The Emergency Preparedness & Response Committee for the Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A) of NN/LM met at the Embassy Suites near the University of South Florida, in Tampa, FL on July 14, amongst live oak trees with Spanish moss and crepe myrtle trees in full bloom–a Southern summer in full swing! To see the State Coordinators, check out the picture in the Photo Gallery (not pictured–the West Virginia Coordinator). In addition to the Region’s State Coordinators for emergency preparedness, the SE/A RML was represented by Executive Director Janice Kelly and Network Coordinator and Emergency Preparedness & Response Coordinator Beth Wescott. During the morning session, the group heard an overview and updates on the past year’s progress of the NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan from Dan Wilson, Coordinator of the National plan. Following Dan’s presentation, all state coordinators reported on the status of preparedness in their areas, which had all been fortunate during the past year, having escaped major damage or service disruption from hurricanes or tornadoes, two of the highest risks for the region. Following the state reports from Maryland, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Puerto Rico, all the state coordinators participated in the ”train the trainer” session for the “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” for health sciences libraries and information centers, providing some excellent feedback on the new curriculum materials. SE/A representatives scored high, almost across the board, in the risk assessment exercise, due to the number of weather-related risks as well as port cities, and chemical and nuclear facilities.
During and after lunch, Dan facilitated a discussion about issues to be addressed in the region such as methods of communication, “buddy library” relationships, and the roles of the RML and the state coordinators. The consensus was that the group is well-positioned for continued progress with regard to promoting emergency preparedness in the states and across the region, and plans are underway for hosting and teaching classes and representing the initative within local and regional groups.