Serious water damage can occur from many sources: burst pipes, clogged drains, broken skylights or windows or construction oversights. An enormous amount of damage can occur to artworks if the water source is not controlled quickly. A flood in the classrooms could also leak into Collections downstairs. Besides damage to artworks, water also can create an electrocution hazard.


If a water leak or flooding occurs:

1.  Notify Security via the two-way radio. Tell Security the exact location and severity of the leak. Indicate whether any part of the collections or exhibitions are involved or is in imminent danger. 

2.  Notify the Curatorial Department of the leak, regardless of its proximity to works of art (there may be art below it on the first floor).

3.  Block off access of the flooded area to the general public.

4.  If there are electrical appliances or electrical outlets near the leak, use extreme caution. If there is any possible danger, evacuate the area.

5.  If you know the source of the water and are confident of your ability to stop it (unclog the drain, turn off the water, etc.), do so carefully.

6.  Be prepared to help as directed in protecting art objects that are in jeopardy. Take only those steps needed to avoid or reduce immediate water damage: Cover large objects with plastic sheeting; carefully move small or light objects out of the emergency area. Be aware that wet objects or wet hands will be more slippery. The floor could be slippery too.

7.  After the event is over, if the cleanup requires more equipment, personnel or skills than we have, Claire (Executive Director), Pal (Deputy Director) and/or Gregory (Director of Security & Operations) will call our insurance company for guidance in consultation with Florida Southern College. Laura (Exhibitions Coordinator) or Loren (Collections Manager) will call the fine art insurance company if artwork was damaged.

8.  If the flooding is extensive, some disaster recovery firms that don’t specialize in helping museums will want to pump in dry air throughout the building to dry the carpets and upholstery. This will do great damage to the artwork as they cannot take the drastic swing in humidity levels. Instead, use fans to dry out carpet or remove wet carpet and upholstery completely. Pumping in dry air can only safely be done in the auditorium.


All leaks, no matter how small, must be reported to the Gregory