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Archive for the ‘Emergency Preparedness’ Category

Updates and Communication for OK Tornado

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) and the entire South Central Region are deeply concerned about our friends and colleagues in the areas affected by the recent tornado in Oklahoma. We will be using this blog post to serve as a method of communication for the Region.

We have contacted academic centers, hospitals, public libraries and other groups in the Oklahoma City and surrounding areas.  Thus far, we have received the following updates on the NN/LM SCR listerv and/or via direct contact:

  • University of Oklahoma Bird Health Sciences Library: All Bird Library staff are safe
  • Amy Picard, Norman Regional Hospital: Library staff is safe.  The Moore Medical Center, which was damaged by the tornado, is a sister hospital to Norman Regional Health System.  The Norman Regional Hospital campus was used briefly overnight as a discharge station until the number of patients outgrew the space and they relocated to the education center.  They initially chose the library because they felt it was a good, quiet location where privacy could be afforded.  But as the numbers grew, they needed more space.
  • Oklahoma Department of Libraries: Susan McVey, state librarian, reported that she is unaware of any loss of life among public library staff, a couple of staff members’ homes are damaged.  None of the public library buildings in the immediate vicinity of the tornado were affected even though one of them was only a block away from the path.  Several  Pioneer Library System branches may have damages.
  • Dan Chandler, Integris Baptist: Library staff is safe.
  • Danell Ingle, VA Medical Center: Library staff is safe.

We will continue to revise this blog post as we hear from more Network members.  The comments field on this post is open so feel free to post an update on your status.

The NN/LM SCR Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery page has disaster information and recovery resources.

New Video: Public Libraries and First Responders: Partners in Emergency Response

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Public libraries play an important role in the community year round, but during or after an emergency or disaster the public library is also an important resource for first responders. Public libraries provide important information centers in a community and are often equipped with computers, meetings spaces, and possibly access to the internet. After an emergency or disaster first responders working with their community public libraries can provide safe shelter spaces for survivors. In addition, public library technologies including computers, phones, printers, and internet access may serve as vital communication tools for survivors and first responders.

The video below was created by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Center Region (NN/LM SCR) to demonstrate how public libraries and first responders can work together to ensure community well-being and safety before and after a disaster or emergency.

NLM’s DIMRC Apps and Mobile Web Pages

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

DIMRC Website as seen on a tablet

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) webpage of Disaster Apps and Mobile Web Pages was redesigned using responsive web design, which provides an optimal view across a range of devices – PC, tablet or smartphone. The content on the page automatically resizes and adjusts its content to fit the user’s device. NLM also used responsive design for its Gallery of Mobile Apps and Sites page.

Take a few moments to explore responsive web design by opening the pages in your desktop browser. Try changing the size of the browser window and see what happens. The text and images on the site will respond to the size of the browser window you create. Also try opening the pages on a tablet or other mobile device. The websites will again respond and present the information in a format that is appropriate for the device you are using. No data or information is lost, the pages simply respond to the device or window.







National Preparedness Month 2012

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Several government agencies (FEMA, Citizen Corps, CDC, and others) as well as the American Public Health Association (APHA) have once again joined to promote the month of September as National Preparedness month.  As Americans remember the events of 9/11, they also encourage all Americans to prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all disasters and hazards, including infectious disease, natural disasters and other emergencies. Throughout the month, more than 3,000 organizations nationwide are supporting efforts to help Americans prepare in case of emergency, with many events culminating on “Get Ready Day, ” September 18th (see ).

For more information and resources for planning an event: .

Additional resources for Disaster Information and Emergency Preparedness from:

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.