Emergency Preparedness

Courtesy NEDCC/Donia Conn

One of the most important things any cultural institution can do to protect its collections is to follow the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared.  

Being aware of the risks collections face daily, seasonally, annually, or even once a century due to poor building maintenance, weather, security, or neighborhood is an important first step. Creating a functional disaster plan is the second step. Finally, taking the all-important steps to prevent and mitigate the identified risks as well as training for response and recovery will ensure that when disaster strikes, its impact will be lessened.

Being prepared for all incidents, whether it’s a small drip from a leaking pipe or a winter storm, can ensure that you know what to do at all stages of the event, even when there is no power or you must wait to gain access to your site. Knowing exactly what to do and who to call, and when, will ensure a better response and recovery effort—and ensure our collective cultural identity is preserved for future generations.

COSTEP MA can help at all stages of preparedness. Refer to Creating a Disaster Plan for guidance in risk assessment and free templates for preparing your institution’s disaster plan. In Establishing Relationships with Recovery Vendors, learn what to expect and how to prepare for the process of selecting a recovery vendor. Find out how to network with colleagues and meet with your local first responders and emergency manager by learning about Building Community Relationships. Finally, take advantage of workshops and webinars by Finding Training Opportunities to improve your planning and response.