Susan’s Suggestions for Pain-free Disaster Planning
Suggestion #16: Hurricane season housekeeping reminders: about the only upside of a long hurricane season is that we have some time to prepare, since it seems that most of the big storms don’t really get themselves together until later in the summer for the Southeast USA, however, we know one can happen anytime! Aside from the procedure for hurricane preparedness that’s in our disaster plan, here are some things we can all be doing now “just in case”:
- Make sure all your contact information is current, both for your staff and your vendors and other support organizations or people. Many people use only cell phones now, and their telephone numbers change more often than in the past when everyone used a “land” line.
- Check your disaster supplies: make sure there’s plastic sheeting for covering books and equipment, duct tape, and any other supplies you might need to protect your collection and facility.
- Check out the ProText disaster supplies site; they sell supplies and also offer tips on salvage techniques for water damaged materials.
- Check the SoliNet site for a list of vendors providing salvage services such as de-humidifying, freezing, etc.
- Walk around your library and note whether any collections have been re-located since the last time you updated your plan. Revise your salvage priority list if need be, i.e. if you had two hours to remove your most important materials from your library, do you know what you would take, how you’d pack them up, and where you’d put them?
- Think about what services, if any, you could offer from off-site in the aftermath of a hurricane. Can you arrange to access your library’s information from home? Is there a way to continue to provide help to your patrons with information/research needs if your library space isn’t available?
- Especially if you live in an area that is “hurricane prone,” such as Wilmington, NC or just about anywhere along the Gulf Coast and Florida, make sure you have a “Go Pack” ready at home in case you need to evacuate. Check your state’s emergency management website or the Homeland Security site for a list of what to keep ready at home.
- Remember the RML! Have contact information at hand, and at home, in case you need to send up a flare for help from the Regional Medical Library for your area.