The severe winter storm that affected (and still affecting) the Midwest, South, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, gave libraries in these regions a great opportunity to activate their service continuity plans. If you don’t have a plan, this is a good time to prepare for the next major service disruption. (Resources to help you can be found on our Writing Your Disaster Plan page.) If you did have a plan, how did it go? Would you change anything? If so, this is a good time to make those changes.
Here is a NOAA satellite view of the winter storm. Note the similarities of a hurricane. (Click on image to enlarge.)
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/).
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Library has their “Inclement Weather” page up on their website today, due to the winter weather sweeping across the South. Check it out here: http://www.library.uams.edu/inclement-weather.aspx. The page is a great example of how a library can be closed, yet still interact with its patrons and continue to provide the services they need. Note the variety of services that are still available, from self-service options like their 24 hour study spaces and Interlibrary Loan to direct research help by a librarian via email, and updates via FaceBook and Twitter.
Dan Wilson, Coordinator of NNLM’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, has updated the slides and the notes that are available for teaching the “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” class. They are available from the “Training” page here on the site.
Cara Breeden has let us know that the Bethesda Medical Libraries Emergency Preparedness Partnership (BMLEPP) held its third annual meeting on August 20 at Suburban Hospital. Quoting from Cara’s message: “At this yearly meeting, which is the extent of time required, members make any needed updates to the procedural and contact information contained in their BMLEPP reference binders. The Partnership is intended as an agile solution to problems member libraries might encounter, such as extended power outages. Even though it has not been necessary to acticvate the BMLEPP memorandum of understanding (MOU) to date, the Partnership has proved to be a valuable, and a low-maintenance effort.”
Cara also notes that the Bethesda, MD area “is unique in that it boasts five medical libraries within walking distance of each other: the National Library of Medicine, the National Institues of Health Library, the Suburban Hospital Medical Library, the National Naval Medical Center Stitt Library, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Learning Resource Center. The five libraries initiated the Bethesda Medical Libraries Emergency Preparedness Partnership (BMLEPP) on February 14, 2008.”
Cara has sent us the current version of the MOU which these five libraries have enacted, and it will be available for use as an example on the “Model MAA/MOU” page here in the Toolkit. Many thanks, Cara!
From Rita Smith, Outreach & Education Coordinator, Mercer University Medical Library:
On April 15th, a full day of emergency preparedness planning was offered to 30 members of GaIN, the Georgia Interactive Network for Medical Information. GaIN is centered at the Mercer University Medical Library in Macon, Georgia, with members representing a variety of healthcare and educational institutions across Georgia, including many small rural hospitals. Carolyn Klatt, the Georgia state coordinator for NN/LM emergency preparedness, led an excellent session on the “10-Step Approach to Emergency Preparedness Planning,” which was followed by an interactive planning scenario and discussion of “buddy” agreements using the Memorandum of Understanding and Mutual Aid Agreements available at the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Toolkit website. Participants also received samples of the Pocket Response Plans (PReP) developed by the Council of State Archivists, along with waterproof envelopes in which to store their own plans.
Thanks to an award from the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic (SE/A) Region, two state coordinators for North Carolina, Melanie Norton and Susan Hardee, organized an emergency preparedness program entitled, “It’s the Big One, Elizabeth!” Helping NC Hospitals Plan for Information Access Following a Disaster. The event was held at two sites (Raleigh and Charlotte) over a two-day period, and featured Dan Wilson teaching “A 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” and Dr. Barbara Bisset, Executive Director of the Emergency Services Institute WakeMed Health System. Following lunch, participants worked on developing a state-wide mutual aid agreement.