Tracking Tsunamis

For some interesting data about the tsunami that was generated by the recent earthquake off the coast of Chile, visit the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning web site that details the sequence of advisories and warnings.  Even though Hawaii was fortunately spared the kind of devasting tsunami that came ashore in Indonesia a few years ago, the NOAA site shows that sea level did rise at the locations they measure in Hawaii, in places up to three feet above normal.  Civil defense authorities in Hawaii acted on the tsunami warnings, successfully evacuating everyone from the areas at risk.  While this is the kind of “drill” you’d rather not have, it undoubtedly provided some valuable lessons learned for everyone involved and will hopefully make the response to the next warning even more effective.

Click here to view an animated tsunami model of Chile earthquake

NOAA Center for Tsunami Research

Access to EAI extended for Haiti earthquake response

The National Library of Medicine has announced that it is extending the free access period for the Emergency Access Initiative (EAI) until March 19, 2010 in order to continue to provide biomedical information to emergency responders in Haiti.  EAI “provides free access to full-text articles from major biomedicine titles to healthcare professionals, librarians and the public in the United States affected by disasters.”  (An exception to the restriction to the United States was made for the disaster in Haiti.)  Please see the EAI website for information.

Bridging a Gap

Thanks to Elizabeth Norton, who sends out the “News” updates on the Disaster Information Management Research Center listserv (see link in the right side column here) for the latest message, which contains lots of great up-to-the-minute resources on emergency preparedness and response.  We’d like to highlight one of them particularly:  the Accessible Emergency Information website provided by the Northeast Texas Public Health District.  The site serves the deaf, blind and limited sight populations by providing both videos and downloadable documents.  Documents are available in PDF, large print, as well as in Braille, which translates through the appropriate software to provide printed Braille documents for the end user.  Topics include basic emergency preparedness and first aid, infectious diseases and family home care.  All the information is free.  Take a look–this might be just what you need for helping to provide health and emergency preparedness information to clinicians, patients and patient families.

Toolkit’s Greatest Hits

Our informal tracking of toolkit pages accessed most frequently over the past months shows that people are finding and (hopefully) using the resources that the toolkit is intended to provide.  We’re happy to report that the Sample Disaster Plans page is the most frequently-visited one, followed by Library Disaster StoriesAbout the NN/LM Plan, Toolkit Tutorials, and Service Continuity Training/10 Steps

In the interest of continuing to develop the depth and currency of the resources we provide, we’d like to ask that if any of our users have completed their own disaster plans and would like to share them with others, please send them to one of us (Susan at or Dan at and we will link them to the Sample Disaster Plans page. ( Before you send your plan, please remove anything confidential or sensitive in nature.)  Here at the UVa Health Sciences Library, we’ve just completed an update of our Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan, including some new information as well as some revised sections.  The plan has been linked in place of the former version on the Sample Disaster Plans page.

So let us know how you are faring in your emergency preparedness activities, send along any questions you have, and keep those hits coming!

Information Resources for Haitian Relief Efforts

We learned about the extraordinary efforts of the University of Miami’s Louis Calder Memorial Library of the UM School of Medicine from Mary Moore, Chair, who posted excellent information on the DIMRC listserv about how they are communicating with and meeting the information needs of UM health professionals working in Haiti.  Many thanks to Mary for the updates and the encouraging news that some of the resources provided by NN/LM and its emergency preparedness initiative (lists of print materials designated as essential for response to a disaster) were used and were found to be appropos to the situation in Haiti. 

Cindy Love, at NLM’s Disaster Information Management Resource Center (DIMRC), coordinated the provision of information about which print resources would be most important to send.  She recommended the “One Shelf Disaster Library” and the list of core titles chosen by the NN/LM Hospital Librarians Summit participants in the spring of 2009, among other resources from HHS and the Pan American Health Organization and others.   For more information on the work of the University of Miami in response to the Haiti earthquake, see the Louis Calder Memorial Library’s site “Resources for Haiti.”

To subscribe to the Disaster Information Outreach listserv managed by the DIMRC, please see the link in the right menu bar under Core Resources.  Once you’re subscribed, you can view archived messages to see the chain of communication from the listserv about providing help to Haiti.

Preservation 101 from NEDCC

Thanks to a newsletter I received today from Heritage Preservation, I learned about a new online, free course offering from the Northeast Document Conservation Center  (NEDCC) called “Preservation 101.”  The class is aimed specifically toward librarians and other caretakers of cultural resources who work in small and moderate-sized libraries or organizations.  (A link to NEDCC is also located on the toolkit in the right column under “Comprehensive Disaster Plan Training,” the North East section.) 

As a side note, I recommend that people sign up to be on the mailing list for Heritage Preservation if they are interested in conservation and preservation activities or current awareness ofnthe topic.  The emails I receive from them are few and far-between and are always contain articles or information relevant to our interests in emergency preparedness.

Emergency Preparedness for Special Populations

The Specialized Information Services (SIS) Division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has released a web page containing a wealth of resources on emergency preparedness for special populations. Included on the site are links to resources for employers, law and policy, and lessons learned from past disasters.

See: Special Populations: Emergency & Disaster Preparedness