On a sheet of paper, give yourself a tick mark for each time you answer Yes to one the 15 elements of a library at a state of disaster readiness listed below. Add up your score. Most libraries will score between 0 and 5. It is our goal to provide tools and training to create a disaster ready culture in libraries so that scores will be above 10. Do you want a better score? Contact me, Dan Wilson, Coordinator for the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, at 434-924-0193 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact your regional NN/LM library at 1-800-DEV-ROKS.
- We have a response station that includes ready access to flashlights, first aid kit, bullhorn, plastic, and a battery operated radio.
- We have a one page disaster plan that is updated at least twice per year.
- We regularly drill our staff on how to respond to unplanned incidents, such as tornadoes, shooter, and HAZMAT incidents.
- We have a plan for communicating with staff and patrons. Procedures are in place for updating website, Facebook, and/or Twitter from a remote location.
- We practice situation awareness reporting (What, When, and Where) before, during, and after a service disruption.
- We have a disaster team.
- We perform at least one evacuation drill per year.
- We take part in at least one table-top exercises per year.
- Our core print materials are easily available if power is down or internet is compromised.
- The servers that house core online resources are on extended or unlimited emergency power.
- We have a Mutual Aid Agreement with another library to assist us in the delivery of core services.
- We have a partnership (contract not required) with a commercial salvage and recovery company (e.g., Belfor, BMS, Munters) for recovery of valuable and hard to replace materials.
- All our disaster team members practice 72-hour home preparedness.
- We conduct an After-action Review within 14 days of a service disruption.
- We are part of our parent institution’s/ community’s emergency plan.
The next NN/LM EP&R Summit will be held on Thursday, September 18th, at the C. Burr Artz Public Library in Frederick, Maryland. The morning session will feature a panel discussion with Seamus Mooney, Director of the Frederick County Department of Emergency Management, and Jessica Carrington, American Red Cross Western Territory Disaster Program Manager, and someone from the Frederick County Public Health Department. The afternoon session will feature the NN/LM Library Disaster Readiness workshop. The event is free. Registration information will be announced soon.
What sudden events can happen at your library? Can you and your staff respond to them without needing to look up the response? Take a look at these easy-to-remember responses and then contact your local law enforcement officials to see if they could apply to your library.
Watch: monitor weather reporting stations online and via the weather radio.
Warning: announce via intercom that a warning has posted. Instruct everyone to move away from windows.
Wait for 10 minutes to see if power returns. If power does not return in 10 minutes, initiate closing procedures. Take flashlight and check all areas of the library for patrons who may need assistance.
Call 911. Announce on the intercom that medical assistance is needed in the [state location].
DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON. If you need to evacuate the building, wait until the shaking has stopped. Keep in mind that remaining in the building might be your best option, as the earthquake may have caused downed power lines and broken gas lines.
Get as much information as possible, such as location of device, when it will go off, what it looks like, why it was placed, etc. Listen for environmental clues as to location of caller. Call 911 and follow instructions.
Follow instructions from emergency officials.
Call 911 and pull the nearest fire alarm if not already activated. Evacuate the building. Await word from emergency officials for when it’s safe to re-enter.