Disaster Preparedness for Libraries

Before, during and after a disaster, libraries become critical assets to a community: for shelter and safe respite, access to power and the Internet, for need-to-know up-to-date information, for help filing claims.  The library can also play an important role in building a community's resilience to disaster: with programs and services to help families prepare and recover. 

Every library needs a simple disaster response plan to keep staff and patrons safe and mitigate damage. Here are some resources to get started:

Every library will benefit from disaster response training.  One way that libraries can conduct training with their staff is by participating in a discussion - based disaster drill. This is a simplified version of a drill that does not involve any real-life type of activities.  Following the "table-top" training model used by fire, police and emergency medical providers, these scenarios were created for libraries to discuss and to consider their own situation and community.  Simply print copies of the scenarios and use the worksheets provided to discuss how you would respond to the scenario. 

Hurricane Sandy has become a model for the value of libraries during and after a disaster.  Visit the NJ State Library's website for more resources and presentation materials