Helping museums in the East Midlands to serve the public better

Helping museums in the East Midlands to serve the public better

Emergency Planning & Preparation

In an emergency, you need to know that your staff and collections are safe and secure. EMMS’ professionally approved and comprehensive Emergency Plan template makes it simpler to ensure you have procedures in place to deal with a disaster.


EMMS Emergency Plan Template

For professional, comprehensive assistance, EMMS supply a full emergency plan for a single payment of £15, so you can be sure that, should the worst happen, you’re all set to deal with it.

If you are an existing EMMS member, you can receive the EMMS Emergency Plan Template for free.  Please contact the EMMS Administrator at


How to Plan for Disasters

  • Establish your own emergency stockpile containing materials likely to be needed in your organisation in case of typical incidents, such as flood, fire or storm damage.  Ideally, designate the stockpile as such, and do not use material in it except in an emergency
  • Prepare an Emergency Plan for each site, test it and keep it up-to-date by reviewing annually
  • Work in partnership with your neighbours, and other museums and heritage groups in the area to develop shared resources and mutual support.
  • Contact your local Fire Station to:
    • Arrange familiarisation visits with each of the watches from the local station, that they might learn the location and layout of your buildings, and the special salvage requirements of the contents
    • Seek their advice and ideas on how to complete sections of your Emergency Plan
    • Offer your museum, library or archive as a possible site for a fire-service training exercise
  • Contact your local Crime Prevention Officer and Neighbourhood Watch
  • Contact your County Council Emergency Planning Officer, and use websites such as the Environment Agency
    • Seek advice to help you complete sections of your Emergency Plan, for example learning more about the potential hazards for your organisation and/or area
    • Understand how your organisation might be affected in a larger-scale incident
    • Find out what support and guidance is available

Harwell Document Recovery Insurance

EMMS Members who are subscribed to REDS receive Harwell’s 24 Hour Priority User Service: Harwell’s Priority User Service

Additional resources that can be purchased direct from Harwell include Disaster kits and template plans and ancillary services (such as collection cleaning, moves, deinfestation – to which REDS members are entitled to 25% discount).

Developing Your Disaster Kit

By having a Disaster Kit onsite, you will be able to deal with emergency incidents much quicker and effectively. A Disaster Kit is also a requirement of the Accreditation standard.  But what to include?   This will depend upon several factors – for example, you may wish to consider:

  • Materials to deal with specific identified hazards and potential incidents for your site(s)
  • Your priority items and what particular equipment you would need to access, free, move or salvage them in a hurry, or protect them if they are large and heavy – e.g. display case keys, special screwdrivers, carry straps, fire blankets
  • Salvage materials for the main types of materials or objects in your collection
  • What storage facilities you have available,  and ease of access to further resources and equipment in a hurry – is there a 24 hour store nearby? Do you have an arrangement in place for a generator or other equipment? Do you participate in REDS with its access to county stockpiles and the Harwell 24 Hour Priority User Service?
  • The layout of your building(s) and access to salvage areas
  • Where and how to store the kit – remember: it should be clearly marked and  easily accessible in an incident.   Discourage colleagues from removing materials for non-emergency incidents and, if it is stored in an outside area, keep it secure to avoid pilfering
  • The need for regular checking and a budget for routine replacement of materials and PPE
  • Including Guidance Notes on Emergency Management Team roles and responsibilities and Salvage Guidelines (perhaps on laminated A4 sheets) and extra risk assessment and documentation forms

With these thoughts in mind, here is a suggested list of materials to consider for your Disaster or Emergency Response Kit:

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Overalls/Waterproofs/Tyvec suits/aprons
  • Hi-vis vests
  • Safety boots or wellingtons
  • Safety helmets
  • Protective masks – FFP3
  • Protective gloves/nitrile gloves
  • Safety glasses/goggles
  • Identification tabards
  • Head torches and batteries

Initial Entry Equipment & Site Control

  • Waterproof extension leads & circuit breakers
  • Hazard tape
  • Rope/duct tape
  • Polythene sheeting
  • Fire blankets
  • Stanley knives and blades
  • Pipe sealing tape (water)
  • Pipe sealing tape (gas)
  • First aid kit
  • Glass clamps
  • Lifting straps
  • Hammer/Pliers/hatchet
  • Screwdrivers (variety)
  • Crowbar
  • Flood light/spare bulb
  • Scissors
  • Shovels
  • Whiteboard and markers for site entry control

Wet Recovery Materials

  • Mop and buckets/Dustpans
  • Squeegies
  • J cloths/lint free cloths/Sponges
  • Paper towels
  • Blotting paper (white)
  • Water spray bottles
  • Carrying crates
  • Long handled brushes/brooms/yard brushes
  • Absorbent cushions/booms
  • Refuse sacks – different colours for different purposes
  • Polythene sheeting
  • Fans

Recording and Packing Materials

  • Acid-free tissue paper
  • Newsprint paper (print free)
  • Bubblewrap (pre-cut)
  • Self seal poly bags (all sizes)
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Spare storage boxes
  • String/cotton tape/waterproof cloth tape
  • Camera and film/preferably waterproof
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Notepads/paper
  • Pencils/pens/waterproof pens
  • Marker pens
  • Clipboards
  • Tie on Tyvek labels

Larger items to include, or be able to access in a hurry:

  • Generators
  • Sandbags
  • Emergency lighting
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Fans/Air-movers
  • Crates
  • Submersible Pumps
  • Wet vacs
  • Trolleys, sack barrows
  • Folding tables