Helping museums in the East Midlands to serve the public better


REDS is the Regional Emergencies & Disaster Support Service for the East Midlands.  It is a membership benefit of the East Midlands Museums Service. 

Since 1991, the REDS Service has offered support, guidance and training in emergency planning and disaster recovery.  REDS Team members are available for callout to participating museums in the event of an incident. 

The REDS Team consists of 15 museum and record office staff from across the region, including conservators and curators.  They have between them expertise in most of the specialist subject areas found in historic collections, and receive regular training in emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.  Their employers have agreed to release them without notice for callout duties, and for three days for training and site visits each year.

The REDS Service also offers advice and training outside the region on a consultancy basis.

Who can benefit?

Full participation is open to institutions that meet all the following criteria:

  • Have charitable or Local Authority status
  • The governing body is a ‘Museum Member’ of EMMS
  • Hold historic, scientific or artistic collections for public benefit
  • Have a current Emergency & Disaster Plan which is available for inspection
  • Return an annual Operational Agreement for REDS participation.

Since 2007, all museums in the region have been able to benefit from an intensive programme of training and support, delivered through REDS on behalf of Renaissance East Midlands. This has enabled over 30 museums to develop emergency preparedness and Emergency Plans to Accreditation standard.

Increasingly, REDS experience and expertise is in demand from other regions, and we are happy to help as far as possible.

What are the benefits of joining REDS?

  • Every participating site can download a copy of the EMMS’ Emergency Manual for Historic Buildings and Collections and guidance notes from the EMMS website - free of charge.  (The manual is £15 to non-members.)
  • REDS Team members are available to visit participating sites for familiarisation, and to offer independent, informal advice.
  • REDS can offer an appropriate response to incidents which place historic collections either under immediate threat (requiring evacuation), or in which they are already damaged and in need of specialist knowledge and handling (salvage).
  • The Team has access to stockpiles of emergency salvage materials established throughout the region; these provide initial equipment to assist in the correct handling of items, particularly following water-damage.
  • Participating sites are covered under EMMS’ corporate subscription to Harwell Drying & Restoration Services’ Priority Users scheme.
  • Liaison between REDS and the five Fire & Rescue Services in the region.

How do we sign up to REDS participation?

If your organisation can already meet the participation criteria (see above), please contact EMMS and ask for an Annual Operational Agreement form.  This outlines in further detail how the scheme operates and forms a contract of understanding between your organisation and EMMS.  It will also ask for details about your organisation, for example the sites to be covered and key holder information.  Once this has been completed, signed and returned to EMMS, we will send you a REDS Team 24 Hour Contact Sheet for your Emergency Plan and notify one of your county representatives who will make contact with you. 

If your organisation is interested in joining but cannot yet meet all the participation criteria, please contact EMMS for further guidance



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REDS Events

May 2015
  • Other
  • Multiple

Hover over a coloured date to see a list of events occurring on that day. Click on the event title to see the full listing for the event, or click on the date number to see a more detailed list of events.