Emergency Planning (R)Evolution: Making a Comprehensive Emergency Plan for the Present and the Future

Emergency Planning (R)Evolution: Making a Comprehensive Emergency Plan for the Present and the Future

Mary Beth Lock (Wake Forest University, USA), Craig Fansler (Wake Forest University, USA) and Meghan Webb (Wake Forest University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8624-3.ch004
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


This chapter discusses how a library can revise its existing emergency, disaster, and Continuity of Operations plans, through the utilization of new technologies and an ongoing review cycle. While reviews of existing emergency plans typically happen in response to actual emergencies, this chapter encourages flipping that scenario by conducting ongoing reviews with a small, dedicated committee. The chapter identifies important steps to follow in revising emergency plans and discusses incorporating e-book and short form formats to enhance training and documentation.
Chapter Preview


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 and fires, or willful acts of violence and terrorism, has been demonstrated throughout history. 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).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Emergency Preparedness: Planning and efforts to mitigate any threats to safety or security that may occur during a crisis or emergency situation.

Emergency Response: The immediate action that is taken to abate a crisis.

FEMA: The Federal Emergency Management Agency. An agency of the federal government that are among the first federal responders to a wide spread, regional emergency. This is the agency responsible for creating, maintaining and updating the ready.org website.

Continuity of Operations: A plan that would, in theory, enable an institution to continue some level of operations in case an emergency threatened long-term disruption to service, and recover from that disruption once the situation normalizes.

Emergency Management Plan: A premeditated plan that is short term, and involves a response to protect people, such as a medical emergency or tornado warning.

Safety and Security Team: A group of individuals who are committed to and responsible for assessing any safety risks or security threats that could affect their organization, staff, and/or clients. This group is responsible for safety and security planning, and disaster preparedness and response.

Disaster Response: A coordinated plan that manages short to mid-term accidents or catastrophes, and involves collections (like a flood or mold discovery or power outage).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: