Useful Information on
Emergency Preparedness and Response

The following websites provide a broad range of information and advice on preparing for and responding to disasters.  Some of these organizations, (*), also provide 24/7 telephone assistance. All website addresses and contact information were checked in March of 2012.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)

This site provides a wide range of information on disaster preparedness, response and salvage. In addition, AIC’s Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC-CERT) members are available to provide 24/7 disaster assistance to museums, historical societies, libraries, archives, and the general public.  The AIC-CERT emergency number is (202) 661-8068.  Under some circumstances, on-site assistance can be arranged.  In addition, AIC can provide the names of experts in the conservation of paintings, paper, books, photographs, textiles, decorative arts, sculpture, and wooden artifacts as well as architectural, archaeological, natural science, and ethnographic materials. Visit this site.

Amigos Library Services

This site includes disaster planning tools (more for libraries and archives) and a listing of suppliers and resources.  Amigos also provides advice by telephone: Contact the Amigos Support Desk between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST, 1-800-843-8482 (972-851-8000 in the Dallas area), ext. 2863 or . After business hours call 469-223-4900. Visit this site.

California Preservation Program

CPP’s website addresses primarily the collection preservation needs of libraries and archives, and contains documents on disaster preparedness, response, and salvage for collections (and much more). The site includes an excellent template for a disaster plan. The CPP hosts a 24/7 Emergency Toll-Free Number for California cultural institutions whose collections have been damaged and need preservation assistance (888-905-7737), and CPP consultants are available for on-site assistance when needed. Visit this site.

Council of State Archivists (COSA)

This site comprises a listing of state archives that may be able to provide resources to help archival repositories salvage historical records damaged by water. It also includes templates for a Pocket Response Plan, a basic format for a disaster response document, and a Toolkit that provides guidance and a resource directory for disaster preparedness. Visit this site.

Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website

Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website, a joint project of Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, the Center for Great Lakes Culture and the California Preservation Program, includes sample disaster plans and allows you to search supplies, equipment and services needed after a disaster. Visit this site.


This site includes a broad summary of information on what to do at each stage of a disaster, from the initial planning of the response through stabilizing the building, documenting damage, and prioritizing salvage.  There is also a short section on special considerations for historic buildings.
Visit this site.

Heritage Preservation and the Heritage Emergency National Task Force

Heritage Preservation is a national non-profit dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the US. Heritage Preservation and FEMA co-sponsor the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, which is comprised of 40 national associations and government agencies [including AAM, AIC, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers] working to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of disasters. You can find many disaster preparedness as well as recovery resources on Heritage Preservation’s Web site at These resources include the Emergency Salvage Wheel and Field Guide to Emergency Response, tips for working with emergency responders, information on federal disaster funding, and news on current disasters.

Library of Congress

Information is offered on dealing with library materials affected by water, soot, mold and other contaminants.  The site has good links and bibliographic information. Visit this site.


Created in April, 2009 by the merger of PALINET and SOLINET and joined shortly thereafter by NELINET, LYRASIS is the nation’s largest regional membership organization serving libraries and information professionals.  This site concentrates on the needs of libraries, offers a number of technical leaflets on disaster mitigation and recovery.  Contact LYRASIS Preservation Field Services at 800.999.8558 for emergencies. After hours, you will be directed to an answering service; tell the operator you need to speak with someone from Preservation Field Services. Visit this site.

Michigan State University

This site has well-chosen information on disaster planning and useful links to institutional disaster plans, FEMA hazard maps, and recommended books and articles. Visit this site.

Minnesota Historical Society

This site provides a wealth of practical information on disaster preparedness, response and recovery.  Examples of forms and check lists are provided for damage assessment and re-entry, and detailed information is provided on how to salvage of a variety of materials.  There is also information on the special issues that arise when disasters involve historic structures. Visit this site.

Northeast Document Conservation Center

NEDCC presents information in the form of several technical leaflets on disaster planning and response. The site also has a list of emergency suppliers and services. In addition, NEDCC has developed a template for a web-based disaster plan (dPlan) at  As part of its Field Service, NEDCC offers emergency advice for institutions and individuals with damaged paper-based collections on a 24/7 basis at (978) 470-1010. Visit this site.

US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

This is a useful website with practical information on planning and preparedness.  There is extensive information on salvage of library materials, family treasures and drying methods. Visit this site.

Emergency Preparedness and Salvage:

General Information

National Library of Medicine and NIH  Visit this site.

Health and Safety

Center for Disease Control, “Coping with Disasters”  Visit this site.