South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Emergency Plan

Accredited museums are required to have an up to date emergency plan and to submit evidence that it has recently undertaken training to diseminate the contents to the whole workforce. An emergency plan safeguards the collections, buildings, workforce, reputation and business and makes sure you can get back up and running as soon as possible.


  • Liaise with emergency services
  • Brief whole workforce
  • Team up with neighbouring museums
  • Have a dry run
  • Keep it up to date


Click here for further guidance and templates to help you plan for emergencies

Assessor’s questions

  • Does the emergency planning include all buildings in which the collections are used? (see requirement 1.5)
  • Does the plan include, in appropriate detail, arrangements for workforce, visitors and the collections? Are evacuation procedures clear? Are priority object sheets present?
  • Are risk assessments present – either within the plan or as part of a separate document pack?
  • Does the plan include salvage procedures, during and after the emergency?
  • Is an emergency box or similar present? Are procedures in place to stop it being emptied for non-emergency use?
  • When was the plan last reviewed? Have any major re-developments or changes occurred within the museum since last review?
  • Is there a sufficient and appropriate training plan to support the implementation and use of the emergency plan?
  • How is the plan communicated to the workforce and relevant external stakeholders such as the emergency services and local resilience forums?
  • How often is the plan tested, and what format is used, for example, walk through, scenario, presence of emergency services?