Normalcy and Intelligence: A forum to discuss ways libraries and information professionals can strengthen a community’s emergency planning strategy
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Central Library of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library System
Ryan McCay, Emergency Planner, Thomas Jefferson Health District
Sammy Chao, Coordinator, Medical Reserve Corps, Thomas Jefferson District
Nick Drauschack, Disaster Services Manager Coordinator, Virginia Mountain Region, American Red Cross
Kirby Felts, Emergency Manager Coordinator, Charlottesville/Albemarle County/University of Virginia
Stacey Arnesen, Branch Chief, Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), National Library of Medicine
Charles Werner, Charlottesville Fire Chief
Dan Wilson, Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative
Panelists (left to right): Charles Werner, Stacey Arnesen, Kirby Felts, Nick Drauschack, Sammy Chao, Ryan McCay, John Halliday, Director, Jefferson Madison Regional Library, at the podium
Discussion of a Scenario-based Event
Wilson: Suppose an EF2 tornado (wind speeds of 111 to 135 mph) strikes the southeast side of Charlottesville. What information sources would you rely on during the first three hours after the destructive tornado?
Werner: I’ll be the first one responding. The first reports will come into our Emergency Operations Center (EOC). We are fortunate here in Charlottesville that all dispatches, whether county, city, or university, come out of one place, the EOC, unlike many other jurisdictions that are stove piped. During the Tornado Watch we will be watching for reports from Kirby (Emergency Manager Coordinator) and checking our apps, such as iNWS (Interactive National Weather Service). We are also watching radar on our smartphones and, if needed, adding extra staff. If a lot of calls suddenly come in to the EOC, our dispatch goes into a red flag operation, and I’ll start talking to Kirby. Where are the calls coming from? What kind of property damage? What is the magnitude of the storm? Kirby then takes the information to the leaders of the city, county, and university to determine if we need to open the EOC. Then we move into response, which may include calling for mutual aid.