Disaster Assistance

Disasters and emergencies can occur to all institutions and at any time. Libraries and archives can minimize the impacts through risk assessment and mitigation, as well as proactive planning. The MBLC helps institutions develop disaster preparedness plans by offering statewide workshops and providing individual consultation upon request.


The dPlan Online Disaster Planning Tool can help your institution create a plan for disaster prevention and response with templates that can help staff reduce the risk of disaster and minimize losses. It works for small and medium-sized institutions that do not have in-house preservation staff as well as large library systems or museum campuses that need to develop separate plans for multiple locations or branches.

Emergency Assistance Program (EAP)

The MBLC's Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) is designed to provide:

  • Disaster preparedness training to librarians, archivists, and records custodians
    MBLC staff regularly offer workshops to teach the essentials of disaster preparedness planning, including an introduction to dPlan.

  • Clean-up kits and storage boxes for smaller emergencies
    Recovery supplies are available at 16 libraries in Massachusetts. These include 100 Rescubes, 2 ReactPaks, and a min-max thermohygrometer. These supplies are available to any library, archives, historical society, or town clerk in Massachusetts affected by an emergency. The only requirement is that they be returned when recovery is complete.

  • For public libraries only: Technical assistance from MBLC staff and emergency on-call professional assessment services
    MBLC staff is available to provide information, advice, and assessment either by telephone or on-site visit. The MBLC has also contracted with the NEDCC in Andover to provide telephone and on-site assistance to public libraries if MBLC staff is unable to provide assistance.

  • For public libraries only: On-call disaster recovery service for freezing and drying library and archival collections damaged in fires or floods
    Three vendors with extensive experience in dealing with the recovery of cultural materials (Polygon, Belfor, and BMS CAT) are on state contract and may be called directly by any institution. For public libraries wishing to participate in the EAP, they must contact the vendor with whom the MBLC currently has a contract through either the MBLC or the NEDCC.

For More Information

Evan Knight, Preservation Specialist
617-725-1860, x236
(in Massachusetts) 800-952-7403, x236