Planning Matters: Emergency Planning Guidance for Archives

Planning Matters: Emergency Planning Guidance for Archives

20 October 2020

Planning Matters: Emergency Planning Guidance for Archives has been produced in collaboration between Scottish Council on Archives and National Records of Scotland.  It focuses on key factors to consider when preparing an emergency plan (EP) and therefore covers preparation, response and recovery.

The guidance is designed to aid those who care for archives wherever held: archive services, special collections within libraries and those housed in private historic houses.

Accompanying the guidance are four templates:

  • Risk Assessment and Management
  • Emergency Plan
  • Training
  • Business Continuity and Long-term Recovery

There are also two quick reference documents contained within the guidance, including Emergency Planning and Salvage and Recovery crib sheets. The templates are freely available for download to allow archive services to adapt them to suit their particular circumstances.

Covid-19, Climate Change and Updates to Planning Matters

During the preparation and initial launch of Planning Matters, the Covid-19 pandemic struck across the world at frightening speed and with dramatic consequences for how we live our daily lives and how we work. In addition to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the impacts of climate change and extreme weather patterns add substantially to the risks that archive services must manage. Planning and preparedness for emergencies has never been more important than it is now.

In consultation with the archive sector and drawing on a range of relevant expert guidance, Planning Matters has been updated to include additional information and references to support emergency planning. Key additional references include:

  • Health and Safety – safe working practices in the Covid-19 context, including the safeguarding of staff mental health and welfare
  • Climate Risk Assessment and Management – additional resources for assessing and managing the risks associated with climate change impacts
  • Business Continuity and Recovery – guidance on re-opening services and equipment and PPE material requirements

Building Resilience Beyond Covid-19: How Planning can Minimise Risk and Adapt the Archive Sector to the Impacts of Climate Change and Covid-19

Webinar, 19 November 2020, 11:00-12:30, Zoom

Plans need to be adaptable and reviewed and tested regularly; staff trained; and exercises undertaken – to ensure that plans remain fit for purpose. This is in the context of the evolving situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and its implications.

Scottish Council on Archives (SCA) and National Records of Scotland (NRS) will continue to carefully consider any emerging guidance and good practice of relevance to archives. This webinar offers an opportunity to open a dialogue and continue to work in partnership with the archive sector and related experts outside the sector, to share knowledge and pool resources.

In partnership with Creative Carbon Scotland, SCA and NRS were pleased to host a webinar with a focus on using emergency planning to build resilience in response to new risks and threats, including climate change impacts. The webinar featured several speakers from the archive, records and cultural sectors organisations who are already implementing measures to adapt to climate change, and from Adaptation Scotland. It also included an interactive session to encourage attendees to begin thinking about how to minimise risks to their own organisation from climate change and climate-induced emergency events.