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Archive for the ‘Emergency Preparedness’ Category

Hurricane Isaac and Google Crisis Response

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Image of Hurricane Issace Approaching Louisiana

With Hurricane Isaac expected to make landfall in the Louisiana area Wednesday morning, the Gulf Coast community is already preparing for the anticipated wind, rain, and possible rising waters. Google Crisis Response is a new website from Google that provides access to important information in the event of emergencies. A global tool, Google Crisis Responses brings together information from participating organizations and existing data to provide up to the minute information and updates for those in need and those responding to crisis events. The Crisis Map combines data and provides a map view of areas that are in danger. All in all, Google Crisis Response is a site supported by ““staff engineers, product managers, and partnership professionals who are dedicated to working on efforts that focus on making critical information more accessible during natural disasters”. Look to Google Crisis Response as an online tool in the event of future emergencies.

According to the Google Blog from the Hurricane Isaac Crisis Map you will be able to find emergency preparedness information, including:

  • Isaac’s current location and projected path, courtesy of the NOAA-National Hurricane Center;
  • Weather updates and data, including radar and cloud imagery from and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory;
  • Evacuation information and routes;
  • Shelter and recovery centers locations;
  • Storm-related YouTube videos, including many curated by Storyful.

WISER App Update

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Image of the WISER App from the iPad

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced an update for the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) app. WISER for iOS 3.0 adds native support for the iPad in addition to support for the iPhone and iPod touch. This update also features some improved graphics and provides iPads with access to many WISER features including WISER’s protective distance mapping feature.

Check out what’s new in this release:

WISER for iOS 3.0 can be downloaded and installed directly from the Apple App Store:

The NLM also announced that additional updates for WISER are coming soon, including the following:

  • Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) integration (
  • Updates to WISER’s Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) content to the newly released 2012 edition.
  • WISER for Android 3.0, which adds Help Identify Chemical and protective distance mapping to this popular platform.

Update on Disaster Information Specialization from MLA

Thursday, June 28th, 2012


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is funding a series of continuing education courses with the Medical Library Association (MLA). These courses may be used to lead to a Basic or Advanced certificate, “Disaster Information Specialization,” which will be available from MLA for completion of courses and other activities focused on the information aspects of disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Three courses were taught the week of May 19 in-person at MLA in Seattle and are now (or will be) available online. These three courses, plus an additional two online courses from FEMA, meet the requirements for a Basic-level certificate.

• Disaster Information Sources: The Basics

• Information Roles in Disaster Management

• US Response to Disasters and Public Health Emergencies

Additional enrichment courses are being developed and their CE contact hours may be used toward the requirements for the Advanced-level certificate.

• Disaster Situations in an International Context

• A Seat at the Table: A Step-by-Step Approach to Working with Local Responders

• Ethical and Legal Aspects of Disaster Response

Most of these courses will be offered June-August in a classroom setting or online at no cost. Please see the following links for more information. If you have any questions about the planning of the Disaster Information Specialization program, please contact Kathleen Combs, Director, Professional Development, MLA at 312-419-9094 x29 or

CLASSROOM COURSES, schedule/info/how to register, Also scroll down for more about the specialization.

ONLINE LIVE, June 27-28, US Response to Disasters and Public Health Emergencies, info at

ONLINE LIVE, July 18-19, Information Roles in Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery, link available soon.

ONLINE LIVE, Aug 23-24, Ethical and Legal Aspects of Disaster Response, link available soon.

ONLINE LIVE, Aug 29-30, A Seat at the Table:  Approach to Working with Local Responders, link available soon.

ONLINE LIVE, Disaster Situations in an International Context, date and link available soon.

ONLINE ARCHIVED, Disaster Information Sources: The Basics, course available at

2012 Hurricane Season is Here

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Once againsatellite image of Hurricane Katrina, hurricane season has begun. The official season for the Atlantic begins June 1 and ends November 30. The season for the Eastern Pacific begins slightly earlier on May 15, but also ends on November 30. At this time, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) predicts a “near normal 2012 hurricane season.” For the entire six-month season, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there’s a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms, of which four to eight will strengthen to a hurricane and of those one to three will become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4 or 5). Based on the period 1981-2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Regardless of the predictions, families, communities, and businesses are encouraged to prepare for a potential hurricane. Several organizations offer online resources to assist with these preparations. Some include widgets which can be used on library or other organizational websites to quickly link to valuable information.

Take the necessary steps now to prepare yourself, your home, your family, and your workplace for a potential hurricane BEFORE it happens!

National Severe Storm Preparedness Week April 22-28, 2012

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week poster

Tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, thunderstorms — folks in the South Central Region are familiar with severe weather!

The first-ever National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is this week, April 22 – 28, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have partnered together to raise awareness and save lives.

Last year during this week, storms raked the central and southern United States, spawning more than 300 tornadoes, claiming hundreds of lives and ranking as one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history. As the nation marks the first anniversary of that historic outbreak, from April 22-28 people across the country are encouraged to “Be a Force of Nature” by knowing the risk, taking action and being an example.

As part of NOAA’s campaign to Build a Weather-Ready Nation, this week is all about what individuals can do to take a stand against severe weather. Being a force of nature means taking appropriate actions before, during and after extreme weather strikes by knowing your risk, having a plan, building a kit and staying informed. It also means being connected to family, friends and neighbors and inspiring them to act.

For more information on how you can participate this week  and increase both your and your community’s preparedness check out

Additional resources can be found at:

March 2012 SCR CONNECTions Recording Available

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

The recording of the March 21 edition of the SCR CONNECTions webinar, “Spring is in the Air: Get Ready with Help From the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center” is now available  in the SCR CONNECTions archives   Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, MSLIS Librarian, Aquilent, Inc., contractor with the National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services Division, Disaster Information Management Research Center was the guest presenter.

MLA CE for 1 hour will be available through April 4 by using the URL at the end of the recording.

Next month’s webinar will take place one week earlier than normal on April 11, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. CT. The topic wil be: “So Your Poster Got Accepted–Now What? Poster Design Tips,”  with guest speaker Tracy Volz, Assistant Director of the Cain Project in Engineering and Professional Communication  at Rice University.  MLA CE will NOT be available for the April SCR CONNECTions.


March 2012 SCR CONNECTions

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Join us Wednesday, March 21, 2012 from 10:30 – 11:30 am (CT) for the NN/LM SCR’s monthly webinar, SCR CONNECTions.

The topic for this month’s webinar will be: “Spring is in the Air: Get Ready with Help From the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center.” This month’s guest presenter will be Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, MSLIS Librarian, Aquilent, Inc., contractor with the National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services Division, Disaster Information Management Research Center.

Webinars are conducted via the Adobe Connect web meeting system. Join the webinar using the following URL:  Once you enter the online meeting room, follow the instructions on the screen to have the system call you on your telephone.

Test your connection before joining with Adobe using the following URL:

This webinar is available for 1 hour of Medical Library Association Continuing Education credit. If you cannot attend the live webinar, it will be recorded and archived for viewing at a later date.



New NLM Web Page: Disaster Apps and Mobile Optimized Web Pages

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

tablet apps The Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) recently launched a new web page titled “Disaster Apps and Mobile Optimized Web Page”: .

This page includes links to various mobile tools and apps that have been selected based upon utility in a disaster or emergency context and which adhere to the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Selection Guidelines for non-NLM resources. The page is organized into three sections based on the type of information provided by the app or web site:

  1.  Disaster Medicine Tools – tools which provide medical or health information that might be useful in preparing for, responding to, or recovering from a disaster or emergency.
  2. Disaster Resources: tools that provide information on resources that may be needed in a disaster (i.e., missing person connections, shelters, safety information).
  3. Hazardous Events: tools providing information on large scale events, including weather events, that might be followed before or during a disaster.

Although NLM cannot link directly to other interesting and potentially useful apps that were developed by individuals and other organizations that do not fall within the NLM Selection Guide, if another library or organization created an external web page containing links to such apps, NLM could link to this summary page. Additionally, more suggestions for tools and apps are welcome.


Resources for Victims of Tropical Storm Washi in the Philippines

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Philippines Storm

The Government of the Philippines is leading a major emergency rescue, evacuation and response operation in southern Philippines following the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Washi, known locally as Sendong.

Read the initial Report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (covering the period of December 16 – 18, 2011):

Several resources are available from the National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Resource Center about the health impacts of flooding, including disease risks and worker and responder safety information: .

The National Library of Medicine has also activated a People Locator: .

Google has created a Person Finder, available in English and Filipino:

Person Finder, English:
Person Finder, Filipino:

[Photo credit:]

NLM Awardees: Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project 2011

Friday, October 28th, 2011

2011 project sites

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is funding seven Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects in a new program which began September 2011. The program supports efforts of libraries and other organizations to work together to improve use of disaster medicine and public health information by agencies working in any phase of all-hazards management.

Congratulations to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, NM!

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center will partner with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and  Informatics Center and University of New Mexico Center for Disaster Medicine. The project will develop a framework for extending the role of librarians and informationists in providing access to the resources of the National Library of Medicine and other federal and state sources to the National Disaster Medical System and other federal response entities. The project will also develop and implement processes for improving local emergency responders’ ready access to quality disaster management information at time of need.

More information about the award and other recipients is available at: .