Libraries are about information, and they are trusted places that we can put information for the public. – Charlottesville Fire Chief, Charles Werner
MERS Update from the CDC
“Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. More than 30% of these people died…”
Click on this URL for the full Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Update from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/index.html?s_cid=cdc_homepage_feature_001
Normalcy and Intelligence: A forum to discuss ways libraries and information professionals can strengthen a community’s emergency planning strategy
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Central Library of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library System
Ryan McCay, Emergency Planner, Thomas Jefferson Health District
Sammy Chao, Coordinator, Medical Reserve Corps, Thomas Jefferson District
Nick Drauschack, Disaster Services Manager Coordinator, Virginia Mountain Region, American Red Cross
Kirby Felts, Emergency Manager Coordinator, Charlottesville/Albemarle County/University of Virginia
Stacey Arnesen, Branch Chief, Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), National Library of Medicine
Charles Werner, Charlottesville Fire Chief
Dan Wilson, Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative
Discussion of a Scenario-based Event
Wilson: Suppose an EF2 tornado (wind speeds of 111 to 135 mph) strikes the southeast side of Charlottesville. What information sources would you rely on during the first three hours after the destructive tornado?
Werner: I’ll be the first one responding. The first reports will come into our Emergency Operations Center (EOC). We are fortunate here in Charlottesville that all dispatches, whether county, city, or university, come out of one place, the EOC, unlike many other jurisdictions that are stove piped. During the Tornado Watch we will be watching for reports from Kirby (Emergency Manager Coordinator) and checking our apps, such as iNWS (Interactive National Weather Service). We are also watching radar on our smartphones and, if needed, adding extra staff. If a lot of calls suddenly come in to the EOC, our dispatch goes into a red flag operation, and I’ll start talking to Kirby. Where are the calls coming from? What kind of property damage? What is the magnitude of the storm? Kirby then takes the information to the leaders of the city, county, and university to determine if we need to open the EOC. Then we move into response, which may include calling for mutual aid.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014: 15:20
A major winter storm is expected to move into Virginia later this afternoon and potentially drop 10 – 15 inches of snow and sleet. If we get sleet on top of snow, then there is a good chance we will have power outages. The library’s Service Continuity Team is ready to go in the event that the library is closed tomorrow. We will do our best to maintain our online content, our network, interlibrary loan (borrows), and library email. If our library is closed, our large after hours space will be available to anyone with a UVA Health System ID. Patrons who reserved a group study room or classroom tomorrow has been contacted.
All library staff know to call the university’s SNOW line to determine operating status. (They can also find operating status on the university’s website.) We will use our library’s voicemail and website to communicate the library’s operating status. I have a message ready to go, if needed, mentioning that the after hours space is open and that our Service Continuity Team members are home maintaining core library services and resources. The message also provides contact information for our library’s email address, which we will be monitoring during business hours.
Now we wait and see what happens.
Project OPAL (One Page All Libraries) was the topic of discussion at last Friday’s LOGIN meeting at the public library in West Deptford, New Jersey. The keynote presenter was Dan Wilson, Coordinator for the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative. The meeting started with a greeting from Anne Wodnick, President of LOGIN, follow by comments from Taft Barnet, of the American Red Cross, and Michele Stricker from the New Jersey State Library.
Each one of us, every day, is in one element of the emergency management cycle. We are either in mitigation, preparedness, response, or recovery. And mixed in with all of this are drills and table-top exercises. – Verna Brown
The summit took place in Hagerstown, Maryland, on January 23, 2014. The panel discussion reported here followed a summary of the mission of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative by Dan Wilson. The two panelists were Verna Brown, Emergency Management Coordinator for Washington County, Maryland, and Shawn Stoner, Washington County Public Health Emergency Planner. The questions are from Dan Wilson and summit attendees. Additional training took place in the afternoon, including the 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning, a table-top exercise, and an After Action Review.
Based on what you heard this morning, what roles do you see libraries possibly playing in your future planning?
Libraries could play a very important part in our planning. We need to sit down soon and work on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). You could help us develop Family Assistance Centers (FAC) that are designed to assist with family unification. There’s also the need for Disaster Relief Centers (DRC). Would this be a good place to have a DRC? Absolutely. If this library would like to be added to the list, that would be great. And I would encourage library participation at any one of our committees. Outreach programs and partnerships are very important to us in emergency management.
Click on the link below to see the report of the NN/LM/New England Region Extreme Weather Disaster Summit that took place on November 22, 2013, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Special thanks to Meredith Solomon, Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Cindy Hahn, Liz Foley, Chris Montiverdi, and Susan Yowell, for all their contributions.