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Archive for the ‘Preparedness’ Category

Service Continuity Plan Activated at CMHSL

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Update: 11:28 3/6

I closed the library last night at 6pm, and everyone affiliated with the Health System that wanted to stay, moved to our large after-hours space.  The snow stopped falling around 16:00, and road conditions had begun to improve when I headed out.  Charlottesville’s bus system was operating on limited service, but I lucked out and found a bus waiting at the bus stop.

This morning, UVA announced that classes would start at 11am and that all non-designated staff should also report to work at 11.  The Charlottesville buses were operating on schedule, so I was able to get in and open the library at our regular time.  By 10:30 I had backup, and we now have our full service desk team.

Thirty minutes ago I sent out an After Action Review request to staff.  So far, I’m getting positive feedback and I’m hearing about ways that staff helped patrons from home by answering the library’s email account.

Update: 11:32 3/5

Our area is now under a Winter Storm Warning.  Rain is currently changing to snow and we are expecting 4 to 8 inches by evening.  UVA has cancelled classes today; however, we opened at our normal time (7:30am) and we have decided to close at 6pm.  UVA Health System affiliates will have access to our large after-hours space at closing.

Because UVA cancelled classes, all non-designated library staff were asked not to report to work.  I’m faculty, and since the weather was not bad this morning, I came in and opened, after consulting with library leadership, which includes me, another associate director, and the library director.  Our Service Continuity plan is active until 5pm today, meaning that many of our core services are being maintained from home.

Of the 12 libraries on Grounds, the Health Sciences Library and the main library, Alderman Library, are the only libraries open.  Alderman is open from 10am to 10pm.

It has been a very busy morning.  Many students are studying and two major certification exams are taking place in our classrooms.  The afternoon exam lasts until 5:30, which is why we are closing the library at 6pm.

The worst of the snow is suppose to hit between 1pm and 4pm.  I’m hoping that conditions will begin to improve at 6pm.  We’ll see.

************************************************************************************************

3/4 11:30

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Central Virginia, beginning late tonight and lasting into Thursday.  In response to the Watch, I just sent this Situation Update to library staff:

According to the National Weather Service, our area is currently under a Winter Storm Watch, beginning late tonight and into late Thursday.  Right now, the NWS is predicting 3-5 inches, but, as is usually the case around here, totals can fluctuate due to the track of the storm.

Please be sure to call the 924-SNOW line (or check virginia.edu) before heading out tomorrow morning, and follow instructions for non-designated academic side staff.

Service Continuity Team: Please let me know if anyone is not available tomorrow, so I can make any necessary adjustments in the event that the university closes.  

Winter Storm Watch

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC

451 AM EST WED MAR 4 2015

MDZ017-VAZ036-037-056-057-041800-

/O.EXT.KLWX.WS.A.0005.150305T0800Z-150306T0200Z/

ST. MARYS-NELSON-ALBEMARLE-SPOTSYLVANIA-KING GEORGE-

INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ST MARYS CITY…CHARLOTTESVILLE…

FREDERICKSBURG

451 AM EST WED MAR 4 2015

…WINTER STORM WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH

THURSDAY EVENING…

* LOCATIONS…LOWER SOUTHERN MARYLAND AND PORTIONS OF NORTH-

  CENTRAL AND CENTRAL VIRGINIA.

* HAZARD TYPES…WINTRY MIX…THEN SNOW…POTENTIALLY HEAVY AT

  TIMES.

* TIMING…RAIN CHANGING TO SNOW AND SLEET LATE TONIGHT. SNOW AND

  SLEET MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES THURSDAY.

* IMPACTS…ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED…MAKING TRAVEL

  POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS.

* WINDS…NORTH 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.

* TEMPERATURES…IN THE LOWER 30S.

What is Your Library’s Disaster Readiness Culture (DRC) Score?

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

On a sheet of paper, give yourself a tick mark for each time you answer Yes to one the 12 elements of a library at a state of disaster readiness listed below.  Add up your score.  Most libraries will score between 0 and 5.  It is our goal to provide tools and training to create a disaster ready culture in libraries so that every library in the United States scores 10 or above.  Do you want a better score?  Contact me, Dan Wilson, Coordinator for the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, at 434-924-0193 or danwilson@virginia.edu.

  1. We are committed to purchasing core print materials that may be needed by the community if power is down for an extended time or the Internet is compromised.
  2. Our core online resources are housed on servers with emergency backup power.
  3. We have a response station that includes items such as flashlights, first aid kit, bullhorn, plastic, and a battery operated radio.
  4. We practice situation awareness reporting (What, When, and Where) before, during, and after any kind of service disruption.
  5. We practice 72-hour home preparedness.
  6. We regularly drill our staff on how to respond to unplanned incidents, such as tornadoes, shooter, and HAZMAT incidents, and we perform at least one evacuation drill per year.
  7. We conduct at least two tabletop exercises per year. (One for planned and one for unplanned events.)
  8. We conduct after-action reviews within 14 days of a service disruption.
  9. We have a one-page service continuity plan that is updated at least twice per year.
  10. We have a Mutual Aid Agreement with other libraries to assist us in the delivery of core services if ours are compromised.
  11. We have a partnership (contract not required) with a commercial salvage and recovery company (e.g., Belfor, BMS, Munters) or a local preservationist for recovery of valuable and hard to replace materials.
  12. We have worked with local law enforcement to determine best practices for sheltering-in-place and for responding to unplanned emergency situations.

Responding to Sudden Events: Keep it Simple

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

What sudden events can happen at your library?  Can you and your staff respond to them without needing to look up the response?  Take a look at these easy-to-remember responses and then contact your local law enforcement officials to see if they could apply to your library.

TORNADO
Watch:
monitor weather reporting stations online and via the weather radio.
Warning: announce via intercom that a warning has posted. Instruct everyone to move away from windows.

POWER OUTAGE
Wait for 10 minutes to see if power returns.  If power does not return in 10 minutes, initiate closing procedures. Take flashlight and check all areas of the library for patrons who may need assistance.

MEDICAL EMERGENCY
Call 911. Announce on the intercom that medical assistance is needed in the [state location].

EARTHQUAKE
DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON. If you need to evacuate the building, wait until the shaking has stopped.  Keep in mind that remaining in the building might be your best option, as the earthquake may have caused downed power lines and broken gas lines.

BOMB THREAT
Get as much information as possible, such as location of device, when it will go off, what it looks like, why it was placed, etc. Listen for environmental clues as to location of caller. Call 911 and follow instructions.

SHOOTER
Take cover.

HAZMAT INCIDENT
Follow instructions from emergency officials.

FIRE
Call 911 and pull the nearest fire alarm if not already activated.  Evacuate the building.  Await word from emergency officials for when it’s safe to re-enter.

Severe Weather Sample Situation Report

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Communicating with your staff is essential before a severe weather event .  Here is a sample situation report that you can adapt for your workplace:

Please remember to dial _______ tomorrow morning before heading out to work. If the library is closed, all non-essential staff should not report to work. Essential staff will communicate with ________, who will be communicating with ____________.

Due to the many uncertainties of this storm, it’s hard to tell at this time what conditions will be like during the morning commute. Most of the forecasts I’ve seen show snow throughout the day, so even if we can open the library we may be in an early closing scenario. However, we’ll have to let it play out and make adjustments along the way.

The Service Continuity Team (SCT) and essential services staff are now on stand-by. Essential services staff from the standpoint of staffing the library and the SCT from the standpoint of keeping our core services available from their homes. Since there is the potential for power outages, _____ will coordinate the SCT.  If you are on the SCT and you lose power during business hours, please contact _____. ______ will then notify a backup, if one is available.

________ will be handling messages on the library’s website, and will be in communication with ___________ who will be handling social media.

Questions?  Please let me know.