Related product Collections Management

Disaster Planning 101: Disaster Preparedness: Disaster Planning Resources & Securing Funding

Jade Kastel, Assistant Professor, Music Librarian, and Library Diversity Officer, Western Illinois University

When one thinks of disaster funding, a first thought that may come to mind is the costs associated with replacement or salvage of collections and building repairs that are needed after a disaster. This article focuses on the preparations before a disaster, funding disaster preparedness, and steps institutions can establish beforehand to help manage and mitigate in the event of a disaster, from a leaky roof to the rare occurrence of a collection-wide incident.

Here is a list of items to consider in the pre-planning phase that may require additional funding and staff allocations:

  • Assessment of collections and securing insurance
  • Evaluation of collection storage and HVAC systems, recommendations for improvements 
  • Purchasing supplies for a Disaster Kit
  • Allocating staff time to create a disaster plan and evaluate risk assessments
  • Resources to update your disaster plan and risk assessment to reflect increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events related to climate change
  • A plan for continuing of operations in the event of a disaster
  • How to contract for disaster services
  • A system for conducting emergency exercises
  • Training staff on protocols in the event of an emergency

In Illinois, there are regional grant funds to assist libraries and archives to secure funding for preservation and disaster preparedness. Regional and national professional organizations and consortiums, like CARLI, often offer support by way of information, workshops, webinars, websites, LibGuides, Toolkits, and opportunities to apply for funding for collection maintenance, preservation, or disaster planning. 

Here are some examples of grant opportunities in Illinois and nationally:

Here are selections of LibGuides and Toolkits to assist in researching disaster planning:

Lastly, securing institutional buy-in within an organization is key to organizing a coordinated response and establishing the support of administration for ongoing collections care and disaster preparedness. Consortiums like CARLI and professional organizations like the ALA, SAA, and the ILA are excellent sources to reach out for support and information in fostering institutional support. 

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