Leveraging Libraries and Librarians to Improve Disaster Readiness in Our Nation’s Libraries and Our Communities
Dan Wilson, Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, will present about his experiences advocating for greater disaster readiness in our nation’s libraries. In addition, he will talk about creating a disaster readiness culture at the library he works at (University of Virginia Health Sciences Library) and his role in establishing a Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) at the Charlottesville/Albemarle County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Click on this URL to view webinar: https://webmeeting.nih.gov/p7hr32r2hva/
On a sheet of paper, give yourself a tick mark for each time you answer Yes to one the 12 elements of a library at a state of disaster readiness listed below. Add up your score. Most libraries will score between 0 and 5. It is our goal to provide tools and training to create a disaster ready culture in libraries so that every library in the United States scores 10 or above. Do you want a better score? Contact me, Dan Wilson, Coordinator for the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, at 434-924-0193 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are committed to purchasing core print materials that may be needed by the community if power is down for an extended time or the Internet is compromised.
- Our core online resources are housed on servers with emergency backup power.
- We have a response station that includes items such as flashlights, first aid kit, bullhorn, plastic, and a battery operated radio.
- We practice situation awareness reporting (What, When, and Where) before, during, and after any kind of service disruption.
- We practice 72-hour home preparedness.
- We regularly drill our staff on how to respond to unplanned incidents, such as tornadoes, shooter, and HAZMAT incidents, and we perform at least one evacuation drill per year.
- We conduct at least two tabletop exercises per year. (One for planned and one for unplanned events.)
- We conduct after-action reviews within 14 days of a service disruption.
- We have a one-page service continuity plan that is updated at least twice per year.
- We have a Mutual Aid Agreement with other libraries to assist us in the delivery of core services if ours are compromised.
- We have a partnership (contract not required) with a commercial salvage and recovery company (e.g., Belfor, BMS, Munters) or a local preservationist for recovery of valuable and hard to replace materials.
- We have worked with local law enforcement to determine best practices for sheltering-in-place and for responding to unplanned emergency situations.
What sudden events can happen at your library? Can you and your staff respond to them without needing to look up the response? Take a look at these easy-to-remember responses and then contact your local law enforcement officials to see if they could apply to your library.
Watch: monitor weather reporting stations online and via the weather radio.
Warning: announce via intercom that a warning has posted. Instruct everyone to move away from windows.
Wait for 10 minutes to see if power returns. If power does not return in 10 minutes, initiate closing procedures. Take flashlight and check all areas of the library for patrons who may need assistance.
Call 911. Announce on the intercom that medical assistance is needed in the [state location].
DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON. If you need to evacuate the building, wait until the shaking has stopped. Keep in mind that remaining in the building might be your best option, as the earthquake may have caused downed power lines and broken gas lines.
Get as much information as possible, such as location of device, when it will go off, what it looks like, why it was placed, etc. Listen for environmental clues as to location of caller. Call 911 and follow instructions.
Follow instructions from emergency officials.
Call 911 and pull the nearest fire alarm if not already activated. Evacuate the building. Await word from emergency officials for when it’s safe to re-enter.