Hurricane Sandy: Time for East Coast Libraries to Activate Service Continuity Plans

All libraries along the East Coast should be preparing for the possible arrival of Hurricane Sandy.  Activities should include the following:

  1. Ensure that contact information is current for all staff involved with service continuity.
  2. Check your service continuity plan for needed updates.  For example, have any passwords changed on any of your communication tools?
  3. Ensure that a ready supply of sheet plastic and water absorbent materials are available.

Rainfall potential

Surviving an Active Shooter Video

Here’s an excellent video from the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security called RUN>>HIDE>>FIGHT Surviving and Active Shooter Event.  Before sharing it with a wide audience in your institution, you may want to first run it by your security office.  Also, some scenes are rather intense.

 

NN/LM Washington DC Power Outage Summit

NN/LM Washington DC Power Outage Summit

September 5, 2012

9:00am – 4:30pm

Library of Congress/James Madison Building/Mumford Room

Please join us for a morning of speakers and discussion about the impact of a power outage on library services and collections and the roles libraries and librarians can play in their communities or institutions in response to a major power outage. The afternoon sessions will feature a workshop on building your library’s readiness and a disaster information specialization certificate class.

Agenda

9:00-9:10 Dan Wilson, Coordinator, NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative
9:10-9:35 Sonya Williams, Risk Manager, DC Public Libraries/Markus Rauschecker, Continuity Planner, Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency
9:35-10:00 Michael Salmons, Director of Emergency Management in the Office of Security, Library of Congress
10:00-10:25 Andrew Robb, Preservation Department, Library of Congress
10:30-10:55 Pete Pedersen, Pepco (Potomac Electric Power Company)
10:55-11:05 Break
11:05-11:20 Cindy Love, Disaster Information Management Research Center (DMIRC), National Library of Medicine
11:20-12:00 Sue Taylor, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD)/ Lisa McGee, American Red Cross
12:00-12:30 Panel Discussion
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-4:30 Class: Information Roles in Disaster Management
Workshop: Improving Your Library’s Readiness

There is no charge to attend the morning or afternoon sessions. Seating is limited.  Please register at: http://nnlm.gov/sea/training/register.html.  Use the dropdown menu on the form to register for the Summit and, if you wish, then use the back arrow on your browser to register for either the Information Roles in Disaster Management class or the Improving Your Library’s Readiness workshop.

Contact Dan Wilson (danwilson@virginia.edu) for further information.

Speakers/Facilitators from:

National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM)
Pepco (unless they are in emergency operation mode)
District of Columbia Public Library
Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA)
Library of Congress (Preservation Directorate and Office of Security & Emergency Preparedness)
National Library of Medicine’s Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC)
National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)
American Red Cross

Sponsors: NN/LM, Library of Congress, FEDLINK            

Click on this URL to view the morning presentations: http://login.icohere.com/FEDLINK?pnum=PSI32124 (name and email required)

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the University of Maryland Baltimore.

New Funding Opportunity: NLM Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects 2012

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) announces a funding opportunity for small projects to improve access to disaster medicine and public health information for health care professionals, first responders and others that play a role in health-related disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

NLM is soliciting proposals from partnerships that include at least one library and at least one non-library organization that has disaster-related responsibilities, such as health departments, public safety departments, emergency management departments, prehospital and emergency medical services, fire/rescue, or other local, regional, or state agencies with disaster health responsibilities; hospitals; faith-based and voluntary organizations active in disaster; and others.

NLM encourages submission of innovative proposals that enhance mutually beneficial collaboration among libraries and disaster-related agencies. For example, projects may increase awareness of health information resources, demonstrate how libraries and librarians can assist planners and responders with disaster-related information needs, show ways in which disaster workers can educate librarians about disaster management, and/or include collaboration among partners in developing information resources that support planning and response to public health emergencies.  Summaries of the seven projects  funded for 2011-2012 can be viewed at http://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/2011disasteroutreachawards.html.

Contract awards will be offered for a minimum of $15,000 to a maximum of $30,000 each for a one-year project.

The deadline for proposals is Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 2 pm ET. Proposals are limited to six pages plus supplemental materials such as resumes, letters of support, and a budget.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for this requirement has been split into two solicitations; one Partial Small Business Set-Aside (RFP No.: NIHLM2012411) and; one Full and Open (RFP No.: NIHLM2012412). The solicitation notices are on FedBizOpps.gov as follows:

Partial Small Business Set-Aside  https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=ad2bb9b6b067a1b0cb704070dbcc4f13&tab=core&_cview=0

Full and Open  https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=9d9f0974ab8150e88e20ef5a1fdce4b3&tab=core&_cview=0

For more information and instructions about the “Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project 2012”, please visit http://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/2012disasteroutreachrfp.html .

The National Library of Medicine (http://www.nlm.nih.gov) is the world’s largest biomedical library and provides extensive online health information resources. Visit the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center site (http://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov ) to learn more about disaster-related health information from WISER (hazardous materials information for emergency responders), REMM-Radiation Emergency Medical Management, CHEMM-Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management, and other resources.

A Report of the DC SLA Military Librarians Program: Disaster Response – How Information Professionals Can Help

Elizabeth Norton, Dan Wilson, and Siobhan Champ-Blackwell

The DC SLA Military Librarians sponsored a program on disaster preparedness and response yesterday evening in the beautiful Charles Sumner School, Museum & Archives, in downtown Washington, DC.  Speakers included Elizabeth Norton, NLM Disaster Information Management & Research Center, Dan Wilson, Coordinator of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, and Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Librarian, Aquilent, Inc, at NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center.

Ms. Norton kicked off the program with a presentation about the objectives of the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), which include 1) organize and provide access to disaster health literature and resources, 2) develop emergency response tools, 3) conduct outreach and develop partnerships, including the support of disaster information specialists, and 4) conduct health IT research and development.  She spoke of NLMs disaster-related topics pages and the Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, and covered free disaster tools, such as WISER, CHEMM, REMM, and TOXNET.  She ended her presentation with a description of the NLM/MLA Disaster Information Specialization program and courses.  Question: What are your priorities of new tools going forward?  Answer: Looking at providing CHEMM within WISER and integrating the updated 2012 Emergency Response Guide.  In addition, we’d like to keep up with apps development.  Question: Is there a topics page for mental health?  Answer: Not yet, but is on the list. (Person asking the question offered to help develop the page.)  Question: How are you getting information out to the emergency management community?  Answer: We exhibit at their conferences. (Person asking the question offered to help push out the information.)

Mr. Wilson introduced the audience to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) and provided a background to the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan, which was activated in January 2008.  Following the background information, he spoke about the NN/LM EP&R Tookit, the one-page service continuity plan, the 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning training program, and the newly created 15 Elements of a Library at a High State of Readiness.  He then talked about an outreach project with the Library of Virginia and spoke about the importance of getting at least two of the following elements for successful outcomes: 1) a strong network, 2) a motivated audience, and 3) a shared geography.  Mr. Wilson ended his presentation talking about the NN/LM summit meetings in Miami and San Francisco.  Question: What are your plans for the future?  Answer: Create a training program around the 15 Elements of a Library at a High State of Readiness and develop an NN/LM Tornado Summit.  Question: Talk a little more about how much training you’ve done with the 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning and the type of response you have been getting.  Answer: The training program has been rolled out in all eight regions of NN/LM.  Training can be done by me, staff at NN/LM, or self-paced virtually.  (Most of the training is now being done by NN/LM staff.)  Response has been very positive from class participants.

Ms. Champ-Blackwell highlighted communication tools used by DIMRC, including their listserv, Twitter feed, and monthly teleconferences.  She then spoke about how NLM uses Hootsuite to manage their tweets.  She then spoke on “apps” and mobile optimized websites.  In addition, she explained what a native app is and briefly talked about the importance of gaining awareness about the different mobile platforms and operating systems.  Finally, she promoted the NLM Gallery of Mobile Apps and Sites (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mobile/index.html).  Question: You do a great job tweeting.  Is it from experience?  Do you have guidelines?  Answer: It’s a team effort.  First of all, we have a list of over 100 resources that we follow our twitter streams.  We push out NLM resources two times a day.  On Hootsuite you can schedule when your tweets go out, which I sometimes do while commuting to work on the bus.  We developed a spreadsheet of every page on the DIMRC site that we have linked to and we use go.usa.gov to shorten the URLs.  All of June’s two tweets per day are already scheduled.  We then focus time of doing the social part: the re-tweeting, and the thanks for tweeting our stuff.  Question: Where do you see Twitter two years from now?  How do you archive tweets?  Answer:  That’s a tough question and one that I’m working on, including exploring Twitter API.  Question: Some of us are not allowed to access Twitter or Facebook.  Any suggestions?  Participant response: We just got an exception.  It’s worth a try. Answer:  Develop a plan to present to your supervisors with a list of who you will follow, how you will use the account. I’ll share a list of approved DIMRC sources on the Disaster Outreach listserv that can be used to try to get exceptions.  Question: Following a disaster, if you see tweets from non-approved sources, can you do original reporting via Twitter?  Answer: Our job at NLM is to support other libraries who would like to send reports of resources during and following disasters.

Library of Virginia Partnership

This morning I presented with Cindy Church at the Virginia Library Association Paraprofessional Forum.  Cindy, Continuing Education Consultant at the Library of Virginia (LoV), has been working with us since the summer of 2010 when we needed a strong network to sponsor an EP&R conference we were planning for the state of Virginia.  Partnering with Cindy and the LoV afforded us the five elements below, which proved to be a major factor in the successful completion of our project.  If you work with outreach programs, it might behoove you to consider partnering with you state library.

  1. Marketing
  2. Cultural awareness
  3. Communications
  4. Registration
  5. Logistics

Cindy Church and Dan Wilson. Photo by Susan Yowell

 

Eccles Health Sciences Library and the Great Utah ShakeOut

Claire Hamasu, Associate Director, NN/LM MidContinental Region, shares her experiences during the Great Utah Shakeout drill, which lasted three days, from April 17th to 19th.  This is a great example of the value of incorporating drills into your emergency planning strategy.

On a cool, rainy, overcast morning among good natured grumbling about “why couldn’t we choose a different day to have an earthquake”  the Great Utah ShakeOut  shook the Eccles Health Sciences Library. The Great Utah ShakeOut  (http://www.shakeout.org/utah/) was an earthquake drill that tested the state’s emergency response systems and, for the responders, lasted three days, April 17-19, 2012. For those of us in the library it lasted 45 minutes, from the time the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit at 10:15 am till we returned from the evacuation area at 11 am. The whole university participated, even construction workers building the new pharmacy building. In the health sciences center, only hospital employees providing direct patient care were exempt.

The official communication via text announcing the start of the drill didn’t reach everyone. There were library employees who did receive the message and communicated with others to “duck, cover and hold on.” As I was “cowering” under my desk, I used my cell phone to alert my designated contact in the RML to initiate the RML’s emergency plan. I let her know that we had just had an earthquake, I wasn’t able to provide the status of the rest of the staff, and the library would soon be evacuating.  The contact notified  the rest of the MCR staff about the drill in Utah. RML staff went through the pretend process of putting Eccles Health Sciences DOCLINE on hold and adding details to our emergency template message to go out on communication channels.

Library staff merged into the parade of colorful umbrellas walking to the designated evaluation area. I located the individuals reporting to me, noting that everyone had made it out of the library safely. I tried calling my contact to give her an update, but she couldn’t hear me. I sent her an email and later learned her computer was down so she didn’t receive the message.  

Some things we learned in the library. We needed to reinstitute a staff reporting system. People didn’t know who to notify that they had made it out safely. We have a collection of emergency reference books on a book truck. The triage location was set up down the road and a book truck is not a viable way to get the resources to the health care providers. We need a container that is totally enclosed and on wheels. The emergency contacts for libraries and museum meeting location needed to more centralized and closer to the emergency command center. If transportation and communication was down, this would reduce the distances people would have to walk and the environmental dangers they would encounter in order to produce a status report on the libraries and museums.

The RML reviews its emergency plan annually. Despite this regular review we discovered that much had changed with our communication tools. We need to revise how we use them, incorporating the new communications we now employ.  We also need to verify that staff is receiving messages from the disaster site.

Utah is overdue for its next big earthquake that happens every 30 years. Drills like this will ensure that we’re better prepared.

Claire Hamasu, Associate Director

NN/LM MidContinental Region

University of Utah Eccles Health Sciences Library