The NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan is now nearly three years old. We have made much progress over those three years, but we still have far to go. Our primary goal is to see the day that every library in the NN/LM Network has a one-page Service Continuity Preparedness & Response Plan (PReP). This short, easy-to-update, and mobile plan is insurance that should a service disruption hit your library, you’ll be ready to keep your core services and resources available to your users. Another goal is to see that every Network member develop shelter-in-place procedures to protect staff and patrons in the event of a toxic release or a bioterrorism attack. For more information about sheltering in place, click on this link: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/shelterinplace.html. Finally, we want to see Network members become more involved with community disaster preparedness activities. This may involve taking a CERT class, talking to a local emergency response coordinator, or volunteering for the American Red Cross or another service organization.
Bottom line is that librarians and libraries can be important players in disaster preparedness & response. We know this because that’s what we are hearing from emergency response professionals as we outreach to them. However, to be of value to others and to your community you must first be prepared at home and at work. At home, put together a 72-hour kit. At work, put together a service continuity PReP. Once prepared, you are ready to take a leadership role. They’re out there waiting for you.
Your regional office of the NN/LM is available to help you become better prepared. Call us at 1-800-DEV-ROKS (1-800-338-7657).