Emergency Preparedness

Pocket Response Plan™ PReP ™ Templates

The Pocket Response Plan™ (PReP™) is a concise document for recording essential information needed by staff in case of a disaster or other emergency. Every person having a response-related assignment should carry a PReP with them at all times.

Pocket Response Plan™ PReP ™ cards

The PReP is intended to be customized for each institution and individual staff member. It is printed on both sides of a legal-size sheet of paper, then trimmed and folded to credit card size and stored in a Tyvek™ envelope that fits easily into a wallet.

On one side is an Emergency Communication Directory, with contact information for staff, first responders, emergency services, utilities, vendors and suppliers, disaster teams, and other essential individuals and agencies.

The other side contains an Emergency Response Checklist: an organized list of those actions that each individual should take in the first 24 to 72 hours following a disaster.

The PReP is meant to complement, not replace, an agency's disaster plan. It ensures that managers and staff have the most essential information with them at all times.

The PReP was originally developed as a component of CoSA's Framework for Emergency Preparedness.

How to Create a PReP for Your Institution

Detailed instructions for creating a PReP™ are included in Creating a PReP for State Archives and Records Management Programs.

Any institution that needs to protect records or other collections from natural disasters or other threats should be able to use the templates, provided below, to create customized Pocket Response Plans (PRePs) for its own use.

The Word document versions can be edited and the PDF version will retain original formatting. 


      PReP™ envelopes

      CoSA has created Tyvek™ envelopes to fit the PRePs. Tyvek™ is a light-weight, durable, and water-resistant material that provides an ideal measure of protection for the PReP itself when carried in your wallet.

      PReP Tyvek™ envelopes can be ordered from CoSA in packs of 10 each.

      Order Envelopes

      Adapting the PReP for Other Types of Institutions

      While the CoSA PReP template was originally designed for use in state archives and in government agencies, it can easily be adapted for use in other kinds of archives and institutions. CoSA encourages these adaptations and has work through the state archives and records management programs and the State Historical Records Advisory Boards (SHRABs) in each state to extend its use by archives, museums, libraries, and historic sites, as well as in local governments.

      Nationally CoSA has cooperated with other disciplines as they have created their own adaptations:

      • WESTPAS has a template for collections in libraries and museums.
      • The National Network of Libraries of Medicine based its templates for continuity of service on the PReP.

      Steps for Creating the Pocket Response Plan (PReP)™

      The following step-by-step instructions are excerpted from the Creating a PReP for State Archives and Records Management Programs that were distributed to all state archives and records management programs in 2006.

      1. Read the Overview of the Pocket Response Plan (PReP) on page 1, to familiarize yourself with its intent and scope.
      2. Review your agency’s Emergency Response Plan to identify key individuals and organizations that should be included on Side A (Communications) of the PReP and for instructions that should be included on Side B (Actions).
      3. Consider each individual staff member’s own responsibilities in an emergency so that his/her PReP document can be customized to meet those specific needs.
      4. Review the contact categories suggested by CoSA in the PReP sample and listed on page 4 to determine if you should add other types of contacts to Side A (Communications).
      5. Review the generic instructions suggested by CoSA in the PReP sample and listed on page 5 to determine if you should add other types of instructions to Side B (Actions).
      6. Use the Technical Guidelines to copy the PReP template and/or sample PReP document to your hard drive and enter information (see page 6). The model PReP documents are in Microsoft Word and contain a fair amount of formatting, so they may not display or print properly on all systems. In the Technical Guidelines we provide specific measurements for the margins, columns, tables, and fonts hoping that it might make it easier for you to replicate the documents on other platforms.
      7. Keep text within the columns so that the fold lines will not run through text. Laser printer toner will wear off easily if it is on a folded edge.
      8. Print using landscape mode on 8 ½ “ x 14” (legal-size) or larger paper.
      9. Trim the PReP document according to the instructions provided on the document so the final sheet measures 12-3/4” by 6-3/4”.
      10. Fold the PReP document along the guidelines according to the instructions provided on page 8.
      11. Insert the document into a PReP Tyvek™ envelope and carry in your wallet.