Disaster Management Plan - Initial Response to Disaster

Contact Appropriate Personnel

When a member of the Main Library staff encounters an emergency, the first response should always be to contact the Libraries Security Office at 542-3256. 

Libraries Security staff will contact Public Safety when appropriate. Libraries Security staff procedures are kept in the Libraries Security Office. 

When an emergency occurs at the Science Library, staff will either contact Public Safety directly or the Libraries Security Office, depending on the nature of the emergency. See Science Library Emergency/Evacuations Procedures

When the Libraries are closed, disaster will be detected from the outside. In this case Public Safety will notify appropriate Libraries staff. Public Safety maintains a list of emergency contact personnel from the Libraries. 

Stabilize the Situation

When appropriate, Libraries Security Staff should take steps to limit potential damage while waiting for emergency personnel (Public Safety or Physical Plant) to arrive. Such steps include: 

Making sure that patrons and staff are not in danger. Safety of human beings comes before protection of library materials. Libraries Security Staff themselves should not take unwarranted risks to save library materials. Eliminating the source of the problem. Libraries Security staff are trained to use fire extinguishers to put out fires if possible. In the event of water damage, Libraries Security staff will attempt to cut off the water supply to the affected area. Getting materials out of danger. If the number of materials threatened by water is small, they can simply be moved to a dry place. For larger problems, plastic sheeting can be spread over the stacks to shield them from water coming from above. 

No cleanup or salvage work should be attempted until the situation is stable and a damage assessment has been made. 

Determine the Level of Disaster 

In all emergencies involving the Main Library the Libraries Security Coordinator and the Head of Access Services will be contacted. On the basis of an initial assessment they will determine what other Libraries staff should be notified. For minor problems no additional help may be necessary. For more serious problems members of the Libraries Administration and other appropriate staff will be notified. Major disasters will involve the entire Disaster Response Team. For emergencies involving the Science Library a similar initial assessment procedure will be conducted by Science Library staff to determine the level of disaster and appropriate contacts. 




University Librarian

Bill Potter

Director of Administrative Services

Eric Matthews

Head, Business Services Department

Bobby Bowden

Head of Access Services

Tom Frieling

Security Coordinators

Shawn Parker & Jon Purcell

Technical Support Coordinator

Tim Peacock

Preservation Librarian

Nan McMurry

Communications Officer

Jean Cleveland

In emergencies involving a special collection or specific department, the head of that area will also be a member of the Disaster Response Team. 

Responsibilities of the Disaster Response Team: 

  • Conduct initial damage assessment and take preliminary actions

  • Inform university insurance and legal representatives of the nature and extent of damage

  • Investigate financial resources for recovery efforts

  • Determine what commercial recovery services and supplies are needed and contact vendors

  • Organize, train, and supervise recovery volunteers

  • Coordinate communications among staff and with the public and news media

  • Keep records of all decisions made and activities undertaken