This year we are emphasizing the importance of having a 72-hour kit & plan for all library staff who are part of a service continuity team, because without a plan, staff are more likely to be focused on their needs, or their family’s needs, and not be able to take part in assuring that the library’s core resources and services remain available to your community following a disaster. Earlier this week, I sent a message to our local American Red Cross (ARC) chapter about 72-hour preparedness training opportunities. Here are some of the ARC resources referred to me by Mike Peoples, Preparedness Officer:
Community Disaster Education (CDE) courses through any local chapter. Our CDE training isn’t really based on a pre-disaster count-down as much as the training being centered around working towards being prepared “whenever” a disaster occurs…the training includes discussion of the importance of making a family (or business) communication plan (so that family members have “designated rally points” when something goes wrong – either around the home, community, or wider world. The training consists of a “series” of topics ranging from generic preparedness to event specific topics such as tornados, spring/winter storms, floods, hurricanes, home fires, wild fires, earthquakes, etc.
The “home page” for preparedness information can be found by clicking here.
If there are groups of folks (based on age, location, employment, etc.), someone from that group can contact their local chapter for additional information as well as to set up an actual CDE seminar based on the group’s interest (we’ve done them for businesses, seniors, boy scouts, schools, etc.!)
Here’s a video called “Let’s Make a Kit,” featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, an ARC volunteer:
When thinking about risk assessment, don’t forget about FEMA’s website that lists federal disaster declarations. Searchable by state, FEMA region, and disaster type, use this information to focus your training efforts and design table-top exercises.
Last week was “Lightning Safety Week,” according to FEMA. Visit the NOAA page here http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/ to learn more about lightning and how to reduce the risk for yourself and those around you of being struck or injured by lightning. In an average year (which this one is not, due to the recent catastrophic tornado incidents), more people are killed by lightning than by tornadoes or hurricanes. I didn’t realize that many more people actually survive lightning strikes, then live with severe disabilities for the remainder of their lives. This information can be important to us at work and at home, and for our library patrons who may be in our space during storms.
Thanks to FEMA for the heads-up about this conference, being held tomorrow, June 15–check out the conference site here: http://www.meta-leadershipsummit.org/. Here’s the description from FEMA’s news update:
Empowering Business, Government and Nonprofit Leaders to Act Together in Times of Crisis
Leadership during large-scale disasters like terrorist attacks, natural disasters and pandemic flu is the focus of the Long Island Meta-Leadership Summit for Preparedness on June 15, where more than 200 leaders will gather to better prepare and respond to public health and safety emergencies. Offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation, the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative – Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Meta-Leadership Summit for Preparedness fosters greater cross-sector collaboration among business, government and nonprofit leaders during emergencies. The Long Island Meta-Leadership Summit is the 36th and final in the series of highly-evaluated Summits that have been held to engage leaders across the country. More than 4,700 leaders have attended a Summit to date, and over 2,500 have joined the Meta-Leadership Online Community. Visit the online community to watch a sampling of video soundbites from Summit participants in their own words: Tampa Bay; Nebraska; San Diego County; Greater Los Angeles and Greater Houston.
Many thanks to Gail Kouame and all the Emergency Preparedness & Response (EP&R) State Coordinators in the Pacific Northwest Region (PNR) of NN/LM for sending us their white paper describing PNR’s regional efforts to assist hospital librarians in emergency preparedness. Click here to view: Region 6 Emergency Preparedness Report Feb 2011-1
The paper includes an accounting of how their initiative developed and was implemented, along with photos of the Coordinator group and the emergency kits and promotional items they distributed. There are also documents in the appendix of the paper that will no doubt be helpful in similar efforts. Thanks to all of you who prepared the report, and congratulations on work well done!