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.
- Vital Records Protection for Families (PDF)
- Pocket Response Plan (PreP)
- Monitoring severe weather (NOAA)
- 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, ($12)
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.
Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) provides information about preparation for and recovery from natural disasters. 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 Technical Bulletins:
- Salvaging Art on Paper (PDF)
- Salvaging Photographs (PDF)
- Salvaging Books (PDF)
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.
There are numerous resources available to public records custodians interested in essential records identification and protection. Our records analysts (local government agencies and state government agencies) can assist agencies in utilizing standard records management tools to enhance emergency preparedness planning. We regularly offer a workshop on Essential Records and Disaster Preparedness. For the latest records management news, including preparing for natural disasters and upcoming workshops, visit our records management blog.
- Initial Steps Before Recovery of Wet Records
- Sample inventory control forms
- A selected list of disaster recovery services
If you have further questions on disaster preparation or in the event that your records do get impacted by a disaster event, please contact the State Archives immediately.
- Becky McGee-Lankford (Government Records Section Chief) - 919-814-6903 (office)
- Sarah Koonts (State Archivist) - 919-814-6876 (office)
- Mark Holland (Records Analysis Unit Head) - 919-814-6908 (office)
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: