Library’s Place During a Community Disaster (and After)
We’ve all heard about disasters happening in communities throughout the country. The odds of it happening in your community are small, but when it does happen, you need to have a plan in place. Emergencies can be floods, fire, tornadoes, excessive snow and ice, hurricanes, and loss of HVAC. No library is immune, so planning ahead can help ease the burden of the emergency.
Helen Rigdon presented a workshop showing what role a public library can play during an emergency disaster. She was the director at Coffeyville Public Library and experienced first hand the disaster that struck that community in June 2007. Coffeyville was hit with a horrendous flood and massive oil spill that destroyed, one-quarter of the town (pop. 11,000). Over 400 homes were destroyed as well as over 70 businesses.
Each library needs a disaster plan. Find out where you can start and what goes into it with Helen’s PowerPoint presentation (in pdf format) with facts of what occurred (includes photos), what role the library had, and services to assist during and after the disaster.
Disaster Planning Resources
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dPlan — This is a free online tool that will help you simplify the process of writing a disaster plan, and stores the information off-site.
FEMA — Federal Emergency Management Agency
Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website — The Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website is a joint project of Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, the Center for Great Lakes Culture and the California Preservation Program. Part of disaster planning is knowing who to call for help and where to obtain services and supplies. The Search menu allows you to search by state, multiple states nationally or by type of service, expert or supply.
www.ready.gov — Prepare, plan, stay informed in the event of a disaster.
Heritage Emergency National Task Force — Disaster resources for the public.
Operation Photo Rescue — Some of the services offered: Free restoration of photos damaged by natural disaster, community forum rich with photo restoration resources/tutorials, and copy run services to disaster affected areas.
Library of Congress Preservation — This website provides simple instructions, as well as links to more comprehensive information for “Preparing, Protecting, Preserving” many types of family treasures.