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Successful Strategies for Emergency Planning…

Here’s an outline of what we talked about at the THeSLA meeting with regard to creating disaster plans for our organizations.  Rather than focus on creating a comprehensive plan, which is the result of following the “Susan’s suggestions” thread here in the blog, I thought it might be more helpful to become aware of some alternatives that are already available to us and will not require the time commitment involved in creating a plan “from scratch.”  So the “20 Tips” topic evolved into “Successful Strategies for Emergency Response Planning.”

1. Consider the scope of planning you will need for collections, your facility, people in your building, and for continuing your services.

2.  Assess risks that exist in your area (natural, environmental, human-caused, facility).

3.  Prioritize your collection for salvage:  determine what is irreplaceable or core to your collection, and what is essential to your patrons.  Order supplies for dealing with a “water incident,” particularly (see salvage companies/vendors links here on the blog).  See the NEDCC’s Preservation Leaflets for instructions!

4.  Identify your essential services and make plans to continue them during an emergency, both on-site and from a remote location.  Develop partnerships with other libraries  and remember the RML’s emergency number:  1-800-DEV-ROKS!

5.  Some templates and/or guides to creating your plan:

  • dPlan:  maintained by NEDCC, provides templates for creating your plan, walks you through step-by-step, offers links to more information about risk factors, saves your input so you can work in small increments of time, creates a nice PDF document for you when you’re done.
  • PReP:  COSA’s Pocket Response Plan can be easily customized for libraries.  It is available as a Word document or in PDF format at their site.
  • SOLINET’s disaster planning guide:  offers a template, lists of resources for salvage companies and supplies, etc.
  • in planning for safety of people, consult existing sources for appropriate procedures…your institution’s critical incident management site (the one for UVa), a university’s emergency response information, FEMA, Homeland Security, your state’s Emergency Management web site.

6.  Plan to update your plan regularly, at least once a year.  Re-assess your risk situation and make sure all contact information is up to date.

7.  Stay in touch!  Check the blog (this one!) frequently for updates, be aware of local circumstances that may have an effect on your planning.  Bookmark the NN/LM RML’s Emergency Preparedness web site and keep up with their planning.  If you have questions, or would like to make suggestions, please send me an email:  Good luck!

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