Disaster Preparedness Clearinghouse

Disasters strike every area of the country, and they do not spare libraries. Usually there is little or no warning, and the best defense is a plan for effective response.

Developed by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association, this site is a selective resource for libraries of all sizes and types. It contains resources, links to the disaster preparedness sites of agencies whose primary role is emergency response or conservation, and information on available training. Please send comments or suggestions for other resources to include to alcts@ala.org.

Disaster Preparedness Sites    

Baltimore Academic Library Consortium (BALC)

Includes information on disaster recovery of library materials and a list of supplies, experts, and services to assist during a disaster. The website provides a searchable database of these resources and a page to add a resource. While the majority of the resources are from the Washington/Baltimore area, contributions from any area are welcome. Learn more.

Colorado Preservation Alliance

The Colorado Preservation Alliance, which is composed of librarians, records managers, archivists, and genealogists, has developed this site to give people rapid advice on various disasters. Besides the state-wide action plan, there are full-text publications on various preservation techniques and resource lists. Learn more.

Cultural Preservation & Restoration, Inc. (CPR)

Offers a wide range of conservation and museum services. Best known for specializing in archaeological conservation, they also specialize in the conservation of objects, sculptures, painting, ethnographic materials, textiles, metals, stone, glass, and wood. Learn more

CoOL - Conservation OnLine: Resources for Conservation Professionals

Probably the resource for conservation and preservation information. Links to many other agencies, as well as a directory for locating people involved with conservation or allied professions. Learn more.

Extension Disaster Education Network

A collaborative multi-state effort by Extension Services across the country. A site designed to provide access to resources on disaster preparedness, recovery, and mitigation. Learn more.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. Preparedness, Training & Exercises

Detailed information on proper response to natural and technological disasters, including tips for individuals and families. Learn more

Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium Flood Recovery Booklet

A compilation of resources useful for individual or institution. Learn more.

National Task Force on Emergency Response

The National Task Force on Emergency Response is a partnership of 29 federal agencies, national service organizations (including the American Library Association), and private institutions. It has two major goals: 1) safeguarding America's cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies and 2) using its expertise to help the general public recover from disasters. Learn more.

Northeast Document Conservation Center. Disaster Assistance

Description of NEDCC’s emergency assistance program for institutions and individuals with damaged paper-based collections. Learn more.

Lyrasis (formerly SOLINET) Preservation Field Service Program Disaster Services

A description of the emergency disaster assistance to individuals and institutions. Learn more.

University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, Disaster Resources Preparedness & Recovery

Provides specific information on preparation before a disaster, response to a disaster, and information on providing assistance to disaster victims. Learn more.

Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC)

The Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC) is a non-profit regional center for the preservation and conservation of art and artifacts providing treatment, education, and trainings for museums, historical societies, libraries, other cultural institutions and the public. Established in 1977, MACC provides highest quality conservation treatments in Paintings, Objects, Paper and Textiles to over 170 non-profit member organizations and private collectors nationwide. MACC also provides disaster response services, workshops, and trainings on a variety of collections care topics for museum staff and arts professionals.

Our Preservation Services department offers member organizations assistance with environmental assessments, collections surveys, storage analysis, training workshops and mentoring, technical resources and information, loans of environmental monitoring equipment, emergency response planning, 24-hour access to disaster recovery information, as well as grant writing assistance for conservation and preservation projects. Learn more.


Federal Emergency Management Agency


Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel

Developed by the National Task Force on Emergency Response, this is a tool every library should have handy.

Bibliography of Standards and Selected References Related to Preservation in Libraries

Compiled by Suzanne Dodson and Johanna Wellheiser (February 1996, revised April 1996), section 9, Emergency Planning and Response. This listing includes both standards and references to reports of disaster response and handbooks.

Reading List for Preservation Management

Course presented by Sheila S. Intner at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College.

Brooks, Constance. Disaster Preparedness. Washington, DC: ARL, 1993.

Drewes, Jeanne M. & Julie A. Page. Promoting Preservation Awareness in Libraries: A Sourcebook. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1997.

Fortson, Judith. Disaster Planning & Recovery. New York: Neal-Schuman, 1992.

Kahn, Miriam. Disaster Response and Planning for Libraries. Chicago: ALA, 1998.

Kahn, Miriam. "Mastering Disaster: Emergency Planning for Libraries." Library Journal 118 (Dec. 1993), p. 73-75.

Murray, Toby. Bibliography on Disasters, Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Recovery. Tulsa, OK: University of Tulsa, 1987.

Rhodes, Barbara J. Hell & Highwater: A Disaster Information Sourcebook. New York: METRO, 1989.

Trinkley, Michael. Hurricane! Surviving the Big One: A Primer for Libraries, Museums and Archives. Atlanta, GA: SOLINET, 1993.

Water, Peter. Procedures for the Salvage of Water-Damaged Materials. 2nd ed. Washington: USGPO, 1988.