Northern States Conservation Center

Providing collection care, preservation and conservation treatment services to collectors and collecting institutions.

Collections Caretaker

Vol.2 No.1 Spring 1999 Fire Recovery
The Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel

Launched nationally with a mass mailing of 45,000 in June 1997, the Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel is appearing everywhere in U.S. museums. Some museums post the wheel throughout their building; some keep it with their disaster plan. In Minnesota, museums slip the wheel in their A.R.K.: A Recovery Kit and keep it in staff cars.

The wheel provides concise information for emergency response and salvage. Side one outlines action steps for disaster response such as stabilizing the environment and assessing damage. Side two provides practical salvage steps for books and documents, photographs, electronic records, paintings and more. It has been purchased by museums and businesses with collections. Some of the institutions displaying the wheel include the Baseball Hall of Fame, Harvard University, the U.S. Supreme Court, and The Baltimore Sun newspaper.

An interactive version of the wheel, which contains all of its content, is available on the FEMA web site at:

The wheel, $5.95 to nonprofits and governments, can be ordered from Heritage Preservation, 1730 K Street, NW, Suite 566, Washington, D.C. 20006. 888-979-2233, fax 202-634-1435 or

The wheel is a project of the National Task Force on Emergency Response, a partnership of 30 government and national service organizations.

Do you have an emergency recovery kit? Re-think your kit and museum needs at least once a year. Replace batteries and update supplies. The following resources will help you develop your kit and emergency plan.

Lord, Allyn; Reno, Carolyn; and Demeroukas, Marie. 1994. Steal This Handbook! A Template for Creating a Museum's Emergency Plan. Southeastern Registrars Association.

A.R.K: A Recovery Kit for Cultural Institutions. 1997. St. Paul, MN: Northern States Conservation Center, P.O. Box 8081, St. Paul, MN 55108.

Candee, Mary and Casagrande, Richard, eds. 1993. PREP Planning for Response and Emergency Preparedness. Austin, Texas: Texas Association of Museums, P.O. Box 13353, Austin, TX 78711.

Disaster Assistance: A Guide to Recovery Programs. 1995. Federal Emergency Management Agency: FEMA 229(4), U.S. Government Printing Office: 1995-716-072.

Objectives for Local Emergency Management. 1984. Federal Emergency Management Agency: FEMA CPG 1-5, U.S. Government Printing Office: 1988-520-753/00111.

"Disaster Recovery Services" in Disaster Recovery Journal, Vol. 10, Issue 2, Spring 1997. pp. 64-70.

Natural Hazards Observer, 303-492-6818. Provides regular listings of Internet pages.

Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. 1998. Tapes of the 26th Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation, June 1-7, Arlington, VA.

Haskins, Scott. 1996. How to Save Your Stuff From a Disaster. Santa Barbara, CA: Preservation Help Publications.

Perspectives on Natural Disaster Mitigation. 1991. Papers presented at American Institute for Conservation Workshop. Washington, D.C.: AIC.

Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel. 1997. Washington, D.C.: National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property.

Conservation On-Line (CoOL), Disaster Planning and Response:

Northern States Conservation Center, Emergency Preparedness:
Emergency Response Supplies:

P.O. Box 8081, St. Paul, MN 55108   Phone: (651) 659-9420

© 2002 Northern States Conservation Center

Updated 11 Aug 2003