OPAL for LOGIN Meeting Report

Project OPAL (One Page All Libraries) was the topic of discussion at last Friday’s LOGINCAM00329 (2) meeting at the public library in West Deptford, New Jersey.  The keynote presenter was Dan Wilson, Coordinator for the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative.  The meeting started with a greeting from Anne Wodnick, President of LOGIN, follow by comments from Taft Barnet, of the American Red Cross, and Michele Stricker from the New Jersey State Library.

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Michele Stricker from the New Jersey State Library.

Mr. Wilson provided the group with a background of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, as well as the progress public libraries in New Jersey have made since last spring’s Ports in a Storm conference in Eatontown, New Jersey.

He impressed on the need for each library to develop response procedures and to regularly drill staff in order to effectively react to unplanned disasters, something he termed holding the fort.  A library’s mettle, he said, is tested in this arena and it’s essential that all libraries beef up their readiness capabilities in this area. Mr. Wilson used the following questions that libraries can ask themselves to determine their preparedness level:

•Someone approaches the desk and reports that someone with a gun is approaching the library
•A tornado warning is issued for your area
•Earthquake!
•A train crashes nearby and leaking chlorine gas
The second part of his presentation was titled Unity for the Community, which focused on comments made by emergency planners at recent NN/LM EP&R summit meetings about the potential value of libraries.  He concluded this section with a quote from Verna Brown, W DeptfordOPAL9emergency planner in Hagerstown, Maryland:
If you want to be part of this, we would love to have you.  Can you enhance us?  Yes you can.  And we can enhance you as well.  One attendee mentioned that a library they once worked at offered its facility as a shelter.  Unfortunately, the library was overwhelmed by the experience and it was unlikely that they would make the offer again.  Mr. Wilson stated that this is and example of the importance

LOGIN attendees with their complimentary Red Cross emergency radios.

LOGIN attendees with their complimentary Red Cross emergency radios. Photo credit: Michele Stricker

of creating a very clear MOU with emergency planners.  The MOU will clearly state what the library is capable of providing to the community, along with actions to be taken to avoid stress on library staff and strain on library resources.

For the last part of his presentation, he showed the group how disaster response might look to a library with greater readiness capabilities using a table-top exercise that featured a major winter storm.

Unity for the Community: a report of the panel discussion during the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness and Response Summit at the Washington County Free Public Library

Each one of us, every day, is in one element of the emergency management cycle.  We are either in mitigation, preparedness, response, or recovery.  And mixed in with all of this are drills and table-top exercises. – Verna Brown

The summit took place in Hagerstown, Maryland, on January 23, 2014. The panel discussion reported here followed a summary of the mission of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative by Dan Wilson. The two panelists were Verna Brown, Emergency Management Coordinator for Washington County, Maryland, and Shawn Stoner, Washington County Public Health Emergency Planner.  The questions are from Dan Wilson and summit attendees.  Additional training took place in the afternoon, including the 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning, a table-top exercise, and an After Action Review.

Shawn Stoner, Verna Brown, and Julie Zamostny, Continuing Education Coordinator, Washington County Public Libraries

Shawn Stoner, Verna Brown, and Julie Zamostny, Continuing Education Coordinator, Washington County Public Libraries

Based on what you heard this morning, what roles do you see libraries possibly playing in your future planning?

Libraries could play a very important part in our planning.  We need to sit down soon and work on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). You could help us develop Family Assistance Centers (FAC) that are designed to assist with family unification.  There’s also the need for Disaster Relief Centers (DRC).  Would this be a good place to have a DRC?  Absolutely.  If this library would like to be added to the list, that would be great.  And I would encourage library participation at any one of our committees.  Outreach programs and partnerships are very important to us in emergency management.

Public Health would also welcome library participation in our planning.  We are very flexible and will take whatever you can provide us.  Your bookmobile would be great assistance during a pandemic or a terrorist attack, as we could take medications to the public.  It could also be used to get the preparedness information to the public.

Please talk a little more about the MOU.

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The library would say what they are willing to do and we would say what we are willing to do.  For instance, if the library would say they will be a warming center, then we would get the word out that the library is a warming center, if it’s needed. And this is a two-way street.  We don’t expect you to do all the giving.  What can we give you?  We can provide emergency response and preparedness classes.  We can facilitate a security program or a table-top exercise.  We can also review your emergency plans.  All at no cost, resulting in a stronger and more resilient partnerships for the community.

Citizens come to the library because they want to know answers. We want to be a resource for you.

A formal agreement is important because it helps with planning and coordinating response activities.  If you sign an agreement but are unable to fulfill the agreement, it’s okay.  Each emergency is different and not everything planned for is possible.

The agreement would state that the library could be, not will be, so if you are unable to help for some reason, that’s okay. Here’s an example: a couple of years ago we had a big fire in the area. Everybody assumed the shelter was going to be at the local high school.  However, the high school had no electricity that day.  Therefore, about 20 years ago we stopped telling people where their particular shelter is located until we know what shelter to open.  The MOU doesn’t mean you will be used as a resource.  We need the flexibility.  We are thankful when we don’t have to use your facility.

What would happen if suddenly 300 people show up at the library following an announcement that it was being used as a cooling shelter?  Are there provisions for additional security?

We would pre-determine how many people you can handle.  If you get to 80%, then we are opening a shelter somewhere else, which all goes back to the importance of planning and communication.

How valuable would our partnership be to the community?

It would be extremely valuable because all of the residents in our community know exactly where the library is located. It always helps to say that you are in partnership with your community.  You are already a strong partner, this would make you even stronger.

Where do you get your information?

All of our information comes from the state and is vetted and consistent.

Washington County Free Public Library

Washington County Free Public Library

I could certainly see the need for having a librarian to come in during an Emergency Opperations Center (EOC) activation.  Keep in mind, that it’s not the nicest hours of the day.  It’s not a glamorous job.  It would certainly be an advantage to us, and we would be very happy to have librarians bring us information to help us do a better job; it is our role, however, to push that information out to the public.  Again, one voice; consistent and vetted.

Talk about the importance of Facilities and Security.

Your maintenance people are who we want to talk to, as they know everything about the building.  For instance, if you were willing to be a shelter, it would be your facilities people who would open the building.

What are the current trends in Emergency Management?

Family Assistance Centers to help unify families.  Also care of pets, which became a major issue after Katrina when many people wouldn’t leave their pets behind, as pets were not allowed in shelters. Prepare for your pets like you prepare for yourself. Remember, 72 hours.  Last summer we did a full-scale pet sheltering drill at the Agricultural Center.  The Hancock Fire Department has also offered to set up a pet tent shelter.

Where do we get disaster-specific information?  For instance if we wanted to pass on the most up-to-date information, how would we do that?

Information comes through our public information office or the emergency alerts. Make sure that our public information officer knows that you want to be on the list of recipients to receive the most current information.  You guys need to plan on how to disperse information that you are getting from our public information officer.

Final words?

If you want to be part of this, we would love to have you.  Can you enhance us?  Yes you can.  And we can enhance you as well.  Come join us.

A special thanks to Julie Zamostny for coordinating the event and to Shawn Stover and Verna Brown for their time and expertise.  It was a wonderful meeting. Finally, thanks to the National Library of Medicine and the NN/LM for their continued support. – Dan Wilson 

Report of the NN/LM/New England Region Extreme Weather Disaster Summit

Dan Wilson, Liz Foley, Chris Montiverdi, Cindy Hahn, Siobhan Champ-Blackwell.  Photo by Susan Yowell.

Dan Wilson, Liz Foley, Chris Montiverdi, Cindy Hahn, Siobhan Champ-Blackwell. Photo by Susan Yowell.

Click on the link below to see the report of the NN/LM/New England Region Extreme Weather Disaster Summit that took place on November 22, 2013, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Special thanks to Meredith Solomon, Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Cindy Hahn, Liz Foley, Chris Montiverdi, and Susan Yowell, for all their contributions.

NNLM NER Disaster Summit

EP&R Summit in Hampton, VA

IMG_2119-001On Wednesday, December 11th, approximately 20 librarians gathered with the Coordinator of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, and two Tidewater Area emergency planners at the Hampton Public Library.  Most of the librarians were affiliated with the Hampton Public Library; however, other libraries in the Tidewater Area of Virginia were present.

Following Dan Wilson’s presentation of the accomplishments and activities of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, Sara Ruch, Deputy Coordinator, Emergency Management Office, City of Hampton, spoke about the ways her office has partnered in the past with the Hampton Public Library, particularly with preparedness activities.  She encouraged attendees to contact their local Emergency Management Office to start a partnership.  She was certain that any outreach effort would be very welcomed.

Teresa Winstanley, Coordinator/Program Manager for the Peninsula Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), finished the program with an overview of the mission of the MRC and the many ways that they use non-medical volunteers.  She also encouraged attendees to reach out to the MRC in their areas and become a volunteer.

Hampton Speakers

Teresa Winstanley, Dan Wilson, Sarah Ruch

All attendees were given the template for the one page disaster plan created by the Lodi Public Library in Lodi, New Jersey.  The Lodi plan was created using the NN/LM One Page Service Continuity plan adapted from the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) pocket response plan.

NN/LM and the Virginia State Library are exploring the possibility of returning to the Tidewater Area this spring to offer advanced training.

Comments from Attendees:

Thank you so much for your presentation.  The one page plan in particular I think will be useful as we look at updating our current behemoth of an emergency plan as well as look for ways to coordinate better with other City Departments.

Ports in a Storm was a Great Success!

Click on this URL for a Storified view of tweets made during the conference: http://storify.com/618730/ports-in-a-storm-the-library-as-disaster-recovery?utm_campaign=&utm_source=t.co&utm_content=storify-pingback&awesm=sfy.co_gHhF&utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter

Here are some pictures:

Renae Barger, Executive Director, NN/LM Mid Atlantic Region; Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian

Renae Barger, Executive Director, NN/LM Mid Atlantic Region; Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian

Pat Tumulty, executive director of the NJLA; Renae Barger, NN/LM MAR; Barbara Lilley, New York State Library;  Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian; Michele Stricker, Associate Director of Library Support Services, NJSL & Certifed Preservation Management Consultant

Pat Tumulty, executive director of the NJLA; Renae Barger, NN/LM MAR; Barbara Lilley, New York State Library; Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian; Cheryl O’Connor, Executive Director of LibraryLinkNJ; Michele Stricker, Associate Director of Library Support Services, NJSL &
Certifed Preservation Management Consultant

Barbara Lilley, New York State Library

Barbara Lilley, New York State Library

Michele Stricker, Associate Director of Library Support Services, NJSL & Certifed Preservation Management Consultant; Dan Wilson, Coordinator of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative

Michele Stricker, Associate Director of Library Support Services, NJSL &
Certifed Preservation Management Consultant; Dan Wilson, Coordinator of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative

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Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center; Renae Barger, Executive Director, NN/LM MAR; George DiFerdinando, Director, NJ Center for Pub. Health Preparedness; Beth Hassek: Medical Reserve Corps; Wayne Jones, Disaster Coordinator of the NJ United Methodist Church; Alan Z Aiches: FEMA; Cathy McCann: NJ Volunteers Active in Disasters (VOAD); Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian; (Not pictured: Tim Settles, American Red Cross)

2012 NN/LM EP&R Toolkit Highlights & Usage Summary

Highlights:

MAR: Report of the NN/LM Hurricane Summit

MAY: NN/LM San Francisco Earthquake Summit Report

JUN: A Report of the DC SLA Military Librarians Program: Disaster Response – How Information Professionals Can Help

SEP: NN/LM Washington DC Power Outage Summit

OCT: Putting Us to the Test: Hurricane Sandy and Our Service Continuity Plan

NOV: A Call to Action

Total Views: 32,900

Most Popular Pages/Posts:

Writing a One Page Service Continuity Disaster Plan 5,954
Table-Top Exercises 1,824
Training 1,391
Surviving an Active Shooter Video 1,020
About the NN/LM Plan 963
Library Disaster Stories 730
Report of the NN/LM Hurricane Summit 627
15 Elements/ High State of Library Readiness 574
Partnership Agreement Samples 561

A Report of the DC SLA Military Librarians Program: Disaster Response – How Information Professionals Can Help

Elizabeth Norton, Dan Wilson, and Siobhan Champ-Blackwell

The DC SLA Military Librarians sponsored a program on disaster preparedness and response yesterday evening in the beautiful Charles Sumner School, Museum & Archives, in downtown Washington, DC.  Speakers included Elizabeth Norton, NLM Disaster Information Management & Research Center, Dan Wilson, Coordinator of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, and Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Librarian, Aquilent, Inc, at NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center.

Ms. Norton kicked off the program with a presentation about the objectives of the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), which include 1) organize and provide access to disaster health literature and resources, 2) develop emergency response tools, 3) conduct outreach and develop partnerships, including the support of disaster information specialists, and 4) conduct health IT research and development.  She spoke of NLMs disaster-related topics pages and the Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, and covered free disaster tools, such as WISER, CHEMM, REMM, and TOXNET.  She ended her presentation with a description of the NLM/MLA Disaster Information Specialization program and courses.  Question: What are your priorities of new tools going forward?  Answer: Looking at providing CHEMM within WISER and integrating the updated 2012 Emergency Response Guide.  In addition, we’d like to keep up with apps development.  Question: Is there a topics page for mental health?  Answer: Not yet, but is on the list. (Person asking the question offered to help develop the page.)  Question: How are you getting information out to the emergency management community?  Answer: We exhibit at their conferences. (Person asking the question offered to help push out the information.)

Mr. Wilson introduced the audience to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) and provided a background to the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan, which was activated in January 2008.  Following the background information, he spoke about the NN/LM EP&R Tookit, the one-page service continuity plan, the 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning training program, and the newly created 15 Elements of a Library at a High State of Readiness.  He then talked about an outreach project with the Library of Virginia and spoke about the importance of getting at least two of the following elements for successful outcomes: 1) a strong network, 2) a motivated audience, and 3) a shared geography.  Mr. Wilson ended his presentation talking about the NN/LM summit meetings in Miami and San Francisco.  Question: What are your plans for the future?  Answer: Create a training program around the 15 Elements of a Library at a High State of Readiness and develop an NN/LM Tornado Summit.  Question: Talk a little more about how much training you’ve done with the 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning and the type of response you have been getting.  Answer: The training program has been rolled out in all eight regions of NN/LM.  Training can be done by me, staff at NN/LM, or self-paced virtually.  (Most of the training is now being done by NN/LM staff.)  Response has been very positive from class participants.

Ms. Champ-Blackwell highlighted communication tools used by DIMRC, including their listserv, Twitter feed, and monthly teleconferences.  She then spoke about how NLM uses Hootsuite to manage their tweets.  She then spoke on “apps” and mobile optimized websites.  In addition, she explained what a native app is and briefly talked about the importance of gaining awareness about the different mobile platforms and operating systems.  Finally, she promoted the NLM Gallery of Mobile Apps and Sites (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mobile/index.html).  Question: You do a great job tweeting.  Is it from experience?  Do you have guidelines?  Answer: It’s a team effort.  First of all, we have a list of over 100 resources that we follow our twitter streams.  We push out NLM resources two times a day.  On Hootsuite you can schedule when your tweets go out, which I sometimes do while commuting to work on the bus.  We developed a spreadsheet of every page on the DIMRC site that we have linked to and we use go.usa.gov to shorten the URLs.  All of June’s two tweets per day are already scheduled.  We then focus time of doing the social part: the re-tweeting, and the thanks for tweeting our stuff.  Question: Where do you see Twitter two years from now?  How do you archive tweets?  Answer:  That’s a tough question and one that I’m working on, including exploring Twitter API.  Question: Some of us are not allowed to access Twitter or Facebook.  Any suggestions?  Participant response: We just got an exception.  It’s worth a try. Answer:  Develop a plan to present to your supervisors with a list of who you will follow, how you will use the account. I’ll share a list of approved DIMRC sources on the Disaster Outreach listserv that can be used to try to get exceptions.  Question: Following a disaster, if you see tweets from non-approved sources, can you do original reporting via Twitter?  Answer: Our job at NLM is to support other libraries who would like to send reports of resources during and following disasters.