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What is Your Library’s Disaster Readiness Culture (DRC) Score?

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

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

  1. 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.
  2. Our core online resources are housed on servers with emergency backup power.
  3. We have a response station that includes items such as flashlights, first aid kit, bullhorn, plastic, and a battery operated radio.
  4. We practice situation awareness reporting (What, When, and Where) before, during, and after any kind of service disruption.
  5. We practice 72-hour home preparedness.
  6. 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.
  7. We conduct at least two tabletop exercises per year. (One for planned and one for unplanned events.)
  8. We conduct after-action reviews within 14 days of a service disruption.
  9. We have a one-page service continuity plan that is updated at least twice per year.
  10. We have a Mutual Aid Agreement with other libraries to assist us in the delivery of core services if ours are compromised.
  11. 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.
  12. We have worked with local law enforcement to determine best practices for sheltering-in-place and for responding to unplanned emergency situations.

Planning for Service Continuity During a Pandemic

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

This would be a good time to review your pandemic planning procedures and perform a table-top drill.  For instance, are you ready to continue access to your resources and core services if your library is closed for, say, one week?  Click on the link below to view  a table from the University of Virginia’s Health Sciences Library’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan detailing the assignment of responsibilities in the event of a pandemic.  Feel free to borrow.

Pandemic Planning Responsibilities

Also, if you would like more information on the interlibrary loan backup plan developed by the University of Virginia Health Sciences Library and the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill, please see the article in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association.

Great meeting with SCR

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

On Monday of this week, we met with NN/LM staff at the South Central Region’s office at the Houston Academy of Medicine at the Texas Medical Center.  Michelle Malizia, Associate Director, and her capable staff made the meeting a big success.  Also attending were SCR’s state coordinators for emergency preparedness (see photo below). 

Following an outstanding breakfast, the group introduced themselves and then heard an update from Dan about the progress of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Project since last year when we visited Houston.  The remainder of the morning session contained the “train the trainer” session for the group about teaching the “10 Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning.”  The afternoon session consisted of a lively discussion of other issues to be addressed during this year, with many helpful comments and suggestions from SCR staff as well as the state coordinators.

We enjoyed seeing the SCR staff as well as all the state coordinators and hearing about activities in their region.  They maintain their close-knit network of information and support within the region, which is reinforced by the relative frequency of emergencies in the region due to hurricanes.

SCR Train the Trainer session

SCR Train the Trainer session