Thursday, February 26, 2009

Emergency preparedness: Library services at a glance (and a photo & tweet?)

It's been a while since I've touched on emergency preparedness here, and driving the web conference for work last week that covered the disaster communications plan that went into place during Hurricane Ike reminded me of that. I highly encourage checking out the Dragonfly to get the scoop on what's behind this scenario filter & how to make your own for your library (click to enlarge).

Including these as part of an emergency procedures binder (maybe even a wiki!) could be a very valuable and easy way to provide information to colleagues at other institutions who are often eager to help you after disaster strikes.

I haven't forgotten about the use of Flickr for sharing photos in the wake of a disaster, and you may have heard about how a photo on Twitter broke the news about the plane crash in the Hudson River last month. I'm not currently aware of anyone writing up these or other social networking & media methods up as part of emergency preparedness plans, but think they've certainly shown a high return on very little investment and should be considered.

2/27 edit: Apparently I was picking up the Twitter/social media emergency communication vibes from the Seattle Times while I was writing this, check out the suggestion from a King County council member below in response to some bus service meltdowns due to snow in Seattle yesterday

"Given the increasing sophistication of modern phones and wireless Internet providers, I encourage Metro to take immediate action to use instant messaging, Twitter, neighborhood blogs, and customer self-reporting systems to keep Metro operators and riders connected," Constantine said in a statement.

He said inexpensive ways exist to reach riders. "It doesn't seem like they've got people who are savvy at that."