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Archive for the ‘Disaster / Emergency Preparedness’ Category

We Like to Share the News about Your Achievements

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

  • Have you published an article recently?
  • Have you received an award?
  • Are you presenting at MLA?

We’d love to hear what you’re doing. Then we’ll share your news in our MAR weekly postings.                       Send your announcements to

Hurricane Preparedness Information

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

National Hurricane Preparedness Weekhighlights the importance of planning ahead to protect our families, homes and communities in advance of the upcoming hurricane season.

Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and extends through Nov. 30. Hurricanes are powerful storms that can cause severe coastal and inland flooding, dangerous storm surges, high winds, tornadoes and heavy rainfall. Their effects can be devastating to entire communities and can have long-lasting consequences, including loss of life and property.

FEMA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommend using social media tools as a way to promote National Hurricane Preparedness.

To do so, be sure to download the Digital Engagement Toolkit for 2014 National Hurricane Preparedness Week:

Here are some additional resources to help promote hurricane preparedness:

@Readygov                 @PrepareAthon

@FEMA                        @Citizen_Corps

@NHC_Pacific             @NOAA

@NHC_Atlantic            @NWS

Disaster Research Response Workshop: Enabling Public Health Research During Disasters

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

A Disaster Research Response Workshop: Enabling Public Health Research During Disasters will be held June 12-13, 2014 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, MD. For details, agenda, and free registration, see

This workshop will examine strategies and partnerships for methodologically and ethically sound public health and medical research during future emergencies. Discussions will include  issues with obtaining informed consent, obtaining approval from Institutional Review Boards, coordinating research efforts with emergency response, and ensuring timely collection of data.

The workshop is a collaboration of the NIH Disaster Research Response Project, the IOM Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The NIH Disaster Research Response Project [] is a pilot project led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), aimed at developing ready-to-go research data collection tools and a network of trained research responders.

The project’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for researchers to begin collecting health and other data following a major disaster. The focus is on data collection tools and protocols, the creation of networks of health experts also trained as research responders, and integration of the effort into federal response plans for future disasters. Although initially focused on environmental health issues, the hope is this project will be a model for timely collection of data supporting a range of medical and public health research.

As part of this project, NIEHS recently held a tabletop exercise in Long Beach, CA to test how a “research response” might work and what would be expected of researchers choosing to be trained research responders, i.e. first on the scene to begin collecting data once it is safe and reasonable to do so. The article “Tsunami exercise helps prepare research community for disaster response” [] describes the exercise and there’s also a video,

Disaster Lit: the Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (from NLM) now includes records for research tools, such as online surveys and interview scripts, to aid researchers in quickly selecting appropriate measures,


Submitted by Cindy Love

Disaster Information Management Research Center

Specialized Information Services Division

National Library of Medicine

National Institutes of Health

Bethesda, MD 20892-5467

Riding the Mobile Wave: Use of Social Media and mHealth Tools in Local Health Departments

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

WHAT:  Disaster Information Specialists Program monthly conference call/webinar

WHEN:  Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 1:30 PM ET

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE:  The Disaster Information Specialist monthly meeting is open to everyone – please spread the word and invite others in your organizations, send to your email lists, and post to your social media accounts.

TOPIC:    Riding the Mobile Wave: Use of Social Media and mHealth Tools in Local Health Departments


Many local health departments are not fully using social media and mobile health (mHealth) tools due to lack of resources and support. Sara Rubin, senior program analyst at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), will talk about a study conducted by NACCHO and the UPMC Center for Health Security that identified the organizational factors local health departments need to support their use of these tools in preparedness and response activities. Andrew Roszak, Senior Director for Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness and Catastrophic Response at NACCHO, will then share some other recent NACCHO initiatives, including the radiation emergency projects in several jurisdictions.  Will be of great interest to librarians who work with their local health departments or who are looking for ways to become more involved!

LOGIN:   To join the meeting at 1:30 pm ET, Thursday, June 12, click on

Enter your name in the guest box and click “Enter Room”.

A box should pop up asking for your phone number.

Enter your phone number and the system will call you.

For those who cannot use this call-back feature, the dial-in information is:

Dial-In:  1-888-757-2790

Pass-Code: 745907


If you have never attended an Adobe Connect Pro meeting before:

Test your connection:

Get a quick overview:

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat and Acrobat Connect are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.


Or, if you are in the area you can attend the meeting in person at our offices at 6707 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD, Suite 440. Park in the visitor’s parking lot (we will validate your parking), walk to the middle building (Democracy Two) and take the elevator to the 4th floor. Suite 440 is around the corner behind the elevators.

MORE INFORMATION:  For more information on this and past meetings, see

Hope you can join us!

Norton, MLS, MPH, MBA

Disaster Information Management Research Center

Specialized Information Services Division

National Library of Medicine

6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 510

Bethesda, MD 20892-5467

MAR Announces a New Array of Classes

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

As of May 1st, we started the 4th year of our contract. We have updated our LibGuide with details for all of the classes we can potentially offer for the year. You will see classes arranged using many of the same audience groups found on our MAR website:

You will find classes for the following audiences and subject areas:

Many classes are listed under multiple subjects, depending on the content.             Here is our current Course Schedule. If your organization is interested in having MAR offer a particular class, please email us at

50th Anniversary of the Regional Medical Library Program

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

A fun Friday afternoon post (with video clip) about the Regional Medical Programs on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the legislation:

There’s also a great article about the history of the RML: PMID 3315058 (free).

Recordings of the NLM Theater Presentations at MLA 2014

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

New Web Site for NLM TOXMAP

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Specialized Information Services (SIS) has released a new TOXMAP Web site. It is accessible at

NN/LM Request for Information

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

In preparation for a revised Statement of Work for the 2016-2021 Regional Medical Library (RML) program, the National Library of Medicine is soliciting feedback from our Network members regarding effective approaches on how NN/LM programs can achieve the mission of providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improve the public’s access to health information.

Health sciences and public libraries, health professionals, public health workers, community organizations, the general public, and other interested individuals and entities, are encouraged to submit information and recommendations.

Here is the URL detailing this Request for Information (RFI):         

The closing date to submit your feedback is June 26 at 3 pm (ET). Please consider offering your input, as well as forwarding this opportunity broadly to interested parties.

Renae Barger, Executive Director

National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR)

Health Sciences Library System

University of Pittsburgh

3550 Terrace Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15261

A River Runs Through It: 3 Lessons from the West Virginia Water Emergency

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

May 12, 2014

Mark Crafton, MPA, MT(ASCP)
Executive Director, Communications and External Relations

Last month, Joint Commission staff had the privilege of meeting with seven West Virginia hospitals to discuss how they handled the week-long water emergency resulting from the chemical spill in the Elk River – the primary water source for not only Charleston but the surrounding eight-county area.  The purpose of the meeting, coordinated by my friend and colleague Jim Kranz at the West Virginia Hospital Association, was to identify lessons learned that might help hospitals faced with a similar emergency in the future.  Another goal was to assess which Joint Commission standards were particularly helpful at preparing the hospitals to deal with the loss of water for consumption, equipment sterilization, laundry and dialysis, as well as which standards might need to be modified to better prepare organizations for such an event.  This entry describes some of the important themes from that disaster debriefing.

Lesson 1:  Hospitals should not only plan for emergencies that might directly impact their immediate area, but also consider emergencies that may impact their suppliers of critical services located in adjacent communities.  A couple of the hospitals at the debriefing were not under the “do not use” water directive because they received their water from a different supplier.  However, those hospitals were still impacted because their supplier of laundry services was within the impacted area.  Thus, the hospitals needed to quickly make alternate plans to ensure their supply of clean linen continued uninterrupted.  This concept of considering the impact of potential emergencies on contracted service providers adds a level of complexity to an organization’s Hazard Vulnerability Analysis, but the work is worth it, based upon the recent experience in West Virginia.

Lesson 2:  People will always gravitate to the local hospital during a community crisis.  During the onset of the water emergency, state and local public health agencies sent non-stop messages through the media, telling the community where to go (e.g., schools, churches, shopping centers) to obtain water for drinking and cooking.  Hospitals reinforced this message on their websites and through social media.  However, people still showed up at their local hospital, assuming that water would be available for distribution.  We have observed this phenomenon in virtually every disaster debriefing.  Whether it was a hurricane, power outage, tornado or act of terrorism, when in need, people will follow the blue “H” sign looking for warmth, shelter, food, electricity or in this case, water.  Disaster plans need to reflect this inevitability.

Lesson 3:  Improvisational skills are mandatory during an emergency.  For the most part, hospitals were able to quickly obtain water from various public and private sources.  However, the challenge came when trying to figure out how to get water from a tanker truck, into their piping system, and up to patient care areas throughout the hospital.  Building engineers and facility managers at the hospitals demonstrated incredible ingenuity, creativity and innovation in crafting together delivery systems that would get water to where it was needed, with sufficient pressure to operate various types of medical equipment.  In one instance, a hospital teamed up with its dialysis provider and the local fire department to pressurize the system so that patient care could continue uninterrupted.  This type of problem-solving under duress is a unique characteristic that exemplifies organizations that are able to weather the storm during any emergency.  High reliability experts would call this “organizational resiliency.”  Whatever you call it, they have it in West Virginia, and we need to figure out how to bottle it and spread it to other health care organizations.

Patricia Reynolds

Director, Bishopric Medical Library

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1700 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota FL 34239


941-917-1646 – fax