PNR Emergency Preparedness & Response Training

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The RML staff of the Pacific Northwest Region (PNR) of NN/LM and colleagues from the HSL at the University of Washington gathered on Monday, March 17, 2008 to learn about NN/LM’s National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan. Cathy Burroughs, Associate Director of the PNR, and Sherrilynne Fuller, Library Director, were unable to attend because of illness.

The morning meeting at the South Campus Center began with introductions and an overview of the day’s activities. The agenda included:

  • Dan’s PowerPoint presentation, giving background and details of the plan as it has been approved. Some features added to the presentation specific to this region:
    • visual metaphor for disaster preparedness and response: slide of a photo that Dan took in NYC’s Central Park after snow of a man walking under an umbrella (preparedness) and, in the background, the statue of Balto, the sled dog who led the team on the final leg of the mission to deliver diphtheria antitoxin from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, in 1925 (response)
    • discussion of risks present in the PNR that most other regions do not share (Pacific Southwest Region being the exception): volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, closer proximity to avian influenza in wild bird populations (Alaska/Russia)
  • discussion of regional issues: training available from WESTPAS, difficulties for members because of long distances involved and limited funding available for travel and class costs. Resources libraries will be supportive. The PNR will use the term “state coordinator” instead of “regional coordinator” in rolling out the plan.
  • service continuity training: use of FEMA information to assist in assessing risks, will encourage discussion of how money for salaging materials should best be spent: replacement cost vs salvage cost. RML staff will assist to implement the eight-step plan throughout the region, especially through training the state coordinators

In the afternooon, the meeting moved to the Library, where a conference call was set up with the state coordinators.

  • Dan gave an orientation of the existing plan to the state coordinators and facilitated discussion among the coordinators and the RML staff present at this portion of the meeting (Cathy Burroughs participated via conference call). Kathy Murray, the state coordinator for Alaska was present in person at the afternoon meeting, and the other coordinators participated via the conference telephone.
  • a table-top exercise followed the orientation session, featuring the RML staff, a hospital librarian and the state coordinators via conference call. The exercise was carried out well and quickly, followed by some discussion.
  • goal-setting: encourage use of WESTPAS training, make URL to the toolkit available to everyone once it has been moved to the NLM server, offer assistance through consortia in the region

The consensus was that this project/initiative should be given a higher priority on the region’s web page, perhaps offering a quick link to the plan and its accompanying resources. Also agreed: some clarification of the DOCLINE piece is needed. Training will be based on the 8-step service continuity plan plus the toolkit, hopefully to be developed into a class similar to the basic PubMed class offered by NLM, for use in the regions.

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