EP&R Summit in Hampton, VA

IMG_2119-001On Wednesday, December 11th, approximately 20 librarians gathered with the Coordinator of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, and two Tidewater Area emergency planners at the Hampton Public Library.  Most of the librarians were affiliated with the Hampton Public Library; however, other libraries in the Tidewater Area of Virginia were present.

Following Dan Wilson’s presentation of the accomplishments and activities of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, Sara Ruch, Deputy Coordinator, Emergency Management Office, City of Hampton, spoke about the ways her office has partnered in the past with the Hampton Public Library, particularly with preparedness activities.  She encouraged attendees to contact their local Emergency Management Office to start a partnership.  She was certain that any outreach effort would be very welcomed.

Teresa Winstanley, Coordinator/Program Manager for the Peninsula Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), finished the program with an overview of the mission of the MRC and the many ways that they use non-medical volunteers.  She also encouraged attendees to reach out to the MRC in their areas and become a volunteer.

Hampton Speakers

Teresa Winstanley, Dan Wilson, Sarah Ruch

All attendees were given the template for the one page disaster plan created by the Lodi Public Library in Lodi, New Jersey.  The Lodi plan was created using the NN/LM One Page Service Continuity plan adapted from the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) pocket response plan.

NN/LM and the Virginia State Library are exploring the possibility of returning to the Tidewater Area this spring to offer advanced training.

Comments from Attendees:

Thank you so much for your presentation.  The one page plan in particular I think will be useful as we look at updating our current behemoth of an emergency plan as well as look for ways to coordinate better with other City Departments.

Just the FAQs, Ma’am

Especially if you’re new to this site, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page (see top or side menu).  We’ve tried to answer questions that will help you find what you’re looking for on the site and to know whom to contact for help or more information about emergency preparedness/response and service continuity.  Do you have a question that isn’t answered in the FAQs?  Just send it along to Susan Yowell (syowell@virginia.edu) or Dan Wilson (danwilson@virginia.edu) and we will do our best to answer it.

New TTE Page

What is a TTE, you ask?  TTE is the acronym for a key piece of emergency management and planning, the Table-Top Exercise.  Over the past three years, we’ve used various TTEs in our training with NN/LM members and other groups, and they are always motivating and effective.  They place people in roles in an emergency scenario and generate some very interesting and productive insights.  Check our new “Table-Top Exercises” page (or see the top menu) for more information about TTEs and for two exercises we’ve written to help get you started.

Great Opportunity

The severe winter storm that affected (and still affecting) the Midwest, South, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, gave libraries in these regions a great opportunity to activate their service continuity plans. If you don’t have a plan, this is a good time to prepare for the next major service disruption. (Resources to help you can be found on our Writing Your Disaster Plan page.) If you did have a plan, how did it go? Would you change anything? If so, this is a good time to make those changes.

Here is a NOAA satellite view of the winter storm. Note the similarities of a hurricane. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Planning not to be a victim

Ready.gov has developed some great tools to assist us with our own personal preparedness measures.  Completing their suggested plans will go a long way toward preventing us, our families, and even our pets from becoming victims who need rescuing rather than people who are prepared to deal with an emergency and provide help to others, whether it’s our neighbors or our work place and patrons who need help.

Especially check out the “My Family Emergency Plan.”  Clicking on the “Go” link there pulls up a sequential form you can fill out and which will result in a PDF document you can download and/or print for your family.  (My only problem with it is that there is enough room for only two pets, and I will have to add our third dog and our four horses as my children, which is perfectly fitting given the lives they lead.)  At the end of the emergency plan is the opportunity to print out emergency cards for family members to carry.  Very cool tools!

SE/A EP&R Committee Meets in Tampa

The Emergency Preparedness & Response Committee for the Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A) of NN/LM met at the Embassy Suites near the University of South Florida, in Tampa, FL on July 14, amongst live oak trees with Spanish moss and crepe myrtle trees in full bloom–a Southern summer in full swing!  To see the State Coordinators, check out the picture in the Photo Gallery (not pictured–the West Virginia Coordinator).  In addition to the Region’s State Coordinators for emergency preparedness, the SE/A RML was represented by Executive Director Janice Kelly and Network Coordinator and Emergency Preparedness & Response Coordinator Beth Wescott.  During the morning session, the group heard an overview and updates on the past year’s progress of the NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan from Dan Wilson, Coordinator of the National plan.  Following Dan’s presentation, all state coordinators reported on the status of preparedness in their areas, which had all been fortunate during the past year, having escaped major damage or service disruption from hurricanes or tornadoes, two of the highest risks for the region.  Following the state reports from Maryland, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Puerto Rico, all the state coordinators participated in the “train the trainer” session for the “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” for health sciences libraries and information centers, providing some excellent feedback on the new curriculum materials.  SE/A representatives scored high, almost across the board, in the risk assessment exercise, due to the number of weather-related risks as well as port cities, and chemical and nuclear facilities. 

During and after lunch, Dan facilitated a discussion about issues to be addressed in the region such as methods of communication, “buddy library” relationships, and the roles of the RML and the state coordinators.   The consensus was that the group is well-positioned for continued progress with regard to promoting emergency preparedness in the states and across the region, and plans are underway for hosting and teaching classes and representing the initative within local and regional groups.

Advancing the Standard for Service Continuity

Recently, Dan has made two presentations, as an invited speaker, that featured the importance of service continuity planning for libraries, and in both cases he used the scenario of social distancing in response to the H1N1 influenza virus (see info from the CDC) as a basis.  Some experts are warning that H1N1 may re-surge in the northern hemisphere early this fall, well before the tradional flu season, so it’s important that we remain aware of the potential risks from a more widespread epidemic than we have seen so far, and that we keep the banner of service continuity moving forward.

On July 9, Dan addressed the monthly conference call hosted by NLM’s Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), giving an overview of this year’s activities of the NN/LM’s emergency preparedness initiative, and featuring the Hospital Librarians Summit which was held in Chicago in April (click here to see the posting about this).  Other highlights of this year have been conducting training meetings with NN/LM staff and state coordinators in the PNR, SCR, GMR, PSR and SE/A regions, enhancing the Toolkit, and developing promotional materials.  Several participants on the call confirmed that the training has been very effective so far, and “buy-in” from NN/LM members has been excellent.

On July 17, Dan addressed the annual Interlibrary Loan Forum of the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) at Sweet Briar College in Lynchburg, VA.  Working from the NN/LM’s emergency preparedness plan, which emphasizes service continuity, especially for Interlibrary Loan services, Dan presented the procedures that have been established through a partnership between the Health Sciences Libraries at the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for providing back-up ILL services for each other in an emergency, and which are transparent to library users.  While the audience represented all types of academic libraries in Virginia, it included several who are NN/LM members.  Click ILL Backup Plan VIVA to see Dan’s slides from the VIVA Forum.

If you would like more information about the ILL backup plan between the two libraries or about training for service continuity, please contact one of us (see the “About Us” tab at the top of the page).