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How can libraries help when disaster strikes?

Video courtesy of NN/LM, South Central Region
(approximately 2 minutes in length)

Check out the link below for more ideas about how libraries can help in the event of a disaster:
What Libraries Can Offer (CEFLS)


It is also important to think about how the library can recover from a disaster. Read on to learn more about salvaging damaged items in your collection and take the quiz to see how prepared you are for a major service disruption.

Guide to Salvaging Damaged Materials (DHPSNY)


How prepared is your library for a major service disruption?
Take this Library Disaster Readiness Test to find out.

1. We are committed to purchasing core print materials that may be needed if power is down for an extended time or the Internet is compromised.
2. Our proxy server has unlimited emergency backup power.
3. We have a response station that includes items such as flashlights, first aid kit, bullhorn, plastic, and a battery operated radio.
4. We practice situation awareness reporting (What, When, and Where) before, during, and after any kind of service disruption.
5. Our staff are prepared at home for going 3 days without power.
6. We regularly drill our staff on how to respond to unplanned incidents, such as tornadoes, shooter, behavioral emergencies, and HAZMAT incidents, and we perform at least one evacuation drill per year.
7. We conduct at least two tabletop exercises per year (one for planned and one for unplanned events).
8. We conduct after-action reviews within 7 days of a service disruption.
9. We have a one-page service continuity plan that is updated at least two times a year.
10. We have a Mutual Aid Agreement with other libraries to assist us in the delivery of core services if ours are compromised.
11. We have a partnership (contract not required) with a commercial salvage and recovery company (e.g., Belfor, BMS, Munters) or a local preservationist in the event that our unique or hard to replace print materials are damaged.
12. We have worked with local law enforcement to determine best practices for sheltering-in-place and for responding to unplanned emergency situations.

Would you like to answer "yes" to more of these questions? If so, please contact Dan Wilson (, Coordinator, NN/LM Disaster Readiness Initiative.

This quiz and many other helpful resources may be found at NN/LM Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit.