network for mutual aid and increase the number of institutions with access to disaster response supplies.

If you are interested in membership in BAMAN, please contact Ms. Colyn Wohlmut at Colyn.Wohlmut@library.ca.govor Mary Morganti at MLMorganti@aol.com

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