(R)Evolutionary Emergency Planning: Adding Resilience through Continuous Review

(R)Evolutionary Emergency Planning: Adding Resilience through Continuous Review

Mary Beth Lock (Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC, USA), Craig Fansler (Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC, USA) and Meghan Webb (Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJRCM.2016040103
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Abstract

This article discusses how a library can revise its existing Emergency, Disaster and Continuity of Operations plans, through the utilization of an ongoing review cycle, new dissemination techniques, and expanded training protocols. While reviews of existing emergency plans typically happen in response to actual emergencies, flipping that scenario by conducting ongoing reviews with a small, dedicated committee will expand preparedness. The paper identifies important steps to follow in revising emergency plans and discusses incorporating e-book and short form formats to enhance training and documentation.
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Background

Like any institution, academic libraries are vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. The devastation that can occur when libraries fall victim to natural disasters, such as floods, fires, willful acts of violence and terrorism, has been frequently seen. While such disasters are often unpredicted and instantaneous, libraries may be able to lessen the destructive consequences of any disaster or emergency through the implementation of an emergency management plan. Such a plan is “a unique, detailed guide for times of great stress and crisis,” and it serves to “provide the basis for systematic responses to emergencies that threaten an organization and the records and information necessary for continuing operations” (Jones & Keyes, 2008, p. 52). The main components of an emergency management plan include: a policy statement, assignment of responsibilities and authority, task organization, information distribution procedures, preparedness/response/recovery checklists, training programs and testing procedures, and a communications directory (Jones & Keyes, 2008, p. 53).

Much of the early literature addressing library-specific emergency preparedness focused on the protection and recovery of library materials and included detailed instructions and disaster response plans to prevent damage to collections. More recently, the literature presents an increased attention on personal and user safety, greater collaboration with outside agencies and emergency responders, and the use of technologies that can widely disseminate simple, direct and instantaneous instructions to multiple stakeholders in an emerging event. The document Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans in Institutions for Institutions of Higher Learning (2013) instructs:

The planning team should consider the following when developing its goals, objectives, and courses of action:

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