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Disaster preparedness

Below is a number of useful links to help increase your preparedness for the threat of a natural or man-made disaster and advice to assist in the case of disaster recovery.


Heritage Collections Council

The Heritage Collections Council’s “BE PREPARED – Guidelines for small museums for writing a disaster preparedness plan” guide assists small collecting agencies that have few trained or paid staff in writing their own disaster preparedness plan.

Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa

Disaster planning and recovery – Guidance and information on minimising disaster, emergency procedures, preventive conservation and public safety and security.

State Records of South Australia

The Records Management Disaster Planning – Guideline and Records Management Disaster Planning – Toolkit are two guidelines for disaster planning offering instructions on how to develop a disaster plan for records and recordkeeping systems and a toolkit which includes a series of templates, checklists and sample sheets relevant to the development of a records management disaster plan.


Prepared under the “Memory of the World” programme, Mitigating Disaster: A Strategic Guide to Risk Management in Heritage Collections outlines the key actions required to help preserve library, archival and other document collections from disasters

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

NARA’s web edition of Vital Records and Records Disaster Mitigation and Recovery: An Instructional Guide recommends policies and procedures that allow institutions to assess the damage to and implement the recovery of their records that may be affected by an emergency or disaster. It includes an example of a draft disaster plan.

International Council of Museums

Guidelines for Disaster Preparedness in Museums, put together by ICOM explains various methods for developing security and protection programs and various methods for adapting them to your individual needs and resources.

National Archives of Australia

Planning for disaster and managing risk is the National Archives of Australia’s own strategy to help their staff prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

National Library of Australia

Disaster Planning for libraries and Archives: Understanding the Essential Issues, written and presented by Dr Jan Lyall during the Pan-African Conference on Preservation and Conservation of Library and Archival Materials, Nairobi (Kenya), June 21–25, 1993.

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Northeast Document Conservation Center

The Northeast Document Conservation Center provides free preservation advice to institutions and individuals worldwide. Below are leaflets relevant to emergency management;


A RAMP study with guidelines on vacuum freeze-drying, a method used to salvage water-damaged archival and library materials.

The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM)

Disaster prepardness and risk management contains links to online resources about emergency preparedness for heritage collections, risk management and salvaging collections damaged in disaster situations.