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OPAL (One Page All Libraries) Podcast Available

On March 25th [New Jersey] State Librarian Mary Chute’s podcast discussion focused on One Page All Libraries (OPAL), a service continuity plan for libraries that helps you get your services up and running again, as quickly as possible, after a disaster. Mary was joined by Michele Stricker, NJSL’s Associate Director of Library Support Services, along with special guest, Dan Wilson, Coordinator for the National Network Libraries of Medicine Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative.

Click on the image above for the podcast.

Severe Weather Sample Situation Report

Communicating with your staff is essential before a severe weather event .  Here is a sample situation report that you can adapt for your workplace:

Please remember to dial _______ tomorrow morning before heading out to work. If the library is closed, all non-essential staff should not report to work. Essential staff will communicate with ________, who will be communicating with ____________.

Due to the many uncertainties of this storm, it’s hard to tell at this time what conditions will be like during the morning commute. Most of the forecasts I’ve seen show snow throughout the day, so even if we can open the library we may be in an early closing scenario. However, we’ll have to let it play out and make adjustments along the way.

The Service Continuity Team (SCT) and essential services staff are now on stand-by. Essential services staff from the standpoint of staffing the library and the SCT from the standpoint of keeping our core services available from their homes. Since there is the potential for power outages, _____ will coordinate the SCT.  If you are on the SCT and you lose power during business hours, please contact _____. ______ will then notify a backup, if one is available.

________ will be handling messages on the library’s website, and will be in communication with ___________ who will be handling social media.

Questions?  Please let me know.

Report of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Summit in Charlottesville, VA

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
Charlottesville, Virginia

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

Panelists (left to right): Charles Werner, Stacey Arnesen, Kirby Felts, Nick Drauschack, Sammy Chao, Ryan McCay, John Halliday, Director, Jefferson Madison Regional Library, at the podium

Panelists (left to right): Charles Werner, Stacey Arnesen, Kirby Felts, Nick Drauschack, Sammy Chao, Ryan McCay, John Halliday, Director, Jefferson Madison Regional Library, at the podium

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.

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Diary of a Winter Storm at the UVA Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

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.

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