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PRR Guides and Resources


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ArtsReady and dPlan are pleased to offer this curated and annotated library of free emergency-planning resources. Click the topic categories to begin your exploration. Have more emergency planning questions? Contact NEDCC or NCAPER staff.


1. Collections and Assets  6.  IT
2.  Communication  7.  People
3.  Community  8.  Programs
4.  Facilities  9.  Training and Drills
5.  Finance 10. Current Topics


1. Collections and Assets

1-1 Salvage at a Glance (Connecting to Collections)

This chart provides concise instructions for salvaging wet collections. It includes books, documents, photographs, audiovisual materials, paintings, textiles, organic materials (e.g. wood, leather, basketry), inorganic materials (e.g. metal, ceramics, stone, glass), biological and geological specimens, and fossils.

1-2 A Guide to Risk Management of Cultural Heritage (ICCROM) 

Using illustrative photographs and engaging graphics, this 118-page guide introduces risk management concepts as they apply to cultural heritage institutions. The authors explain the ABC method of risk analysis, suggest ways to mitigate risks, and describe a cycle of review and improvement.

1-3 Sheltering Collections in Place: What You Should Know

With enough notice before a large disaster like a hurricane, you may plan to secure your collections within your building to minimize the chances for loss. The three recommendations in this 1-page document will help you manage that process.

1-4 Disinfecting Books and Other Collections (NEDCC)

Part of NEDCC’s Preservation Leaflet series, this 4-page document addresses general questions about disinfecting books and other cultural heritage collections. NEDCC has added a section to the beginning that addresses specific concerns about COVID-19.

2. Communication

2-1 Emergency Communication Checklist (  

This 2-page checklist clearly documents the information you need to gather for your crisis communications plan.

2-2 Crisis Communication Plan (

Messaging is important in an emergency situation. This webpage details the audiences with which you may need to communicate, how to provide the information each audience needs, the ways in which different responding departments and agencies interact, and the resources you will need for crisis communication.

2-3 Example Crisis Communications Plan (California College for the Arts)

This 2-page document includes a checklist for responding to a crisis that is a good model for any organization. 

2-4 Crisis Communication & Reputation Management (Performing Arts Readiness)

An inaccurate rumor is spreading about your organization, and season ticket holders and donors are demanding answers. Plus, the organization’s Twitter handle is blowing up. You have an interview with the editor of the state newspaper in five minutes. What do you say? What do you do? This one-hour webinar recording reviews elements of strategic communication that are essential before, during, and after crisis events. It examines how your organization can best prepare to respond to a crisis and restore your organization’s reputation. If prompted, click “OK” to access the webinar; you do not need to enter a login or password. 

3. Community

3-1 Mutual Aid Overview and Examples (Zoo Animal Health Network)

This 6-page document clearly explains Memoranda of Understanding and Mutual Aid Agreements and details the information that you should include in yours. Hyperlinks are included to four example agreements as well as to additional information for zoological institutions.

3-2 Mutual Aid Agreement: Sample Template (FEMA) 

This 5-page template is designed for two municipalities or jurisdictions that wish to enter into a mutual aid agreement; however, it can be adapted or used as a guide by cultural heritage and performing arts organizations.

3-3 Alliance for Response Networks (Foundation for Advancement in Conservation)

Alliance for Response networks are made up of a variety of members, from staff and volunteers at local cultural institutions (especially those with collections), to conservators in private practice, to first responders and emergency managers. Look on this webpage for a network near you. 

4. Facilities

4-1 Safety Walkthrough Checklist (Foundation for Advancement in Conservation)

Take this 12-page checklist with you as you walk through your facility(ies) so that you can identify safety risks in the areas of grounds, building interior and exterior, first responder access, insurance, staff training, storage and exhibition/production areas, fire safety, water hazards, and housekeeping. Includes a separate section on safety concerns during construction and renovation projects.

4-2 Active Shooter: How to Respond (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

This 13-page booklet includes information on how to respond when there is an active shooter in your vicinity, how to respond when law enforcement arrives, and guidance for training and preparing staff.

4-3 Preparedness for Civil Unrest (Majestic Collaborations)

Community centers have often been at the flash point of civil unrest that surround them are and sometimes targeted because of what they represent. We all share the values of civil rights and peaceful protest. With these values in mind, our preparedness plan focuses on three main steps–assess, prepare, implement—that you and your team can take to prepare in times of civil unrest. 

5. Finance

5-1 Know Your Finances ( / IBHS) 

This 2-page worksheet guides you to document your needs and resources for cash, credit, overtime, and accounting, banking, and payroll services.

5-2 Loss of Income Calculator (Performing Arts Readiness)

Business interruption is among the most common challenges faced by performing arts organizations during and after disasters of all kinds. Use the sliders on this webpage to calculate the estimated loss of income your organization could suffer if an emergency or disaster impacts your ticketed events.

5-3 Cash Flow Projections (StrongNonprofits Toolkit)

This downloadable tool and the accompanying articles help your team translate your operating budget into a detailed cash flow projection over the course of a fiscal year.

5-4 Cash Flow Tool (Nonprofit Finance Fund)

This downloadable spreadsheet helps you determine your monthly and weekly cash flow projections.

5-5 Legal Assistance (Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts)

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is active in about 25 states and can assist with landlord/tenant disputes, lease renegotiation, stopping collections, etc., as well as with more significant organizational shifts. Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts serves the St. Louis bi-state region.

6. IT

6-1 IT Continuity Plan Worksheet (TechSoup) 

This 12-page document provides a risk assessment for your IT systems and several worksheets for the procedural and vendor information that you need to maintain continuity of your IT operations.

6-2 How to Develop an Effective IT Disaster Recovery Plan (Acronis) 

This 11-page booklet provides guidance on working within your organization to create an IT disaster plan. It includes a description of all parts of the plan and a list of common mistakes.

7. People

7-1 Emergency Succession Plan (Executive Transitions)

An emergency succession plan covers the sudden and unexpected absences of your executive director(s). This four-page sample plan emphasizes identifying the key leadership functions carried by the executive, identifying the agency managers best qualified to step in, and prescribing the cross-training necessary to prepare the back-up managers.

7-2 Recovering Emotionally (Red Cross)

Disasters are upsetting experiences for everyone involved. This webpage describes common reactions to disasters and contains tips for facilitating emotional recovery. Multi-lingual PDFs are available for download with advice for self-care and children’s recovery.

8. Programs

8-1 Know Your Operations ( / IBHS) 

The show must go on! This 2-page worksheet guides you through an analysis of a program or business function so that you can document how it is done and any emergency workaround methods. Duplicate the worksheet for each program or business function.

8-2 The Art of Mass Gatherings: Managing Modifications, Virtualizations, and Expectations (Performing Arts Readiness) 

This 90-minute webinar targets the performing arts sector and provides a framework to help decision-makers modify or virtualize their gatherings and events. The presenters explore the experiences and hard-won wisdom related to re-opening venues, making audiences feel safe, and exploring new operational protocols for venues and artists. If prompted, click “OK” to access the webinar; you do not need to enter a login or password. 

9. Training/Drills

9-1 Pocket Response Resource Instructions and Template (dPlan|ArtsReady)

This 1-page, front-and-back emergency resource can be tucked in your pocket or stored on your device for immediate access to emergency contact information and emergency response actions. While the PRR was primarily envisioned for performing arts organizations, it also responds to the operations of other types of arts organizations, collecting institutions, museums, archives, and libraries.

9-2 Working with Emergency Responders (Foundation for Advancement in Conservation) 

In any major emergency, you will be working with local emergency responders to save and secure your institution. If you have a good relationship with your local emergency responders and know how their systems and practices work, you can help them keep your staff and collections safe. This 5-page booklet concisely describes how to work with emergency responders before, during, and after an emergency.

9-3 The Emergency Response Team (NEDCC)

Your emergency response team will coordinate first response to an emergency. Because your team may or may not reflect the organizational hierarchy, it is important to review this 2-page document to become familiar with the team roles that you may need.

10. Current Topics

10-1 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource and Response Center (Americans for the Arts)

Up-to-date news and resources for the arts and culture field, with sections for Organizations and for Individuals, on field tools and research, equity and mental health, and reopening. Includes national resources as well as resources listed by state.  

10-2 Reopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM) Information Hub (OCLC)

The REALM project produces and distributes science-based COVID-19 information that can aid local decision-making regarding the operations of libraries, archives, and museums. Check out their Resources page for checklists, webinars, and other materials. The site includes research on the survivability of the COVID-19 virus on collection materials. 

10-3 Safe in Sound Reopening Checklist (Event Safety Alliance and National Independent Venue Association)

This checklist provides risk mitigation strategies for hosting live events during times of increased risk of airborne infectious diseases. See also the Event Safety Alliance’s Health and Safety Guidance for In-Person Events, a more recent publication with a slightly different focus. 

10-4 Closed by COVID-19? (Blue Shield Australia) 

This 10-page document lists steps and considerations for collecting institutions that are closed at short notice because of an epidemic or pandemic. The Guide focuses on the adjustments that need to be made to protect cultural heritage collections during a sudden closure.  

10-5 Arts Organizations at a Crossroads (NCAPER)

NCAPER’s Arts Organizations at a Crossroads (OAX) project focuses on existential crises and decisions faced by nonprofit and for-profit arts organizations. This resource list provides tools to help organizations play out various scenarios and to make the best decision possible. Topics include issues of executive management and governance such as shared services, mergers/alliances, suspension of operations/hibernation, and dissolutions.