Emergency Management

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This content is excerpted from Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage (2019), Elkin and Norris, eds.

Chapter 16: Emergency Management

Rebecca Fifield, The New York Public Library, New York, NY

A competent emergency management program can limit the impact of disaster on collections and institutional operations. Emergency preparedness activities within collecting institutions include life safety, collection safety, and business continuity functions. A cross-disciplinary approach best identifies and prepares for specific risks to the institution and collections. Developing an effective program requires the perspectives of security, collection, conservation, facilities, registrar, custodial, and communication staff. Planning together with local responders and emergency managers and aligning with industry systems and language allows the institution to work more efficiently with authorities during an emergency. Maintaining the program’s relevance and effectiveness requires regular training, program assessment, and plan maintenance.


Online Resources

Disaster Planning
Museum SOS
American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Wiki content for Emergency Preparedness & Response