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Archive for the ‘Information Resources’ Category

Seismology of the Christchurch Quakes

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has provided us with some interesting observations about why the February 2011 earthquake in the Christchurch, New Zealand area did so much more damage that the one that occurred in September 2010.  Check out their satellite image showing the varying severity levels of the quake as well as their explanation about how time of day and location are often even more powerful factors in resulting damage than the severity on the Richter scale–visit http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=49586&src=eorss-nh.  Note that in addition to the shaking and movement of the earth, in these quakes, there is also “liquefaction” of the soil when groundwater and earth are forced together, which creates yet another kind of impact on the surrounding areas.

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.

Earthquake Tour

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

We usually think of California when we think earthquakes in the U.S., but one of the most significant earthquakes to strike in North America actually happened in the New Madrid Seismic Zone two hundred years ago. Check out this site http://www.newmadrid2011.org/ to see information about the “Earthquake Tour,” commemorating the bicentennial of the New Madrid quake in 1811.  The tour begins tomorrow (Feb. 4, 2011) and continues on through this year with sessions in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and the other states adjacent to the New Madrid fault.  Be sure to explore the “Quick Links” section, especially the wonderful “Great Central U.S. Shakeout” site at http://shakeout.org/centralus/.   The Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) site at http://www.cusec.org/ is also a rich resource for increasing awareness and knowledge about earthquakes and for advice about how to be prepared and stay safe in an earthquake.

NIMS for the New Year

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Want to be able to communicate with your community or institutional first-responders in case of an emergency?  Would you like to be included in emergency preparedness and response activities in your institution or community?  If so, you need to become familiar with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  This system provides a common language and structure for response that is shared by all first responders and emergency management people in the U.S.  NIMS training is free and open to all, and you can view the course offerings at http://training.fema.gov/IS/NIMS.asp on the FEMA site.  We recommend starting with IS-700 (available here http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is700a.asp), which provides an overview of the system, then you can add any courses that seem particularly applicable to your role.  Most modules, especially the introductory-level ones, are available to be taken asynchronously on your own computer and at your own pace, and you can probably complete one in about 20 minutes or so.  So let’s resolve that 2011 will be the year we increase our knowledge base for emergency response and make ourselves more valuable to our institutions and communities!