Preservation Week: What’s in Your Disaster Supply Closet?

I inventory our disaster supplies and make sure people know where to find them every year during Preservation Week and May Day. We have plenty of supplies and equipment in the main library where Conservation is located. A couple years ago we expanded our supplies to include branch libraries and our Collections Services building.

Tote bin with disaster supplies
Branch Library Disaster Tote

While there are many disaster supply lists available online (see below), we found that for our locations we needed customized supply totes. Our totes are stocked with the basics that are needed to respond to small incidents, or start a response while staff await the disaster team’s arrival. Here is a screenshot of our tote contents. I will probably tweak this list going forward, but these totes have proved useful already by all of our branches.

A pdf of a list of supplies in each disaster tote.
Disaster Supply Tote Contents

Our supply cabinet in Collections Services contains the same supplies, plus it has some handy tools and supplies for Conservation when we are on site doing some minor repairs.

Disaster supply cabinet at central campus location.
Supply cabinet in Collections Services
Online Kit Supply Suggestions

There are a lot of resources out there that will advise you on what In our experience we have found that every site has different needs for their disaster kits. These are great places to start your supply list. If you are in a small institution, these can be a quick and easy way to get some supplies in place, then you can add/subtract supplies later to make the kits your own.

AIC Collections Emergency Kits This presentation from 2021 has a variety of handouts.
Harvard Library Recommended Emergency Supplies An extensive list to get you started.
NEDCC Preservation 101 Disaster Supply Checklist A handy printable checklist.
University Products Disaster Recovery Kit An off-the-shelf option with some basic supplies.
Gaylord Be Ready Recovery Kit Another ready-made option.

What’s in your disaster supply kit?

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