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Disaster Response

If you have experienced a records disaster, contact the State Archives for help through our disaster email account at We will respond as soon as possible.

Also, refer to these Archives’ publications:

State Archives Services to State Agencies and Local Governments

Technical Advice for Protecting Damaged Records
When records are damaged or destroyed by a disaster, your records management officer should notify the State Archives for advice on protecting and recovering damaged records. For more information, contact your Local Government Regional Advisory OfficerState Agency Services, or contact (518) 474-6926 or

Disaster Recovery Vendors
Please note that the State Archives maintains a list of consultants and vendors specializing in disaster recovery that might be of use when responding to a disaster.

Emergency Destruction of Records
When government records are a hazard to human safety or health or to property, your records management officer may request authorization from the State Archives to destroy or dispose of such records immediately. For more information, refer to the Archives' page on requesting early destruction of records or contact Retention Scheduling and Appraisal at (518) 474-6926 or

Disaster Recovery Grants
Local governments may be eligible for up to $20,000 in disaster recovery funding to address damage to vital or historical records. For eligibility requirements, see the disaster grant guidelines and contact your State Archives' Regional Advisory Officer or call the Archives at (518) 474-6926.

Services to Historical Records Repositories

Technical Advice for Protecting Damaged Records
The State Archives encourages historical records repositories to ask us for assistance and advice when their records are damaged or destroyed by a disaster. Contact Collections Management at 474-6926 or, or the Regional Advisory Officer for your area.

Guide to Navigating Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration Disaster Aid for Cultural Institutions
Heritage Preservation prepared a Guide to Navigating Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration Disaster Aid for Cultural Institutions which provides general information to those seeking federal funding for disaster response and recovery.

Services and Resources for All Organizations

Emergency Equipment Stockpile
The NYS Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will temporarily lend to local governments and state agencies equipment needed primarily for drought relief, flooding, and emergency power and light generation. Available for loan are power generators; pumps, piping, and water filters; potable water tankers; portable light towers; chainsaws; chlorinators; and sandbag-filling machines.

Crisis Response Assistance
The NYS Department of Labor’s Division of Safety and Health (DOSH) provides technical assistance and resources to state and local emergency response agencies to protect first responders from health and safety risks. For more information, contact DOSH at (518) 457-2574.

Caring for Your Treasures
The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) provides information about caring for your treasures, selecting a conservator, and disaster response and recovery, as well as other resources. Its Collections Emergency Response Team provides 24-hour phone assistance at (202) 661-8068.

Conservation Assistance
The Northeast Document Conservation Center provides 24-hour phone assistance at (978) 470-1010, and emergency management leaflets, and other disaster assistance resources.

Heritage Emergency National Task Force Information on Major Disasters
Heritage Preservation maintains information about current resources for disaster preparedness and response.

Salvage at a Glance
This resource outlines how to salvage various types of materials and media.

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.