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Disaster Recovery

If you have experienced a records disaster, contact the State Archives for help at We will respond as soon as possible. Local governments should also immediately contact their Records Advisory Officer.

Quick checklist for a disaster response

  • Assess situation 
  • Determine safety of building
  • Determine course of action
  • Coordinate recovery plans
  • Determine damage to records (paper and electronic)
Image. Staff assessing damaged records

State Archives Services and Funding

Technical Advice for Protecting Damaged Records

When records are damaged or destroyed by a disaster, your records management officer should notify the Archives for advice on protecting and recovering damaged records.

For more information, contact your Local Government Records Advisory OfficerScheduling and State Agency Services Unit, or contact (518) 474-6926 or

Disaster Recovery Grants

Local governments are eligible, through the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF) program, 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 on the LGRMIF webpages. Also, contact your State Archives' Records Advisory Officer or call the Archives at (518) 474-6926.

Disaster Recovery Vendors  

Consult the Archives' list of consultants and vendors specializing in disaster recovery.

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 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 the Scheduling and State Agency Services Unit at (518) 474-6926 or

Additional Resources

Conservation Assistance

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

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.

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.

American Institute for Conservation (AIC)/Heritage Preservation

AIC has information about current resources for disaster preparedness and response. AIC also holds materials from Heritage Preservation, including a Field Guide to Emergency Response.

Salvage Resources

The National Archives maintains a webpage covering salvage procedures for a variety of materials. They also maintain a page devoted to water damaged family papers.

Alliance for Response

The Alliance for Response New York City and the Capital Region Alliance for Response will provide local assistance with disaster response.