Preparing your collection for a disaster could greatly increase what survives. Northeast Document Conservation Center recommends to first prepare an emergency preparedness plan. This will allow your staff to respond quickly before, during and after a disaster with explict instructions that will provide the best practices for preparing and salvaging your collections. For assistance in preparing a disaster plan please refer to our Disaster Plan section.
Your collection has gotten wet now what do you do? If your collection has been affected by water or moisture please refer to our Wet Recovery page.
Collections Reference List
The ABS’s of Modern Fire Suppression in Cultural Institutions, National Archives
Session presentations from their annual conference on fire suppression.
Conserve-O-Grams, National Park Service
A series of 11 National Park Service publications covering disaster recovery topics like salvaging water-damaged collections (paper, non-paper archives, textiles, natural history collections), health and safety, and how to develop an emergency operations plan.
This document provides an overview of tasks to be performed by individuals before, during and after a natural disaster strikes a museum or collection.
Disaster Reentry Checklist. A good list of action steps and precautions for teams before re-entering a facility.
Disaster Response and Recovery, Lyrasis
Offers general information; resources by type of damage and material; disaster recover service and supplies; disaster aid; and other resources for information.
Emergency! If You’re First…America Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
General instructions for what to do when an emergency occurs. Some information on paper collections.
Fire Protections in Cultural Institutions, National Archives
Paper emphasizes preventive measure to protect collections from fires.
Fire Safety Inspection Form, National Archives
Self inspection form for institutions to perform to determine areas that would be the most threatened by fire. Should be done at regular intervals and does not replace a municipal or specialist inspections.
Lessons Learned in Emergencies: Not Your Ordinary Disaster Conference, National Archives
Proceedings from their annual conference in 2002.
Mold Summary in Emergency Response. Prepared by Hillary Kaplan of the National Archives and Records Administration, this document provides a brief introduction to the problems of mold after a natural disaster.
Preparing Your Institution for Hurricanes, Heritage Preservation
Basic information for buildings with collections. The wheel offers for specific materials.
Preservation Leaflets, Northeast Document Conservation Center
Planning and Prioritizing, The Environment, Emergency Management, Storage and Handling, Photographs, Reformatting, Conservation Procedures
More in depth information on what to do with paper- based materials.
This primer discusses how to plan for, salvage, and care for paper objects in emergencies, such as fire, flood, and earthquake. It was issued by the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and Records Administration, Library of Congress, and National Park Service.
After the disaster strikes, how do you determine where to begin and what to salvage? This document provides guidelines for curators and collectors.
This document provides guidelines for necessary record keeping in emergency response so that accurate tracking of all collections is maintained.
Save Your Treasures the Right Way, The Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a coalition of 41 national organizations and federal agencies including FEMA, offers these basic guidelines from professional conservators.
Saving Your Family Heirlooms. This document provided by the American Institute for Conservation is a simple decision tree for homeowners to use after flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes, or hurricanes.
The Impact of the Fires on San Diego’s Historic Sites provides updates with photographs on some of the 1,500 historic structures and thousands of archeological sites potentially impacted by the California wildfires.
Working with Emergency Responders: Tips for Cultural Institutions. Tips for cultural institutions. What do they need to know before, during, and after a disaster.
Originally published Jun 7, 2011.
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