Disaster Management Plan - Excutive Summary

Purpose: The goals of The University of Georgia Disaster Management Plan are to reduce the likelihood that the Libraries will experience disaster and to mitigate the impact of any disasters that do occur.

Disaster Prevention: The "best" disaster is the one for which we are so well prepared that it never happens. While natural catastrophes such as tornadoes and earthquakes are difficult to predict and impossible to prevent, it is possible to avoid or minimize the impact of many other potentially disastrous conditions. Many steps towards greater disaster preparedness can be taken at little or no cost; the cost of implementing others is significant, but invariably far lower than disaster recovery necessitated by neglect of preventive measures. The most important actions The University of Georgia Libraries can take to prevent disaster are to:

  • Install a fire alarm system for the Library Repository.

  • Install water and heat detectors in the Hargrett and Russell libraries.

  • Install public address systems in the Main and Science Libraries.

Initial response to disaster: The most important variables influencing the extent of damage in a disaster are the rapidness and appropriateness of first response. In an emergency libraries staff must know whom to contact, and those contacted must know what to do. The Disaster Management Plan proposes a Disaster Response Team and outlines its membership and responsibilities. 

Initial Damage Assessment: Once an emergency has been brought under control, the Disaster Response Team will gather information and form an action plan. Depending on the nature of the emergency, certain measures can be taken immediately to minimize further damage. The Disaster Management Plan provides guidelines for these activities. 

Salvage Priorities: In a major disaster multiple areas of the Libraries collections may sustain damage. If there are insufficient resources to salvage everything, following established priorities will ensure that the most significant materials receive attention first. 

Salvage Procedures: In the event of a major disaster, recovery activities may be turned over to a commercial firm, but in case the decision is made to perform recovery work in-house, the Disaster Management Plan provides detailed salvage instructions for most of the formats held by the Libraries. 

Supplies and services: The Disaster Management Plan recommends the establishment of disaster supply areas in the Main and Science Libraries and the Library Repository. Disaster supply areas should contain the materials most needed for the initial response and for setting up a salvage operation. Other useful materials are on hand elsewhere in the Libraries or on campus and are listed in this section of the plan. Depending on the magnitude and nature of the disaster, the Libraries may also need to arrange for outside services and expert advice. Contact information is included in the Disaster Management Plan.

Keys to success in disaster management: Preparation of a disaster management plan represents the crucial first step in achieving a successful response to emergency. Once a plan has been produced, responsibility lies with the Libraries Administration to ensure that the plan is disseminated, its importance emphasized, and its procedures followed in the event of disaster.