Libraries Can Play a Role in Disaster Preparedness

Here are a few things you can do:

    • Visit the National PrepareAthon Website, and consider doing a group preparedness activity at the library.
    • Become familiar with the advice on various emergencies at our Emergency Preparedness website. Consider borrowing a kiosk from CEFLS to educate people about disasters and emergencies.
    • Recommend that people download the FEMA mobile app for Apple or Android. The FEMA mobile app for phones and tablets contains disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list, storable emergency meeting locations, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs).The app also has a Disaster Reporter feature, allowing you to take and submit GPS photo reports of disasters so they can be displayed on a public map for others to view.
    • Let people know they can use their cellphones as an emergency tool. You can use your cell phone’s text messaging capability to receive text message updates from FEMA (standard message and data rates apply).Here are basic commands to get started:
    • Sign up to receive monthly preparedness tips: text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA). To unsubscribe (at any time): text STOP to 43362 (4FEMA)

Developing a Plan for the Library

Tropical Storm Irene Floods the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay

Pictured above is the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay, NY after the floodwaters of Tropical Storm Irene inundated the area on August 21, 2011.

We  had a wonderful presentation by Michele Brown of Cornell on how to prepare a disaster plan for your library. If you missed it, here are a few links to resources you may want to review.

Powerpoint for How to Create a Disaster Plan (pdf)

Blank Disaster Plan Template (word doc)

More Resources for Library Disaster Planning


FEMA Disaster Response Page

Find helpful tools like the Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel and web pages where you can apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Creating Policies for Results: From Chaos to Clarity

by Sandra Nelson and June Garcia is another great reference for formulating library policies of any kind. Follow the link above to find it in our catalog.