Great Opportunity

The severe winter storm that affected (and still affecting) the Midwest, South, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, gave libraries in these regions a great opportunity to activate their service continuity plans. If you don’t have a plan, this is a good time to prepare for the next major service disruption. (Resources to help you can be found on our Writing Your Disaster Plan page.) If you did have a plan, how did it go? Would you change anything? If so, this is a good time to make those changes.

Here is a NOAA satellite view of the winter storm. Note the similarities of a hurricane. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Update: State Library of Queensland

The latest on the flooding situation from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA):

http://www.alia.org.au/disasterrecovery/QLDFloods.html

Click on the link below for an article from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) about the flooding at the State Library of Queensland. Note that the concern now is not with water damage but the affect summer humidity (no power) will have on library materials.

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/artdesign/story/2011/01/12/brisbane-flooding-arts.html

Shooter in the Vicinity

On September 28, 2010, we were all dismayed to hear about the shooter on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.  The crisis ended with the shooter running into the Perry-Casteneda Library, where he took his own life, not having injured anyone else.  While the incident was unfolding, the University acted immediately to instruct all its students, faculty and staff to shelter in place.  According to news reports, within 8 minutes of shots being fired, they had sent out an emergency alert via text message and posted the alert on their web page, and sounded outdoor sirens on campus to warn everyone to take shelter.  While most of us, fortunately, have no experience with this type of incident, it can, unfortunately, happen anywhere and anytime. 

When the NN/LM SE/A Emergency Preparedness & Response Committee met in December, one of the Florida representatives, Allison Howard, mentioned that their staff had watched a DVD called “Shots Fired:  When Lightning Strikes,” and that it was very effective in teaching the best response to shots fired in the workplace or vicinity.  Here’s the link to the site where the video is available, including a trailer/preview:  http://www.shotsfireddvd.com/