Planning for Your Next Service Disruption

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) recommends that all libraries create a response plan based on the Pocket Response Plan (PReP) that was developed by the Council of State Archivists (CoSA). This is a one-page plan that can be kept in a purse, a wallet, or a mobile device, so no matter where you are you will be able to manage a response and keep your core services available to your patrons. The template below was designed for health sciences libraries, but it can be adapted to any type of library. Questions? Please contact us (http://nnlm.gov/ep/who-we-are/).

Service Continuity PReP: http://nnlm.gov/webreports/ep/uploads/2008/02/SCPrep0310Public.doc

Good Example of a Inclement Weather Services Web Page: http://www.library.uams.edu/inclement-weather.aspx

Librarians and the Medical Reserve Corps

Recently, we facilitated a meeting in Hampton, VA which was aimed at establishing relationships among public libraries, medical libraries, and community emergency preparedness and response.  Our guest speaker was Teresa Blakeslee, the Peninsula Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator for Virginia.  She spoke about the role of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) in community preparedness and response, and helped us to identify possible roles for librarians who are interested in participating in that work.  In addition to the health professionals who are deployed to emergency response sites, they need support people, too, and librarians typically have lots of skills that would benefit them, such as organizational abilities, communication skills, technological proficiency, and public service.  MRC provides free training and maintains a database of volunteers based on abilities, willingness to be deployed locally or outside the area, special skills such as interpretive/translation skills, etc.  To find out more, visit their website at http://www.medicalreservecorps.gov/HomePage

Ideas for becoming involved:

* Participate in initiatives that enhance and strengthen public health such as vaccination and health education programs

* Become familiar with existing local emergency plans, procedures and facilities

* Receive free training and continuing education on topics like personal safety in emergency situations, emergency management, Incident Command System

More Than Crossing Your Fingers

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.

NN/LM EP&R: Where We Are and Where We’re Going

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).

Aware and Ready

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.

Call for Community Preparedness

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.”