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Disaster Planning


Disaster and emergency planning is key to the survival of our collections when disaster strikes. This course is geared toward new and experienced archives managers who need to understand the basics disaster and emergency planning for their repositories. Through personal stories and experiences, the presenters will cover the types of disasters that institutions may face, discuss assessment of your repository’s current emergency preparedness, and provide a framework for the creation of a disaster plan. Attendees will explore best practices, receive concrete examples of assessment and planning tools, and walk away with an additional reading list of covered topics.

Instructors are Gwendolyn Higgins, Rosemarie Kimbell and Ryan Leimkuehler.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:
• Attendees will learn to create and implement a disaster plan
• Attendees will learn to conduct an assessment of their current disaster preparedness levels
• Attendees will learn to apply disaster planning to social disasters, environmental, natural
• Attendees will understand how to create and establish a disaster planning team and establish chain of accountability


  • Gwendolyn Higgins

    Gwen Higgins has been an archivist at the University of Alaska Anchorage/Alaska Pacific University Consortium Library Archives & Special Collections in Anchorage Alaska since 2014. She became interested in disaster preparedness after working on the Consortium Library’s recovery effort after the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that hit Alaska. Gwen is a member of Northwest Archivists, Inc. and serves on the SAA Committee on Research, Data, and Assessment. She also served as chair of the Special Libraries and Archives Roundtable of the Alaska Library Association.

    Gwen earned a Master’s in Library and Information studies with a concentration in Archives Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Outside of the archives, she enjoys curling up with a book and her cat, as well as getting out into the mountains with her husband and dog.

  • Ryan Leimkuehler

    Ryan Leimkuehler is the university records manager for Kansas State University and previously worked at the Kansas Historical Society as their government records archivist. His research and experience with disaster preparedness started with the 2018 fire at Hale Library on KSUs campus and continues through the Covid-19 pandemic. Ryan is a member of Kansas City Area Archivists (KCAA) and serves on the SAA steering committees for the Records Management Section and Archives Educators Section.

    Ryan holds a Masters in Library Science with a concentration in Archives from Emporia State University as well as a Masters in History Education from Missouri State University. He obtained the CA from the Academy of Certified Archivists certification in 2018 and SAA DAS certification in 2019. Other areas of research are archives and education, university records management, and Scottish witchcraft trials.

  • Rose Marie Kimbell

    Rose Marie Kimbell is a contract Archivist & Records Manager, currently doing work in Georgia and the Carolinas. A Marine wife for the last 17 years, she knows “sometimes you have to go where they send you.” She previously worked 5 years in the Jekyll Island State Park Authority, as both the Archivist & Records Manager and Museum Specialist for them. Her duties included reorganization and restructuring of the archives and records, creation of safety and security protocols, assisting in redesigning the disaster plan for the museum and National Historic District, creation and implementation of an agency wide records policy and retention schedule, and design and implementation of preservation and stabilization projects in the archives.

    Rose Marie holds an MLIS from Valdosta State University, an M.Ed. from Concordia University Irvine and a BA from Concordia University Irvine. She holds her CA from the Academy of Certified Archivists and a CRA from the Institute of Certified Records Managers. She always strives to give back to the archival community, having presented at SAA in 2016 and 2020. She also volunteers her time when possible, currently as Treasurer for Society of Georgia Archivists.

March 10, 2021
Wed 2:00 PM CST

Duration 1H 30M

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