New Promotional Brochure Available

We’ve just updated our promotional brochure, “NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Toolkit.”  See it at http://nnlm.gov/webreports/ep/uploads/2009/06/NNLM-EPR-Toolkit-May-2011.pdf, or click on the “About the NN/LM Plan” tab on the top menu, then click on “Promotional Brochures.”  The new brochure contains more detail about what’s in the Toolkit and how you can use it.  Let us know what you think!

Closing Tweets

A quick review of the “NEPR Times” Twitter feed (see left side bar, “Library Closings & Related Tweets”), provides an interesting study of the kinds of events that can cause library closings.  Over the past ten days (January 18-January 27), here’s the distribution:

  • Inclement weather (8)
  • Flooding (5)
  • Air quality
  • Staff illness
  • Network upgrade
  • Power outage
  • Threat (bomb?)
  • Interior flood from a burst overhead pipe

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Just the FAQs, Ma’am

Especially if you’re new to this site, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page (see top or side menu).  We’ve tried to answer questions that will help you find what you’re looking for on the site and to know whom to contact for help or more information about emergency preparedness/response and service continuity.  Do you have a question that isn’t answered in the FAQs?  Just send it along to Susan Yowell (syowell@virginia.edu) or Dan Wilson (danwilson@virginia.edu) and we will do our best to answer it.

New TTE Page

What is a TTE, you ask?  TTE is the acronym for a key piece of emergency management and planning, the Table-Top Exercise.  Over the past three years, we’ve used various TTEs in our training with NN/LM members and other groups, and they are always motivating and effective.  They place people in roles in an emergency scenario and generate some very interesting and productive insights.  Check our new “Table-Top Exercises” page (or see the top menu) for more information about TTEs and for two exercises we’ve written to help get you started.

Twitter Feeds in the Toolkit

We have incorporated Twitter feeds into the Toolkit (right side bar). The feeds are vetted by us before appearing on the Toolkit in order to ensure that they are relevant to the mission of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative (NEPR). If you tweet about something related to NEPR, please use the hashtag #NEPRTIMES.

Toolkit Renovation

This site, the online toolkit for NNLM’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan (EP&RP), is undergoing some changes!  While our purpose remains to provide information about emergency preparedness and response in support of the national NNLM project, the site has evolved to be more than just a toolkit over the course of its three-year lifespan.  In addition to containing tools to be used for creating disaster plans and becoming better prepared for emergencies, the site provides updates about current emergency situations and highlights new resources that can be incorporated into the planning process.  

We are making some substantial changes to appearance and design of the site, hoping to improve the user experience.  These changes are based on feedback received as a result of a usability study, spearheaded by NNLM’s Web-STOC team and conducted by Concord Evaluation Group earlier this year.  In fact, some of you may have participated in focus groups or the usability testing, and we thank you.

The two of us who maintain the toolkit are working with the Web-STOC team on the renovation of the toolkit, so please keep an eye on this address and let us know what you think.  Here are some notable changes:

  • Twitter has been incorporated
  • “Categories” to enable searching posts by tags are now available in a drop-down box in the left side menu 
  • the Search Blog button is now top left (searches only posts, not other content)
  • “Pages” have been nested, decreasing the number visible on the top menu bar; the list is expanded in the left menu bar, just under the Search Blog box
  • “Core Related Resources” have been re-titled “External Links,” to clarify for users that they will be accessing resources not owned or controlled by NNLM
  • NNLM regional EP web sites are now on the left and higher on the “page”

Things to watch for:

  • the title may be changed to reflect the new design and expanded purpose (the URL will remain the same)
  • pages and other links may be re-labelled in order to clarify content and improve accessibility
  • a Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) page with lots of help on how to use the site, how to get help, etc.

We hope this process will result in a product that makes it easier for libraries, institutions or business to be aware of the culture of preparedness, and to create emergency preparedness and response plans that will help them stay safe and recover quickly when disaster strikes.  As always, please let us know about your experiences with the site; questions and comments are always welcome.

Toolkit’s Greatest Hits

Our informal tracking of toolkit pages accessed most frequently over the past months shows that people are finding and (hopefully) using the resources that the toolkit is intended to provide.  We’re happy to report that the Sample Disaster Plans page is the most frequently-visited one, followed by Library Disaster StoriesAbout the NN/LM Plan, Toolkit Tutorials, and Service Continuity Training/10 Steps

In the interest of continuing to develop the depth and currency of the resources we provide, we’d like to ask that if any of our users have completed their own disaster plans and would like to share them with others, please send them to one of us (Susan at syowell@virginia.edu or Dan at danwilson@virginia.edu) and we will link them to the Sample Disaster Plans page. ( Before you send your plan, please remove anything confidential or sensitive in nature.)  Here at the UVa Health Sciences Library, we’ve just completed an update of our Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan, including some new information as well as some revised sections.  The plan has been linked in place of the former version on the Sample Disaster Plans page.

So let us know how you are faring in your emergency preparedness activities, send along any questions you have, and keep those hits coming!