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Library Planning: Disaster Planning

Disaster Planning

"A key way to cope with a disaster is to have a plan. Know how to react before, during and after a disaster and know the hazards..." ["How to Make a Disaster Plan" - FEMA]

Disaster plans can help libraries cope during a variety of situations—fire, roof leak, building damage from a vehicle, bedbugs, and tornadoes to name some common library disasters. The plan includes the library's plans for prevention, preparedness, reaction/response, recovery,  service continuity, collection salvage priorities, and then who to contact in various situations. This might include contact info of insurance, plumbers, or pest control.

Some libraries choose to work with their city officials as a part of the city's city-wide disaster or emergency response. If the board is agreeable, make sure the library's priorities and info is represented accurately, and then the board can adopt that larger policy.

While it is good practice for libraries to have disaster plans, not all libraries are required to do so. However, the Standards for Public Libraries does require a disaster plan at the Future-Focused level (F14).


Sample Disaster Plans

Books on Disaster Planning

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Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.