Unidentified. 'Rowing on Flood Waters in Albert Street, Brisbane, during the 1890 Flood'. APO-17 Photograph Album of Brisbane Views, 1860-1903. Web.

Disaster preparedness & recovery

Use these disaster preparedness resources to learn how to protect and salvage your precious collections from Queensland’s natural disasters.

Disaster planning and response

AICCM Disaster Preparedness Calendar

With the continuing threat of natural disasters across Australia, the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) has produced a Disaster Preparedness Calendar for 2022.

The calendar aims to assist cultural organisations in identifying seasonal risks to their collections and planning activities to reduce risks across the year.

Download your own copy now:

Be prepared: guidelines for small museums for writing a disaster preparedness plan

This publication provides guidelines to enable the museum sector to write useful disaster preparedness plans. A Heritage Collections Council Project undertaken by Söderlund Consulting, produced as part of the National Conservation and Preservation Strategy, 2000.

All is not lost: the collection recovery book

This book is for museums, historical societies and anyone who has items that have been affected by disaster. This book provides quick, basic instructions on salvaging materials damaged by water, fire or impact. Published by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, NSW, 2017.

Endangered heritage: emergency evacuation of heritage collections 

Built upon years of experience and real-life situations, this publication offers a field-tested, simple workflow for the emergency evacuation of valuable objects that is easy to replicate in any context. Published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 2016.  

Disaster planning for large collections 

This counter disaster plan template can be easily tailored by your organisation. By the State Library of Queensland, last revised 2016. 

Disaster Management for Libraries and Cultural Collections

This guide provides information about how to safeguard library or cultural collections in the event of a disaster. The Guide (Part One) gives an overview and context for the Disaster Plan. The Template (Part Two) has been flexibly designed for your library or cultural institution to develop its own collections Disaster Plan. By Australian Library and Information Association, last revised 2019.

Counter-disaster planning 

This information will help you to understand the need to access the extent of a disaster, and quickly assemble the resources you need to deal with it. By reCollections (page 57).  

Disaster planning and response 

These instructional videos will inform you on how to develop and implement an effective disaster plan in an emergency situation. By Northeast Museum Services Center, National Park Service, USA, 2011.  

Birdie’s Tree natural disaster resilience resources

Developed by Children’s Queensland Health, these resources are designed to help children and families build emotional resilience to cope with and recover from natural disasters.


Bushfires: protect your precious possessions

This document contains information on bushfire preparation, response and salvaging of possessions. By the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, The University of Melbourne, 2003. 

After a fire: how can you salvage your family’s precious belongings? 

This printable brochure contains quick tips on what to do after a fire, a checklist of what you will need, general handling advice and cleaning instructions. By the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material, 2009. 

Fire damaged memorabilia: advice for bushfire victims 

These guidelines provide detailed information about salvaging procedures on a variety of materials. By the Australian War Memorial.  

First aid for fire damaged video tapes and audio materials 

All audiovisual media are sensitive to heat and water but may be possible to salvage when exposed to fire. These documents explain what materials can be salvaged and how to clean them. By the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.  


After a flood: how can you salvage precious belongings?

This printable brochure contains quick tips on what to do after a flood, a checklist of what you will need, general handling advice and salvaging instructions. By the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material, 2011. 

Disasters part one and two: how to recover a flood-damaged collection 

These videos, by the State Library of Queensland, demonstrate how to plan to salvage your collection and the first steps to cleaning paper-based collections.  

Emergency recovery of water damaged collections 

Helpful tips for the initial salvage of collections affected by water. By the State Library of Queensland. 

Salvaging water damaged collections 

Steps to salvage water damaged paper, book, photographic, and audiovisual collections. By the State Library of Queensland. 

Freezing water damaged collections 

Freezing can be used to buy time when treating water damaged collections. By the State Library of Queensland. 

Recovering flood damaged records 

This information provides advice on preparing your work area, priorities of salvaging and drying procedures for saving records from further damage. By the National Archives of Australia.  

Salvaging water damaged collections 

These videos show how to salvage a number of materials such as textiles, furniture and wood, photographs, books, and documents and leaflets. By Preservation Australia, 2011.  

Recovering audiovisual treasures from flood damage 

This information gives the do’s and don’ts of salvaging audiovisual material after flood damage. By the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.  


Dealing with mould

Mould can be dangerous to people as well as collections. This guide will help you prevent mould and treat mould affected collections. By the State Library of Queensland.  


This video shows techniques such as freezing, object isolation, and brush vacuuming to help treat a mould outbreak. By the Western Australian Museum. 

How do I clean mould off objects?  

This information describes how to lessen mould growth with good airflow techniques and how to remove mould from surfaces. By the Australian Museum.  

Further assistance


Q-Dis: Queensland Culture and Heritage Disaster forum

An online forum for sharing information on disaster preparedness and planning for anyone volunteering and working in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums, Records, Heritage and Keeping Places.  

Blue Shield Australia

An international organisation, working to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by armed conflict and natural disasters.  

M&G QLD Consultant & Supplier Register 

M&G QLD’s Consultant and Supplier Register is a comprehensive list of museum and gallery sector specialists, both Queensland-based and nationally.  

Directory of conservators

The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) directory of conservators in private practice lists over 65 members in Australia.

LPG Fire Australia 

A leading supplier of inert and synthetic gas suppression systems, water mist and spray systems, fixed foam systems, oxygen reduction systems and speciality detection systems.  


Find related funding in our Grants & Philanthropic funding resource.

Donations for disaster and pandemic recovery

In recent years, M&G QLD has been encouraging donations of $2 or more to its tax-deductible Donation Fund to support our work in disaster and pandemic recovery, including clean-up efforts, conservation materials and services, staff and volunteer training and well-being programs.

Resources are correct at time of publishing. Is there a resource that should be on this page? Let us know.


Ben O’Dwyer

Information Officer, Museums & Galleries Queensland

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