Disaster Preparedness & Response Resources

In support of organizations that find themselves in the path of a potential disaster we have compiled a
list of resources to help you prepare and recover.

Explore additional resources in Disaster Planning & Risk Management Resources in the AAM Resource Library.


The American Institute for Conservation’s National Heritage Responders provides 24/7 remote assistance to cultural institutions. Call 202-661-8068 for advice and referrals. NHR also offers tip sheets on response and recovery.

Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) works to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. Report damage to your museum at hentf@si.edu. This helps the Task Force coordinate federal agencies in responding to your needs.

The Regional Alliance for Preservation (website no longer active) members each offer emergency assistance by phone:

The Northeast Document Conservation Center recommends these companies for disaster remediation services, including water removal, transportation, drying, and freezing. They can be reached 24/7.

The FEMA Federal Disaster Declarations website has information about which counties are included in designated disaster areas and are therefore eligible for federal disaster assistance. FEMA’s Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide provides an overview of the process with links to other publications and documents with additional details.

National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness & Emergency Response (NCAPER) has published the Arts Field Guide to Federal Disaster Relief

Online Recovery Guides


  • AAM’s Mastering Your Museum’s Core Documents toolkit can help guide staff in creating and approving a disaster plan (along with the four other Core Documents). Tier 3 museum members can also access our library of Sample Documents, including over 45 disaster plans).
  • The Council of State Archivists has developed a Pocket Response Plan (PReP) to help staff note necessary information following a disaster. It is intended to be customized for each institution and individual staff member.
  • The AIC/FAIC Risk Evaluation and Planning Program (Repp) helps cultural institutions demonstrate whether a risk evaluation by a team of preservation and emergency professionals, which leads to preparedness.
  • Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF) shares Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Cultural Institutions.
  • The International Council of Museums shares Guidelines for Disaster Preparedness in Museums. The guide provides information on roles and responsibilities, emergency response tips, regular disaster mitigation techniques, and emergency communications. (PDF, 26 pages).
  • The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides information on Natural Hazards and their potential threats to society, and assists with developing smart, cost-effective strategies for achieving preparedness and resilience.

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