Each May Day archives across the country participate in an initiative called May Day: Saving Our Archives. The idea is that each May 1st we will do something, even if it is just one thing, to improve the protection of our collections in the event of a disaster. In previous years our disaster response team walked through our security vaults to train on emergency procedures. We also have held staff meetings to discuss the contents of our disaster response plan and our disaster response supply buckets. This year we will update our staff phone trees and discuss some new resources on disaster preparedness and response. We encourage state and local government offices, as well as cultural institutions across the state, to participate in May Day and to take steps to improve the protection of their valuable collections.
At the North Carolina State Archives we urge our patrons and private citizens to join in the effort, too. Many people have valuable family letters, pictures, or other documents. We encourage you to use May 1 as a day to think about how you can better protect your valuable family materials in the event of an emergency. An ounce of preparation and planning today is easier and cheaper than trying to salvage damaged documents after a disaster. Please visit our May Day 2011 web pages to find information for individuals and government officials on ways to improve the protection of our nation’s cultural heritage.