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Archive for February, 2011

Earthquakes

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Just after 11pm on February 27th, a 4.7-magnitude earthquake struck central Arkansas, serving as a reminder that earthquakes can happen east of the Rockies.  Below is a magnitude scale chart that I found at a Michigan Tech site (http://www.geo.mtu.edu/UPSeis/magnitude.html).  You can use the chart to see the difference between the Arkansas earthquake and the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand last week.  (A 7.1-magnitude earthquake also struck Christchurch on September 4th.)  When was the last earthquake in your state?  To find out, click on the following URL from the United States Geological Society: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/last_event/states/.

Magnitude Earthquake Effects Estimated Number
Each Year
2.5 or less Usually not felt, but can be recorded by seismograph. 900,000
2.5 to 5.4 Often felt, but only causes minor damage. 30,000
5.5 to 6.0 Slight damage to buildings and other structures. 500
6.1 to 6.9 May cause a lot of damage in very populated areas. 100
7.0 to 7.9 Major earthquake. Serious damage. 20
8.0 or greater Great earthquake. Can totally destroy communities near the epicenter. One every 5 to 10 years

 

Christchurch Earthquake

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

We have been following events in Christchurch, New Zealand, since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the city back on September 4th.  The library at the University of Canterbury was damaged by the quake and was scheduled to re-open this month.  Sadly, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the city yesterday and there are fatalities.  Here’s a link to an article about the earthquake from the Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0222/New-Zealand-earthquake-Authorities-scramble-after-temblor-leaves-at-least-65-dead.  You can also follow news reports and personal accounts on Twitter by searching #christchurch.

DIMRC Symposium Webcasts

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

We hope to see many of our readers at the Disaster Information Outreach Symposium in Bethesda on March 29 and 30, but if you can’t get there in person, there’s good news!  Both days will be videocast via the web, see details here:

“Please see http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=9836  for day 1 and http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=9837 for day 2. Prior to the event, you may wish to visit the Web site and click “Player Software” near the top of the page to download the software necessary to view the program. A recording will be archived for later viewing following the symposium.”  (Thanks to Regina King whose email message provided this quote!)

To see what’s on the agenda and speaker bios, check the conference web site at http://disaster.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/symposium2011.html.

Active Shooter: Plan, Prevent, Survive

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Dan refers us to a truly excellent article from “Library Leadership & Management,” volume 25, no. 1, 2011, entitled “Active Shooter in the Library:  How to Plan for, Prevent, and Survive the Worst,” by Amy Kautzman, Associate University Librarian at UC Davis’ General Library.  The article is available through Creative Commons here http://journals.tdl.org/llm/article/view/1864/1625.  It’s difficult to point out highlights because every sentence is important, but there were several eye-openers for me, such as:  active shooter incidents are not random, out-of-the-blue events.  In previous incidents, there have always been warning signs displayed by the person who became the shooter, but they were not reported until after the event, or if they had been reported before, no action was taken.  So awareness, reporting and follow-up are key preventive stragegies.  And, one of the keys to surviving an active shooter incident is to respond immediately rather than waiting to be told what to do; in other words, accept personal responsibility for your safety by learning response strategies and developing a “mindset” of preparedness.  Be sure to continue past the references at the end of the article to find the “Active Shooter / Safety and Security Selected Materials” bibliography of additional resources compiled by Amy Kautzman and Jennifer Little, who is Head of User Services at Morehead State University.

In the article, Ms. Kautzman acknowledges how scary it can be to entertain thoughts or develop scenarios in order to become prepared, but we can use this kind of scary to motivate us to make plans that might save our lives someday.