In an emergency such as flood or bushfire, you should be conscious of which recordings are truly irreplaceable (e.g. a unique recording of baby’s first words or a deceased relative) and commercial recordings or equipment which may have monetary value but which could be replaced if necessary.
You should consider safeguarding any recordings of great personal importance from extreme hazard by copying them and storing the copies elsewhere. In the event of a flood, evacuate the recordings or store in a sealed container — try to avoid them becoming wet. In the event of a fire, evacuate the recordings or bury them in a sealed container.
For professional assistance in the event of such a disaster, or if you notice unusual things happening to your recordings, seek professional advice. If tapes show any signs of shedding, sticking or squeaking, or if recordings develop a strong smell of vinegar or a ‘plastic/organic’ odour, this is usually a sign that they are chemically deteriorating and probably require expert treatment. On any recording also look out for crazing, cracks or other damage, and mould, contamination or interaction with packaging.