Tulane collections and Hurricane Katrina

Meredith A. Lane mlane at GBIF.ORG
Mon Sep 19 22:00:18 CDT 2005

Forwarded from Hank Bart:

To: TAXACOM list members

From: Hank Bart, Director, Tulane University Museum of Natural History
(TUMNH) ... <a href="mailto:hank.bart at gmail.com">

Re: Status of TUMNH Collections

First, thanks for all of your well wishes and messages of concern
about the TUMNH collections.  I was able to get into all of the museum
buildings yesterday and got a good look at the collections.  For those
of you unfamilar with the museum, our buildings are WWII vintage
ammunition storage buildings that are constructed of heavy reinforced
concrete.  They are virtually indestructible.  Moreover, they are
elevated 1.8 meters off of the ground and are in an area (along the
Mississippi River) that is naturally high and protected by the river's
high levees.

I am happy to report that all of our collection
buildings survived the flooding and wind damage wrought by Hurricane
Katrina.  However, there are many downed trees and powerlines, and the
buildings have been without power since Aug 29th.  Also, there was
considerable damage to a small quonset building where we store boats, a
field vehicle and our dermestid colony.  Due to the power outage, we do
not have access to our file servers and will lose everything in
our freezers.  I am also concerned about pests attacking our mammal and
bird collections.  As an emergency measure, we plan to use PDB to
fumigate the cases.  We had suspended use of PBD years ago because of
health concerns and because skeletons in the cases are stored in
plastic boxes, which melt when exposed to PDB.   If any of you have a
supply of archival paper boxes that we can move skeletons to, please let
me know.

Other than this, our greatest need right now is restoring power and our
computing infrastructure.  I am looking into options for a better
back-up power system to keep key equipment functioning on a more
long-term basis in the event of another disaster like this.  If any of
you have suggestions, please let me know.

Until our servers are back up and running. The only way to communicate
with me is through this g-mail account.

Many thanks again,

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