Disaster Preparedness

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Your school library may someday be affected by a natural disaster, fire or an act recognized by the federal government as terrorism. Being prepared ahead of time can help minimize the potential damage, shorten your library’s recovery time, and go a long way to helping your student population cope with the aftermath of any disaster.  Below you will find a few excellent online resources for both you and your students to help you prepare for potential disaster. You can learn more about The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) – information on conference programs, special resources for school librarians, and ongoing education on school librarianship – by visiting www.aasl.org.

Resources For You

The list below will help you prepare your library and school for potential disaster. The links include lists of documents to have on hand, disaster preparedness plans, and technology plans to keep your data accessible and up-to-date.

Government Documents Go to School pdf icon
Presented to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) at its 12 National Conference, this downloadable PDF includes an extensive list of materials that can be ordered from the federal government, including both practical information on health programs and materials that provide curriculum support.

Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
The American Library Association (ALA) has prepared a list of resources for libraries and archivists, as well as public citizens, to help them prepare for a potential disaster.

S.A.F.E. Center external link icon
Presented by eSchool News and the International Society for Technology in Education, this site includes a host of links to information on disaster preparedness. Most are geared toward schools, and are organize by type of disaster. Also included are several sample disaster preparedness plans from actual schools, and regularly updated news items on how schools are preparing themselves for disasters they may face in the future.

Florida district is a model for disaster preparedness external link icon
This article from eSchoolNews.com contains a concise list of recommendations that schools can use to protect themselves from technology breakdowns resulting from natural disasters.

US Department of Education Emergency Planning external link icon
The US Department of Education offers a number of crisis planning and management tools as well as several ideas for appropriate crisis response for schools.

Lausanne Collegiate School: Action Plan 2006-2007 external link icon
The Lausanne Action Plan is specifically designed for Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tennessee, but it also provides a great starting point for your school’s and library’s own action plan.

PrepareNow.org Preparedness Library external link icon
Your students with special needs may require special preparation for disasters. This site includes a list of special considerations for those with visual disabilities, hearing disabilities, mobility issues, those who use service animals, non-English speakers and other special populations.

Resources for Your Students

The list below will help you offer resource materials to your students and their families. Included are lists to Web sites and online checklists geared toward emergency preparedness for families with children. You can keep this list handy for your students, provide it as handouts for parents at school activities, or link to it from your school library’s Web site.

FEMA for Kids external link icon
This Federal Emergency Management Agency web site is designed to help kids prepare for and deal with natural disasters. They can learn about different types of disasters, complete a preparedness checklist, color an emergency coloring book online, and even learn how to prepare their pets for disaster.

Ready Kids external link icon
Developed by the Department of Homeland Security, the Ready Kids site helps children develop disaster preparedness kits for their homes, learn about different types of disasters, and take part in a variety of online games and activities surrounding disaster preparedness. Librarians can download printable activity books and stickers, too.

Severe Weather Challenge external link icon
The Severe Weather Challenge is an interactive game on the Weather Channel’s online Weather Classroom. The game allows students to offer advice to fictional characters facing severe weather around the country and be scored on the usefulness of their suggestions.

American Family Safety: Emergency Preparedness Safety Library  external link icon
This is an extensive, well-organized list of resources to help your students prepare themselves and their families for any disaster they might encounter. Great illustrations provide an interesting-looking site that will appeal to younger audiences.