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.

Preparedness in the PNR

Many thanks to Gail Kouame, Consumer Health Coordinator and lead Emergency Preparedness person for the Pacific Northwest Region (PNR) of NN/LM for the updates about what’s going on there in terms of promoting the NN/LM plan!

  • PNR had developed an Emergency Preparedness page on the region’s NN/LM site some time ago, (located at http://nnlm.gov/pnr/services/emergency_preparedness.html.) It is still being updated, and has worked well for their region, while being adapted by others as well.
  • Gail attended the “Connecting to Collections” conference for Washington State recently. It is a grant- funded initiative that includes collaborative disaster planning among cultural institutions (libraries, museums, tribal centers, etc.) Gail says she was the only medical librarian in the room, so we are happy to have been so well-represented!
  • institutions in Alaska and Oregon are also applying for funding to organize similar initiatives
  • Gail convened a meeting of 4 of the region’s 5 state coordinators in the EP&RP on October 22, 2008 as their “kick off” meeting. This meeting followed a teleconference earlier in the year.
  • the state coordinators have devised a “talking points” list for use in promoting the plan in their states (contact Gail for more info if you’re interested)
  • Gail provided each of the state coordinators with one of the Salvage Wheels from Heritage Preservation (see the “Ready Reference” page on the toolkit), and made sure they knew how to order more if needed
  • all the states in PNR are signed up for the MLA webcast on November 12, “Survival Tips and Stories,” and there are plans to purchase DVDs for future use within the states. The host sites are also planning to build in some discussion time around the webcast.
  • state coordinators will begin doing phone consultations about the plan soon, using the talking points developed by the group
  • Gail will be creating an emergency preparedness “column” in the region’s newsletter, Dragonfly, featuring “guest bloggers” recruited from her state coordinators’ group
  • Gail will re-convene the state coordinators in February to follow-up and assess progress

Great work, Gail and PNR state coordinators!