Because all libraries are susceptible to disasters, The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is committed to maintaining a vigilant state of disaster preparedness for staff, the collection and our facilities. Enlightened self-interest tells us that to be prepared is the greatest weapon against disaster. This plan, along with continual training, provides library staff with a set of disaster priorities, emergency procedure guidelines and floor plans for each location.
Emergency operations planning activities are divided into four phases that form a cycle. The phases of the cycle are:
- Mitigation —Taking sustained actions to reduce or eliminate risk to people and property from hazards and their effects.
- Preparedness — Building the emergency management function to respond effectively to, and recover from, any hazard.
- Response — Conducting emergency operations to save lives and property by doing such things as - evacuating potential victims; providing medical care to those in need; and restoring critical services.
- Recovery — Rebuilding our library so that we can return to normal services and protect against future hazards.
With each disastrous situation we learn how to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover better. As we revise our efforts, the cycle repeats. The phases often overlap to fit individual situations and events.
These guidelines were approved by the Library Board on February 16th, 2011, noting that the Executive Director has the authority to make immediate decisions concerning the safety of staff, patrons, and library facilities as necessary. This version has been stripped of confidential information for public consumption. The hyperlinked, online version of the original guidelines may be found on our private Intranet. A print version of the full document will be held locally at each location, in the homes of top-level management, and at the Alabama Public Library Service headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama.
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