A major disaster can strike at any time and a pro-active rather than re-active approach is the best means for mitigating damage. To promote disaster preparation, the State Archives of North Carolina offers these helpful tools, links and additional resources to provide introductory information to preparing for either small or large scale events.
Prepare, respond and recover are the three key tasks of effective disaster response. A disaster may be caused by a natural occurrence such as a flood, fire or from a building hazard like leaking pipes or faulty electrical system. Whatever the cause, being prepared for a disaster is essential. Being organized, aware of procedures and having a plan in place before a disaster occurs will lessen the extent of the damage and is the best insurance against losing information. Training and practicing disaster response is a vital part of disaster preparation. Training should include evacuation procedures, personal safety and collection salvage procedures.
Disaster response involves putting the disaster plan into action and gathering all resources needed. When reaction to a disaster is prompt and efficient, the effects to the records can be minimized.
The following are technical bulletins that offer step-by-step instruction on disaster preparedness, recovery procedures, and hazardous situations.
- Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) Technical Bulletins:
Private Historical Associations
The State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) received a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to provide disaster preparedness training across the state. Part of that grant included a redesigned website, with a section dedicated to disaster preparedness and emergency response planning. The full website is available now, including the disaster preparedness portion of the site.
State and Local Government Officials
There are numerous resources available to public records custodians interested in vital records identification and protection. Our records analysts can assist agencies in utilizing standard records management tools to enhance emergency preparedness planning.
National May Day preservation initiative
Plan Ahead, information on emergency planning for individuals from FEMA
Rescuing Family Records: A Disaster Planning Guide, Council of State Archivists, ($10) (link)
Resources for Response and Recovery, Heritage Preservation
For additional information on any of these subjects, please contact the Preservation Officer at the State Archives of North Carolina at (919) 807-7308 or Jennifer.Blomberg@ncdcr.gov.
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The State Historical Records Advisory Board in collaboration with the State Archives has produced a series of tutorials that provide basic information about the care and handling of family papers. Disaster preparedness information is available in:
Identifying and Protecting Essential Family Records
More tutorials from this series are available on the YouTube channel of the State Archives of North Carolina.
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