Skip to Content


Seasonal Emergency Resources


The National Oceanic and Atmospheroc Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecasts an above-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic, and near - or below - normal 2021 hurricane season for the Central Pacific.

To learn more about the hazards posed by tropical storms and hurricanes, particularly in southern New England; how to evaluate hurricane-related threats to your facilities; and the process of constructing a mitigation plan; see Hurricane Season 2020 Readiness Webinar from NWS Boston Lead Meterologist Matthew Belk.


As the hurricane season intensifies for its peak activity, personal safety comes first (see

Note that the COVID-19 pandemic may complicate or make impossible previous hurricane response plans, so think ahead and plan accordingly. (see FEMA’s COVID-19 addendum here.)

And if you have time, protect your family treasures by following NEDCC's advice, below.

  • Move your collections of personal photos and family heirlooms away from windows and doors. Placing them in boxes, even temporarily during the storm, will add a layer of protection, and will make them easier to handle.

  • Raise collections of photos and documents off of the floor to protect them from flood damage. Drape plastic sheeting or tarps over collections to protect from ceiling leaks.

  • Plan ahead for easy access to your collections so that immediately following a storm—after people and property are secured—you can inspect your family treasures for damage.

  • Be sure to look inside fire safes; although these are fireproof, they are often not waterproof.

  • See NEDCC's Preservation Leaflets on Emergency Management for what to do if items are wet:  or call the NEDCC 24/7 Collections Emergency Hotline at (855) 245-8303.

  • Plan for easy access to fans. Using fans to circulate the air inside your home will help control the heat and humidity that can cause mold to grow.

  • Save copies of digital files online in Cloud storage. Make sure you have a recent backup of important files like family photos.

  • Running out of time? Snap cell phone photos of precious items and email the photos to yourself so that you can retrieve them later.

Resources for Saving Collections after Disasters



NEDCC Collections Emergency Hotline

NEDCC is available to take calls from institutions with collections damage, as well as private individuals whose family collections are damaged. The number to call during business hours (8:30-4:30 Eastern) is 978-470-1010. The number to call after hours (also answered during the day) is 855-245-8303.  You can also email [email protected].

American Institute for Conservation's National Heritage Responders

The National Heritage Responders (NHR) is a highly skilled team of conservators and other collections care professionals with expertise in emergency response. All assistance provided by the NHR is free, funded by grants and generous donations to the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation. NHR members are available to provide advice to individuals as well as advice and on-site response to institutions. (NHR members do not normally provide on-site assistance to individuals, although it may be possible to do so in conjunction with other collections in an affected region.) Call the hotline (202.661.8068) to request assistance.


FEMA:  After the Fire: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Collections

FAIC's Field Guide to Emergency Response: How to Handle and Clean Soot-Damaged Items  
(7-minute video)

Conservation Services: The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) provides a How to Choose a Conservator guide that explains how to work with a professional conservator, as well as a Find a Conservator directory to help you identify conservators in your area.


NEDCC Preservation Leaflets

  1. Emergency Salvage of Wet Books and Records
  2. Emergency Salvage of Wet Photographs
  3. Emergency Salvage of Moldy Books and Paper

FEMA Fact Sheet: “After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures” (available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese)

Salvaging CDs and DVDs – National Archives 

Salvaging VHS tapes and other magnetic media

Conservation Services: The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) provides a How to Choose a Conservator guide that explains how to work with a professional conservator, as well as a Find a Professional directory to help you identify conservators in your area.

Documentation and insurance claims: From FEMA, guidance on documenting and filing claims: How Do I Start My Flood Claim?