In this morning’s very informative webinar hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and featuring Marty Magee of NN/LM’s Greater Midwest Region, Marty reminded us that we can’t help at our libraries in an emergency if we’re not prepared at home. She recommended visiting the American Red Cross site (among others) at http://www.redcross.org/ to find step-by-step recommendations for putting together a disaster kit, making a plan, and staying informed. On their “More Than Crossing Your Fingers” page at http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.d8aaecf214c576bf971e4cfe43181aa0/?vgnextoid=d1fc43fb7aca2210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default, you can view a video of Jamie Lee Curtis showing you how to personalize your disaster supplies, and you can even play a game (see “Prepare 4″ and click the “Play” button) that has you shopping for supplies in a virtual store. In order to play, you put in your first name and email address, and when you complete the game, the Red Cross will send you a supply list via email.
Archive for the ‘Preparedness’ Category
The NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan is now nearly three years old. We have made much progress over those three years, but we still have far to go. Our primary goal is to see the day that every library in the NN/LM Network has a one-page Service Continuity Preparedness & Response Plan (PReP). This short, easy-to-update, and mobile plan is insurance that should a service disruption hit your library, you’ll be ready to keep your core services and resources available to your users. Another goal is to see that every Network member develop shelter-in-place procedures to protect staff and patrons in the event of a toxic release or a bioterrorism attack. For more information about sheltering in place, click on this link: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/shelterinplace.html. Finally, we want to see Network members become more involved with community disaster preparedness activities. This may involve taking a CERT class, talking to a local emergency response coordinator, or volunteering for the American Red Cross or another service organization.
Bottom line is that librarians and libraries can be important players in disaster preparedness & response. We know this because that’s what we are hearing from emergency response professionals as we outreach to them. However, to be of value to others and to your community you must first be prepared at home and at work. At home, put together a 72-hour kit. At work, put together a service continuity PReP. Once prepared, you are ready to take a leadership role. They’re out there waiting for you.
Your regional office of the NN/LM is available to help you become better prepared. Call us at 1-800-DEV-ROKS (1-800-338-7657).
To be prepared, one must always be aware and ready. Aware of potential risks and ready to respond when something happens. The tornadoes that accompanied the line of severe weather that covered an area from the Midwest to the Atlantic seaboard in late October (see map below) gave all libraries east of the Rockies the time to prepare for a potential service disruption. Were you ready? Do you have a one-page service continuity pocket response plan (PReP) (http://nnlm.gov/ep/disaster-plan-templates/)? If not, please download the template and fill it out. The PReP greatly facilitates preparedness and response activities. It’s easy to keep up-to-date and it’s always with you. No matter where you are when something happens, you’ll be ready.
Information taken from an email message from Ready.gov …
Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), recently spoke at the annual TEDMED conference. In his talk, Fugate put out the call for the public to become greater involved in protecting their community from disasters. Here’s a quote from his talk:
“As individuals, we are always thinking about staying healthy and protecting our bodies from disease, whether through vaccinations, doctor appointments, physical activity or other ways. Shouldn’t we be thinking about protecting our communities in the same way?” said Fugate. “We are always encouraging individuals to visit www.Ready.gov and take the steps to be more prepared before disaster strikes, but I’m here to ask for your help and to recruit you for your ideas on how we can better prepare communities, entire communities, for disasters.”
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting a colder and wetter than average winter for the Northwest, and a warmer and drier winter for most of the South and Southeast. (Click on this URL for article: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20101021_winteroutlook.html.) A moderate to strong El Nina will influence weather patterns across most of the United States.
The American Public Health Association has some wonderful “Get Ready” information on their web site, including a reminder especially for this weekend (March 14, 2010). Their “Set your clocks/check your stocks” campaign encourages us all to conduct an inventory of our business and personal disaster supplies whenever we set our clocks forward or back for Daylight Savings Time. Check their site for lots of downloads available in PDF for stockpiling supplies for all types of groups and situations. They address all hazards, not just health-related ones like influenza. You can even customize their information with your own logo and information.
We have heard from Jie Li, Assistant Director for Collection Management at the Biomedical Library, University of South Alabama in Mobile, that her library held a very successful table-top exercise prior to a predicted snow storm recently. While a few inches of snow is not an emergency in the northern states where there’s snow removal equipment and snow tires on people’s cars, it can be paralyzing in a state that has not historically needed to be prepared for it. Jie is the State Coordinator for Alabama on NN/LM’s Southeast Atlantic (SE/A) Region’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Committee, and she used her experience as an emergency preparedness planner to apply the service continuity techniques promoted by NN/LM to her library’s exercise, with very positive results.
- they made sure that a librarian working from home would have vendor information and the usernames and passwords necessary to trouble-shoot any access issues for their electronic resources
- their Technology Librarian would be able to upload messages to the library’s home page about changes to hours and service provision from home, and also sent instructions about using chat, email, etc. for providing reference services
- the ILL librarian shut down ILL lending and would access DOCLINE from home for borrowing. Access to ILLiad was also enabled from the librarian’s home.
- they made plans for scheduling virtual reference desk hours, to be provided from librarians’ homes
- they sent their completed Pocket Plans (PReP) and current telephone tree lists to everyone via email
Jie reported that the exercise helped them be prepared for the storm, which did close the library for part of the next day. They were ready and able to provide virtual reference help and continued access to their electronic resources, as well as communicating to their patrons what the library’s hours would be and how to get help. Many thanks to Jie for sharing their experience with us. Hearing such great success stories is an inspiration to all of us involved in emergency preparedness and response, and reminds us that it takes only a bit of planning and communication to turn a potential emergency into a win-win situation for the library and its patrons.