The “Mission Statement” in the Introduction to our Comprehensive Disaster Plan provides the rationale for the content as well as the style of our plan. Here’s an excerpt:
Libraries exist today in an environment that has changed substantially within even the past five years, and that continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace. Within health sciences libraries particularly, the emphasis of the content of the collections has shifted to electronic resources and away from printed material, which raises different issues with regard to recovery operations and maintaining access to these resources during a disaster. Of course, the events of September 11, 2001 have added the possibility of terrorist attacks of all types to everyone’s agendas for emergency preparedness and recovery, so we will address some of these potential man-made threats in addition to the customary natural disaster responses.
The result of these changes is that we have attempted to include all emergency/disaster response and recovery information in one place, and to emphasize personal safety first, provision of service to our patrons second, and recovery of the collection and the facility third. This Comprehensive Disaster Plan will be used to prepare and train our own staff to respond effectively to an emergency, to help any patrons in the library at the time of an emergency, to work from home or an alternate location to maintain our essential services if necessary, and to coordinate efforts to salvage our collections and facility.