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NN/LM Earthquake Summit Held at UCSF on April 6, 2012

A half-day NN/LM Earthquake Summit was held Friday, April 6, 2012, at the University of California, San Francisco, Library and Center for Knowledge Management. Roughly twenty-five people attended the event, which was organized by Dan Wilson, Coordinator for the NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative. Attendees represented both the Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest regions of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM). The excellent roster of featured speakers included Keith Knudsen, representing the United States Geological Survey (USGS); Monica Gowan, PhD Candidate, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, representing the National Library of Medicine; Randy Brawley and Angela Nak, representing the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and Roberto Lombardi, representing San Francisco Public Library. A detailed meeting report with numerous photos from the event is available from the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Toolkit.

Image of the NN/LM Earthquake Summit

Mr. Wilson led off the program with a brief review of the accomplishments and progress of the NN/LM Initiative. He noted the recent occurrence of a similarly styled NN/LM Hurricane Summit, held February 8, 2012, at the Louis Calder Library at the University of Miami. Mr. Knudsen is the Deputy Director of the Earthquake Science Center for the USGS. His presentation included numerous maps and charts illustrating earthquake risks for the San Francisco Bay Area and other West Coast locales, including Seattle, WA. Ms. Gowan related her recent experiences with major New Zealand earthquakes, along with the psychological effects and coping mechanisms.

Ms. Champ-Blackwell provided an overview of the products and services from NLM’s Disaster Information Management and Research Center (DIMRC). She highlighted tools such as WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders), REMM (Radiation Emergency Medical Management), and CHEMM (Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management.) A relatively new feature in WISER is “Protective Distance Mapping,” which assists with evacuation area calculations, based on wind direction. Other resources mentioned included the NLM Emergency Access Initiative and the Disaster Apps and Mobile Optimized Web Pages, which provides mobile device users access to Web-based disaster information content using various mobile platforms, such as iOS (iPhone), Android or Blackberry.

Mr. Brawley, FEMA Preparedness Planning Analyst, addressed the many roles FEMA plays before, during, and after a disaster. He also offered suggestions that librarians can utilize to play a greater role in disaster preparedness and response. Mr. Lombardi, Facilities Director of San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), provided an overview of the development of the departmental Emergency and Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) for the library. In addition to the full plan, they have developed a one-page Quick Reference Guide, which outlines the process for assigning incident command staff and emergency response actions. SFPL is a key player in the city’s emergency response system.

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