Lessons Learned from a Power Outage

Sandy Oeschlegel, director of the Preston Medical Library at the University of Tennessee and SE/A Emergency Preparedness Task Force member, sent along the following lessons learned from a recent power outage at her institution.

Here are ten things we learned in random order:

1. Wireless, battery powered laptops are great to have on hand, especially if they are charged up.

2. Everyone on campus figures out that wireless might be available and suddenly the wireless system gets overloaded and slow or no signal results.

3. IT departments shut down servers, even if they are on battery back ups “to preserve the batteries”.

4. All our e journals are “run through” the proxy server, so we had no access to any of our e-journals through our open url linking software.

5. Off campus access was unavailable because the server was down.

6. Printers require electricity, at least those that we had. See link below to a battery operated printer we have ordered since

7. Our faculty still expected us to continue to be able to provide information services including lit searches and providing copies of articles.

8. There was no communication system in place for the administrators to communicate with us about what was happening

9. We did not know each others home and cell phone numbers

10. The ILL staff can work at home.


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