Disaster Assistance:


The New York State Archives is available to help you protect your records from disasters.  When a disaster is imminent, keep in mind the following regarding your records and collections:

  • Review your emergency response plan to verify that contact information is current.

  • Revisit your organization’s list of priority collections (vital records) and their locations.

  • Verify your facilities’ layouts, paying attention to evacuation routes and locations of stairs, exit doors, fire hoses, water and CO2 fire extinguishers, emergency lights, alarm pull boxes, sprinkler shut-off valves, and first-aid kits.

  • Identify and, if necessary, acquire alternative power sources such as generators.

  • Gather plastic sheeting to cover collections, filing cabinets, and computer equipment stored in vulnerable locations.

Also, refer to these Archives’ publications:

Check out these additional resources:

  • Disaster Planning and Response Workshops
    The NYS Archives’ workshops provide information on how to judge your organization's risk of experiencing a disaster, reduce the chances that a disaster will destroy your records, prepare your organization for a disaster, and explain how to respond to a disaster safely and effectively. For information on where and when this workshop is being offered, refer to the Archives’ training page.

  • Weather Updates
    The NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides weather updates including flood warnings, watches, and advisories.

  • Emergency and Disaster Plans
    The NYS Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has developed a sample Comprehensive Emergency Management and Continuity of Operations Plan which provides a framework for state agencies to respond to an internal or external emergency. This plan briefly discusses planning and responding to records-related disasters. OEM has also developed a sample County Emergency Management Plan

  • Emergency Preparedness Training
    Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER) developed records-related emergency preparedness training for state and local governments in the United States.

  • Rescuing Family Records: A Disaster Planning Guide
    The Council of State Archivists’ practical manual describes how to protect important family records from disasters.

  • Disaster Planning Resource (dPlan)
    See the Northeast Documentation Conservation Center’s dPlan for an online tool you can use to develop a disaster plan for your organization.

  • Field Guide to Emergency Response This guide and its accompanying DVD from Heritage Preservation provide step-by-step instructions for handling an emergency, forming a disaster response team, and stabilizing your collections.