Public Libraries Hidden Assets in Community Disaster Response

Public Libraries Hidden Assets in Community Disaster Response

Public Library Role in Community Preparation & Response to Hurricanes Credit: Hurricane Hugo http://www.watercrunch.com/2008/09/hurricane-hugo-remembered.html Presentation by: Joe Ryan [email protected] Ryan Information Management 1 Brief Biography Joe Ryan [email protected] is a librarian. He conducts practical research that improves libraries via Ryan Information Management.

E.g., Ryan was Project Manager for the Public Library Role in Community Hurricane Preparedne ss and Response Study at Florida State Universitys, library school Information Institute funded by the Florida legislature via FSU, College of Business Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center. See a short YouTube introduction. 2 Presentation Goals Hidden Assets: Draw attention to public libraries as assets in community hurricane preparation and recovery. Key Roles: By introducing key roles that

public libraries have played. Next Steps: Suggest next steps to better utilize South Carolina public libraries in preparing the community for hurricanes and in recovery. 3 Public Library Disaster Roles Brief Descriptions Safe Haven: The public library is the communitys living room and study before and after a storm with safe, secure buildings, shelter , relaxing space, light, air conditioning, bathrooms and comfortable chairs.

Normal Service: The community counts on normal library service before and after a disaster be it book DVD or Internet use, reference or family programming. Normal service provides hope, re-establishes government presence, reduces stress, returns normalcy, and offers recreation. Disaster Recovery Center (DRC): Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) offers a FEMA designated DRC; a state, county or municipal DRC, a Point of distribution (POD) of aid, or simply a place for neighbors to make sense and provide aid. 4 Public Library Disaster Roles Brief Descriptions Information Hub: Provides: communication

equipment, trusted accurate, reliable information, needed information aids where they do not exist, and to deliver this information using whatever IT the community uses and can afford. Credit: Hialeah (FL) Public Library Cultural Organizations Liaison: May serve as a liaison between emergency management and community cultural organizations. Evacuee Resource: Evacuees count on the nearest public library DRC, and information hub.

Improvise: Should a disaster strike, the public library will improvise and do what is needed to assist in the communitys recovery. 5 For further information see: http://www.ii.fsu.edu/hurricanes 6 Next Steps: Local Public Library See Public Library Managers To Do List for this Hurricane Season (Ryan Appendix 1)

Consider Making the Case (Ryan Appendix 2) Critical is working with your local partners and taking it one step at a time. Temporary public library in Louisiana after Hurricane Rita Credit: M McKnight 7 Next Steps: State Consider interagency partnerships & liaisons with

Emergency Management, Public Safety, Health, Social Services, Transportation etc. Consider ways to encourage development of public library disaster plans. E.g., Beaufort County Public Library Consider ways to diffuse best practices & resources, like Kids mental health after disasters, to libraries. Consider ways to penable mutual disaster assistance among libraries. See SEFLIN MOU Appendix Ryan 3.

Image available from: http://www.bigstockphoto.com/image3699261/stock-photo-south-carolinahurricane-warning-sign 8 For Additional Resources http://hurricanes.ii.fsu.edu/refNres.html Resources Books Articles Websites Other resources Complete bibliography

9 For Additional Information Contact: Joe Ryan Ryan Information Management More Detailed Information about the FSU Public Library Hurricane project is available at the project web site: http://www.ii.fsu.edu/hurricanes/ 10 THANK YOU FOR SHOWING UP!

Vero Beach, FL, December 2, 1999 -- Federal Emergency Management Agency and Florida emergency management officials confer with a resident at the County Library DRC. Credit: Ty Harrington/FEMA News Photo. 11

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