In 2005, not long after a series of strong hurricanes struck the gulf coast, the Heritage Health Index, a National Collections Care Survey, reported that few of the institutions they surveyed have disasters plans. Even when an institution did have a disaster plan in place, it was often out of date. In response to that the Society of American Archivists (SAA) supports the idea of MayDay, a grassroots effort to save archives celebrated annually on May 1.
However, archives are not the only institutions that need to have a current disaster plan on file. Natural disasters as well as equipment failures can lead to a loss of materials in the library. To help any institution prepare for a disaster SAA provides a list of ideas for MayDay activities, though it’s important to remember that these activities don’t have to take place only on May 1.