Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery

This page is full of resources that can help institutions and individuals who are planning, responding, or recovering from a disaster, emergency, or mishap.  Some resources are entire websites for you to research, others are discrete items because, sometimes, you want to go quickly to the heart of a topic.  Check out the links and gather the information that you find most pertinent to your institution's collections.

Jump to:
   > After a disaster: where to find help

  > Before an emergency strikes - train your staff in disaster response!

  > Multimedia resources for training

  > Write your Disaster Plan: templates, guides, and examples to help create a plan of your own (remember, the links often have additional useful links, especially concerning recovery procedures)

  > Respond and recover from your emergency (many of these resources include information for planning and preparation)


After a disaster: where to find help

Illinois Collections Preservation Network (ICPN).

  • Contact an ICPN Partner   This takes you to our partner list.  In the event that a disaster befalls your institution, and you need help in responding, please feel free to contact a partner near you.
  • Create an Emergency Supply Kit  Patricia Miller, Executive Director of Illinois Heritage Association, an ICPN partner agency, compiled a list of supplies that your institution should have on hand to facilitate a quick response to an unexpected disaster.  The link opens a pdf.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).
Find a Conservator here or contact AIC at (202) 452-9545, info@conservation-us.org.
AIC's Collections Emergncy Response Team (CERT)
AIC-CERT phone number is 202-661-8068.

Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA).
Mid-Atlantic Resource Guide for Disaster Preparedness compiled by CCAHA in 2011 (pdf), with partial funding from NEH.  National organizations are listed in addition to those of the Mid-Atlantic region.

Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website.
This website is a joint project of the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, the Center for Great Lakes Culture, and the California Preservation Program.
Search for Disaster Recovery Resources  this link allows you to search for regional experts, suppliers, and other resources that can aid in recovering from your emergency.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Before and After Disasters: Federal Funding for Cultural Institutions (pdf)
Grants page on FEMA website

Heritage Emergency National Task Force (co-sponsored by Heritage Preservation and Federal Emergency Management Agency).
Cooperative Disaster Networks
: where to find help in your region of the USA.

LYRASIS Preservation Services can be reached at 800-999-8558.
The LYRASIS website lists the following organizations and phone numbers in case you cannot reach LYRASIS:

  • AMIGOS Library Services:  during business hours at 800-843-8482; after hours at 469-223-4900; or, by email at amigos@amigos.org
  • Balboa Art Conservation Center: 619-236-9702
  • Conservation Center for Art and Historical Artifacts: 215-545-0613
  • Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center: 402-595-1178
  • Intermuseum Conservation Association: 216-658-8700
  • Midwest Art Conservation Center: 612-870-3120
  • Northeast Document Conservation Center: 978-470-1010
  • Williamstown Art Conservation Center: 413-458-5741 (after hours) 413-458-9545
  • Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Service: 888-905-7737

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD).
Information, monitoring, & resources for ongoing disasters
website representing a coalition of voluntary organizations that band together to better serve disaster victims.

Newberry Library.
Chicago Area Disaster Response Resource File.  This pdf is a very important document that serves not only as a resource list for the Chicago area (and for small Illinois communities that encounter big emergencies), but also as a guide for making a list of your institution's local resources.  Resource topics included the following:

  • conservators, technical assistants, recovery assistants
  • service companies and suppliers that can help you respond to emergencies
  • sources for equipment and supplies
  • online conservation and collections care resources

Northeast Document Conservation Center.
The NEDCC website states, "Each year, NEDCC answers more than 1,200 phone and email inquiries about general preservation issues ranging from insect infestation to basic conservation methods to sources of preservation suppliers. If you have a question, contact NEDCC staff at www.nedcc.org/ask/email.php."

Regional Alliance for Preservation (RAP).
Emergency Response Services provided by member organizations of RAP

Before an emergency strikes  - train your staff in disaster response!

California Preservation Program.
Disaster Plan Exercise (a disaster role-playing exercise)

FEMA Emergency Management Institute.
Independent Study Program a list of 150, and growing, self-paced, online courses
National Incident Management System (NIMS) training courses

Illinois Collections Preservation Network (ICPN).
Disaster Response Training Kit
  Members can borrow this 25-piece kit from the Illinois State Museum, free of charge, for use in training staff.

Multimedia resources for training

American Library Association (ALA).
Webinars are offered by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (a division of ALA) Some are free and some, fee-based.
Here are some free past preservation webinars:

To see all webinar topics, go to https://www.ala.org/alcts/confevents/upcoming/webinar
To see other preservation offerings, go to https://www.ala.org/alcts/confevents/upcoming/webinar/pres

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC).
FREE recording of their webinar entitled "Risk Assessment for Cultural Heritage Collections."  This presentation is audio and slides.

Northeast Document Conservation Center. 
Webinar on "Digital Disaster Planning: A Primer"

Write your Disaster Plan: templates, guides, and examples to help create a plan of your own (remember, the links often have additional useful links, especially concerning recovery procedures)

Alabama Public Library Service.
Sample Disaster and Emergency Plan for Alabama Public Library Service   (pdf 1.02 MB / 192 p.)

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)'s Conservation OnLine (CoOL).
Protocol for Emergencies  an art gallery example of steps to take in an emergency

Amigos Library Services.
A Disaster Plan for Libraries and Archives

Australian National Botanic Gardens.
A Disaster Recovery Plan for The Australian National Herbarium, Canberra

Baltimore Academic Libraries Consortium (BALC).
Disaster Preparedness Plan

California Preservation Program.
Library Disaster Plan template

Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI)

CCI Notes on Planning for Disaster Management:

Canadian Council of Archives.
Free downloadable PDFs on Disaster Planning and Recovery and other topics.

Council of State Archivists (CoSA).

Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website.
This website is a joint project of the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, the Center for Great Lakes Culture, and the California Preservation Program.
Disaster Preparedness links to templates, checklists, sample plans, regional experts, suppliers, and other resources.

Disaster Recovery Journal.
Disaster Recovery Journal while this free online journal addresses business continuity particularly in the information/data tech world, the topics are applicable to many collections facilities.   Among the resources listed are sample plans.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Getty Conservation Institute.

Harvard University Libraries.
Emergency Preparedness Plan

Illinois State University Libraries.

Inland Empire Libraries Disaster Response Network (IELDRN).
Generic Disaster Plan (the Internal and External Hazards surveys are useful tools)

Library and Archives Canada.
Emergency Preparedness Contingency Plan
Guide on Emergency and Disaster Control

Library of Congress.
Emergency Response Services for Collections Stabilization and Recovery (model of a contract for services)

Michigan State University.
Disaster Recovery Planning

Minnesota Historical Society.
Emergency Preparedness & Recovery Plan (2007)

National Library of Australia.
Collection Disaster Plan

National Park Service. 

NPS Conserve O Gram leaflets:

National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Disaster Response Resource Guides

Nebraska Museums Association.
Are You Prepared? A Guide to Emergency Planning.  1997 manual by the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, the Nebraska State Historical Society, and the Nebraska Museums Association.

New York University Libraries (NYU).
Disaster Plan Workbook

Northeast Document Conservation Center.

  • Worksheet for Outlining a Disaster Plan
  • dPlan (and dPlan Lite) is a free online tool that was prepared by Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded the development of the template.  Using the dPlan template simplifies the process of writing a disaster plan for your collections. dPlan provides a comprehensive fill-in-the-blank template into which you enter information about your institution. Data entered by the user is stored on a secure server and output in a standard format, resulting in a customized disaster plan that can be regularly updated.  Currently dPlan is only available to non-profit organizations such as libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and city/town clerk offices that hold cultural collections (e.g., books, maps, documents, artifacts). dPlan cannot be used by for-profit corporations at this time. To use dPlan, institutions must submit institutional information to NEDCC and be approved for a dPlan account. Click for more information about dPlan, or to create an account.

Society of American Archivists (SAA).
Annotated list of disaster planning and prevention
resources, many types of resources pertaining to preparedness, several examples are specific to archives.

Syracuse University Libraries.
Disaster Recovery Manual
(2010), this manual includes recovery procedures for Water Emergencies, Print Materials and Air Drying Books, Air Drying Paper Documents or Pamphlets, Non-Print and Photographic materials, Audio and Sound Recording Materials

University of California, Berkeley.
Library Disaster Response Plan

University of California-Davis.
Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Recovery Plan

University of Delaware Library.
Disaster Response Plan

University of Florida Smathers Libraries.
Disaster and Emergency Plan

University of Indiana.
Disaster Response Plans

University of Maryland, University Libraries.
Disaster Plan

University of North Florida.
Disaster Plan of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library

University of Texas at Arlington.
Libraries Disaster Plan

U.S. Naval War College Library.
Disaster Preparedness Workbook for U.S. Navy Libraries and Archives (1998)

Western New York Library Resources Council.
Western New York Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Manual for Libraries and Archives (2003)

Respond and recover from your emergency (many of these resources include information for planning and preparation)

American Association of Museums (AAM).
This resource requires a member login

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).  
Guides and Information listed on the AIC Disaster Response and Recovery webpage:

American Library Association (ALA).
ALA's list of Disaster Readiness resources
(many, but not all, are librabry specific resources)

CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.
Disaster Planning and Response resources
gathered by the CARLI Preservation Working Group.

Central NY Library Resources Council (CLRC).
Disaster Preparation and Recovery Resources can be found on CLRC's archival services resources page.

Connecting to Collections, an initiative of IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services).
The C2C website has links to many disaster preparation resources, and to emergency response resources.

Conservation OnLine (CoOL) is a full text library of conservation information operated by the Foundation of the AIC.
This page lists and links to many resources addressing disaster preparedness and response

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Georgia Secretary of State website.
Advice on disaster preparedness


Harvard University Library and Harvard College Library. 

  • Library Preservation at Harvard, resources and presentations gathered by Harvard University Weissman Preservation Center and Harvard College Library Preservation and Imaging.
  • Salvage information for many material categories (e.g., books, paper, textiles, audio & visual).

Heritage Preservation, the National Institute for Conservation. 
The Heritage Emergency National Task Force website is full of information for disaster planning, response, and recovery.
Heritage Preservation sells the Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel and the Field Guide for Emergency Response.

Library and Archives Canada.
Guidance on Recovery from an Emergency/Disaster

Disaster Resources

Michigan State University Libraries.
Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website.  A good site to find experts, services, and supplies by state.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.
Minnesota Disaster Management Handbook

Minnesota Historical Society.

National Archives.

National Park Service. 
NPS Conserve O Gram leaflets address all types of conservation issues. 
Listed below are the leaflets in Section 21, which address Disaster Response & Recovery:

The following Conserve O Grams address mitigation of issues that could be related to disasters:

Northeast Document Conservation Center.

  • NEDCC publishes Preservation Leaflets on a variety of topics.  The following set of leaflets contains information for Emergency Management:
  1. Protection from Loss: Water and Fire Damage, Biological Agents, Theft, and Vandalism
  2. An Introduction to Fire Detection, Alarm, and Automatic Fire Sprinklers
  3. Disaster Planning
  4. Worksheet for Outlining a Disaster Plan
  5. Emergency Management Bibliography
  6. Emergency Salvage of Wet Books and Records
  7. Emergency Salvage of Wet Photographs
  8. Emergency Salvage of Moldy Books and Paper
  9. Protecting Collections During Renovation
  10. Integrated Pest Management
  11. Collections Security: Planning and Prevention for Libraries and Archives
  12. Freezing and Drying Wet Books and Records

Oklahoma Museums Association.
The OMA website lists information to assist Oklahoma museums in the event of a disaster
; of course, these may be applicable to your collections facility, too.

The Smithsonian Institution. 
Museum Conservation Institute list of Disaster Guidance references.

Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC) Newsletter. 
Betty Walsh's "Salvage Operations for Water Damaged Archival Collections" and the "Salvage at a Glance" chart.
  Served by the Foundation of the AIC through its Conservation OnLine (CoOL) full text library of conservation information.