Before a Disaster Strikes

Organizations that fare best during a disaster are those that prepare ahead of time and train all staff members to take action. These organizations also create a culture of preparedness. They encourage shared responsibility and build preparedness activities into regular routines. Preparedness becomes a facet of “business as usual” instead of a singular event or yearly exercise.


Any actions you take to prepare today will help your library respond and recover more effectively in the face of future disasters. Whether you have a few hours to start planning or several months, consider these steps identified by preparedness experts and NLS libraries who have experienced disasters first-hand:

Key Preparedness Steps


Actions your library can take ahead of a disaster

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This project was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.


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