Information Roles in Disaster Management
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Information Roles in Disaster Management



Workshop given at the Medical Library Association Conference in Seattle WA, May 24th, 2012. This course is part of the Medical Library Association's Disaster Information Specialization Program.

Workshop given at the Medical Library Association Conference in Seattle WA, May 24th, 2012. This course is part of the Medical Library Association's Disaster Information Specialization Program.



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



0 Embeds 0

No embeds


Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Information Roles in Disaster Management Information Roles in Disaster Management Presentation Transcript

  • Information Roles in Disaster13:00 – 17:00May 24, 2012 ManagementMLA 2012Seattle, WA Robin Featherstone, MLIS Liaison Librarian (Medicine) Life Sciences Library, McGill University
  • Activity 1 • Complete the hazards checklist • Introductions – What is your name? – Where are you from? – Which three hazards did you identify?
  • AgendaDisaster information specialistsDisaster managementLibrarian rolesReflection exerciseBREAK – 30 minsTabletop exercisesPlanning recommendations - role playingSummary quizResolution & questions
  • Disaster Information Specialist • Provides disaster-related library or information services as part of their ongoing job functions • Possesses knowledge and skills necessary to support their libraries, institutions and communities in times of disasters or other emergencies • Does more than protect library collections and maintain library operations
  • Selected Continuity of OperationsResources • NN/LM Emergency & Preparedness • Halsted, Deborah D., Richard P. Jasper, Toolkit and Felicia M. Little. Disaster Planning: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2005.
  • ObjectivesAt the end of this workshop, you will be able to – Define a “disaster” and distinguish disasters from hazards – Classify disasters into two distinct types – Name three stages in the disaster management cycle – Identify members of the disaster workforce – Articulate how librarians historically viewed their roles in disasters – Recognize roles librarians have played in disasters – Identify professional roles for librarians during all stages of the disaster management cycle – Present your skills to members of the disaster workforce
  • Definitions Disaster: a serious disruption of the functioning of society, causing widespread human, material or environmental losses which exceed the ability of affected society to cope using only its own resources. Emergency: a situation that is out of control and requires immediate attention. Event: an occurrence that has the potential to affect living beings and/or their environment; a realization of a hazard.
  • Disaster Categories Natural Man made Earthquakes Chemical spills Hurricanes Industrial accidents Tsunamis Terrorist attacks Etc. Etc. Natural or Man made? Floods Forest Fires Avalanches Epidemics
  • Disaster Management Cycle
  • Disaster Workforce Licensed or trained Paid or volunteer Permanent or as-needed workers … who play a defined role in… All-hazards preparedness, response and recovery In implementing Emergency Support Functions 6 & 8: Mass care, Emergency Assistance, Disaster Housing & Human Services; Public Health and Medical Services
  • Disaster Workforce: Licensed/credentialedhealth professionals (ESAR – VHP, 2011)
  • Disaster Workforce: Additionallicensed or trained professionals
  • Selected core & sub competencies fordisaster medicine and public health 4.0 Communicate effectively with others in a disaster or public health emergency 4.1 Identify authoritative sources for information in a disaster or public health emergency 4.3 Identify strategies for appropriate sharing of information in a disaster or public health emergency (Walsh et al., 2012)
  • Disaster Health InformationPeer-reviewed scholarly literature• Journal articles• Books HazLit Database“Grey” Literature• Reports• Summaries• Surveillance data• Training materials• Conference proceedings
  • Role of Social Media “Clearly, social media are changing the way people communicate not only in their day-to-day lives, but also during disasters that threaten public health.” (Merchant, 2011)
  • How have librarians seen theirprimary role? • 66% - protecting, preserving, and providing access to collections • 10% - fostering community relationships and providing support (Zach, 2010)
  • Planning Roles (Zach, 2010)
  • Response Roles (Zach, 2010)
  • Recovery Roles (Zach, 2010)
  • What have been the roles oflibrarians?1. Institutional supporters2. Collection managers3. Information disseminators4. Internal planners5. Community supporters6. Government partners7. Educators and trainers8. Information community builders (Featherstone, Lyon & Ruffin, 2008)
  • New Recognition of Libraries’Roles: The Stafford Act• Libraries are “essential community services” eligible for federal assistance “for the provision of temporary facilities”
  • Hospital librarians (Donohue, 2012)
  • Hospital librarians (Donohue, 2012)
  • Hospital librarians How did you get involved?  Invited myself onto the Emergency Management Committee  Required to be involved as a department manager  New committee chairperson took over emergency management committee and wanted library involved. Previous group had not involved library (Donohue, 2012)
  • Case example Missouri Baptist Medical Center Medical Library … and Incident Command Center
  • Information use by disasterpreparedness professionals• Influenced by their training• Viewed information as a decision-making tool• Considered information to include observable environmental data and conversations• Relied on social networks and the Internet• Revisited trusted organizational sites (i.e., CDC) (Folb, 2011)
  • Desired information types • Peer organization • Potential local hazards experience, lessons- • Vulnerable populations learned documents • Emerging hazards, (case studies) novel events • Standards • News • Operations, procedures, • Current conditions manuals • Legal, regulatory • Grants, funding (Folb, 2011)
  • What do emergency managerssee as the roles of librarians?• Creating and maintaining taxonomies with expert input• Serving as a clearinghouse of knowledge concerning the different aspects of disasters• Equipping libraries to access real-time emergency telemedicine networks• Working with specialists to identify high-quality information• Developing easy-to-use methods of delivering specific content (Turoff & Hiltz, 2008)
  • What do emergency managerssee as the roles of librarians?• Producing annotated bibliographies and syntheses• Participating in call centers taking questions from the public• Developing FAQs for local emergency preparedness and response and making them easy to locate• Assisting in text and data mining, aggregating and compiling information to support public health decision-making• Sharing expertise with those in developing countries through an international network of librarians and archivists (Turoff & Hiltz, 2008)
  • Recommendations for librarians • Become part of the network • Partner with trusted organizations • Get involved in pre-career training (Folb, 2011) • Be part of your organization’s disaster plan • Monitor information using alerting services • Be strategic in your communication plan – consider audience capacity and use appropriate technologies • Evaluate your services (Featherstone, et al. 2012)
  • Activity 2 • In pairs, identify a skill-based service you could provide to address these disaster interventions • Present one service idea to the group
  • Preparation time Most warning Less warning Least warning Hurricane Tornado Earthquake Infectious disease Active shooter Hazmat incident Flooding Building fire Bridge collapse Etc. Etc. Etc.
  • Tabletop Exercise – 45 mins • Designate one person to read the disaster scenario provided • Designate roles • Listen to the scenarios and the questions • Talk aloud as you make decisions • Assume an equal level of preparedness within your group • The tabletop exercise simulates a disaster situation and requires you to function in the capacity expected of you in a real event (FEMA, 2012)
  • Role-playing Exercise • In your groups, discuss the tabletop exercise • Prepare a brief (5 min) presentation to your institution’s safety committee – Report on what happened – Make recommendations that address preparedness, response and recovery • A representative from each group will present to the class • Assume your audience is your institution’s safety committee.
  • Summary quiz
  • Summary quiz 1. A disaster is ___________ 2. A hazard is ___________ 3. Two distinct types of disasters are ________ & _________ 4. Three stages in the disaster management cycle are _________, __________, & _________ 5. Librarians have historically seen their role in a disaster as __________ 6. Roles librarians have played in disasters include: __________ 7. Professional roles librarians can play during Preparedness: ______________ Response: ______________ Recovery: ______________
  • Resolution Exercise• On the handout provided, write three resolutions of disaster management activities you will undertake in the next 6 months• Sign the form to permit the instructor or the project evaluators to contact you in 6 months to inquire after your progress
  • Resolution Exercise Some possible resolutions: • Planning: I resolve to contact the chief of security at my institution with a list of disaster management services I can provide • Response: I resolve to maintain a current list of aid organizations and to direct members of the community to the nearest shelter in the event of a disaster. • Recovery: I resolve to lend support to libraries in neighboring communities to aid them in providing services following a disaster.
  • References Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288 as amended), Donohue, A. (May 21, 2012). Emergency Preparedness and Librarians: A Match Made in Hospitals! [Poster Presentation given at the Medical Library Association Conference, Seattle WA] FEMA (2012). Tabletop Exercise. Accessed April 7, 2012 from:, Featherstone, R., Boldt, R., Torabi, N. & Konrad, S. (2012). Provision of Pandemic Disease Information by Health Sciences Librarians: A Multisite Comparative Case Series. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 100(2), 104-112. Accessed May 12, 2012 from: Featherstone, R., Lyon, B. & Ruffin, A. (2008). Library roles in disaster response: an oral history project by the National Library of Medicine. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 96(4), 343-350. Accessed April 3, 2012 from:
  • References cont. Folb, B. (March 30, 2011). Information Needs and Practices of Disaster Response Professionals: Findings and Implications. . [Presentation given at the Disaster Information Outreach Symposium, Bethesda, MD). Accessed April 2, 2012 from: Merchant, R.M., Elmer, S. & Lurie, N. (2011). Integrating Social Media into Emergency- Preparedness Efforts. NEJM. 365(4). 289-291. Turoff, M. & Starr, R. (March 6, 2008). Information Seeking Behavior and Viewpoints of Emergency Preparedness and Management Professionals Concerned with Health and Medicine. [Report prepared for the National Library of Medicine]. Accessed April 2, 2012 from: Walsh, L., Subbarao, I., Gebbie, K., et al. (2012). Core Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. 6(1), 44-52. Zach, L. (March 30, 2011). Librarians’ Perceptions of Roles in Disaster Activities. [Presentation given at the Disaster Information Outreach Symposium, Bethesda, MD). Accessed April 2, 2012 from:
  • Image Credits Missouri Baptist Hospital Library photos shared with permission of Sandy Decker Planning the programmes.jpg image by David Brewer: Radiologist in San Diego CA 2010 by Zackstarr: