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Continuity of Operations Plan
for Emergencies

( Revision of November 2008; update February 2009)

I. Introduction

The Beaufort County Public Library System has implemented this policy and procedure as a response to a disaster or threat to its public, employees, collections, assets, and properties.

II. Purpose

Detailed emergency management procedures minimize damage to library facilities, equipment, and materials. When advance warning is possible (as for hurricanes), these procedures enable personnel to protect and recover library property quickly and efficiently. After fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes where there is no forewarning the procedures speed the rescue and recovery of library resources.

Emergency management also includes the control of such minor incidents as extended power failure and leakage within the building structure.

III. Specific Hazards and Procedures


Procedures for specific hazards follow this list:

III. A.  Building evacuation procedure during POWER LOSS, FLOODING, WATER DAMAGE, FIRES, and EXPLOSIONS
III. B. Security procedure for POWER LOSS
III. C. Security procedure for FLOODING and WATER DAMAGE
III. D. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for FIRES, THUNDERSTORMS, TORNADOES, and EARTHQUAKES
III. E. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for FIRES
III. F. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for THUNDERSTORMS and TORNADOES

III. G. Evacuation, security, and reporting procedure for EARTHQUAKES
III. H.
Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for CHEMICAL SPILLS and CHEMICAL FIRES
III. I. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for EXPLOSIONS AND RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE
III. J. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for TELEPHONE AND MAIL THREATS and SUSPICIOUS OBJECTS OR SUBSTANCES
III. K. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for MINOR EMERGENCIES
III. L. HOSTAGE SITUATION
III. M. ACTIVE SHOOTER (Gunman)
III. N. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for ELEVATOR SECURITY

III. O. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for FIRST AID
III. P. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for HURRICANES

III. A. Building evacuation procedure during POWER LOSS, FLOODING, WATER DAMAGE, FIRES, and EXPLOSIONS:

1. Staff will telephone 9-11 immediately to alert the emergency response personnel.

2. Whenever a building must be evacuated immediately, library staff must remain calm and direct patrons to appropriate exits, assertively and without delay. Staff will monitor emergency exits to prevent backups or blockages.

3. If present, the location's Damage Assessment Manager will direct staff to check all specific areas (including such "hidden" places as restroom stalls, the second floor in Beaufort, elevators, and stairwells) for remaining patrons or those who require special assistance. In the absence of a Damage Assessment Manager, the senior manager on duty will direct this activity.

4. Never use the elevator when evacuating.

5. Staff will shut all doors behind them as they exit each area of the building. Closed doors can slow the spread of fire, smoke and water.

6. Staff and patrons will proceed as quickly as possible, but in an orderly manner.

7. Take with you: your car keys, purse, briefcase, etc., but leave behind any large or heavy objects.

8. Hold handrails when on stairs.

9. Library staff will leave the building only after all members of the public have been safely directed outside. If there are disabled persons on the upper floor of the Beaufort building, staff will guide them and leave them there for rescue by the emergency response personnel; staff will then evacuate and notify emergency response personnel of these disabled persons' location immediately.

10. Once out of the building, move away from the structure and assemble in an area determined by the Damage Assessment Manager or senior staff. Keep all roadways free for emergency vehicles.

11. Refer to sections below for specific types of emergencies.

III. B. Security procedure for POWER LOSS:

1. Quickly locate flashlights and battery-powered radios in your immediate work area. Monitor radio and Internet weather bulletins as appropriate (and follow procedure for specific natural emergencies).

2. Remain calm and announce yourself to other staff and patrons.

3. Provide necessary assistance to staff and patrons.

4. If possible, open blinds, etc. on windows to let in light.

5. If in an unlighted area, proceed with caution to an area equipped with emergency lights.
Take with you: your car keys, purse, briefcase, etc., but leave behind any large or heavy objects. Walk slowly, feeling your way cautiously. Listen for other people and sound cues.

6. Do not let patrons go down dark stairways by themselves. Use flashlights and available  exterior light to illuminate dark passageways.

7. If you are in an elevator, stay calm. Refer to the Beaufort Security/Emergency Policy for the elevator.

8. Evacuate if instructed to do so by appropriate personnel, following procedure in Section IV.

9. Refer to your location's Security/Emergency Policy for closing the library at night during an extended power failure.

III. C. Security procedure for FLOODING and WATER DAMAGE:

1. In cases of damage, notify the location's Damage Assessment Manager and the County Building Maintenance Department.

2. If there are electrical appliances or electrical outlets near a leak or standing water, use extreme caution until the power is turned off. If the flood covers a large area, power should be shut off and restored only by an electrician. When there is any possible danger, evacuate the area, following procedures in Section IV.

3. If you know the source of the water and are fully confident of your ability to stop it (unclog the drain, turn off the water, etc.) do so cautiously. Do not troubleshoot an uncertain situation.

4. Be prepared to use good judgment and emergency supplies to help protect materials in jeopardy. Take only those steps needed to avoid or reduce immediate water damage. Suggested activities include covering large objects with plastic sheeting and moving small or light objects out of the emergency area if you are confident that you can do so safely.

5. Evacuate if instructed to do so by appropriate personnel, following procedure in Section IV.

6.As soon as possible, the Emergency Team and appropriate staff members will consult with the Historical Resources Coordinator to determine recovery procedure for damaged library materials. If computer equipment is involved, contact the Systems Manager immediately.

7. See the Security/Emergency Policy established for each library location.

III. D. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for FIRES, THUNDERSTORMS, TORNADOES, and EARTHQUAKES:

1. The senior staff member on duty will telephone the emergency telephone 911 immediately, as other staff members complete the evacuation procedures outlined in Section IV.

2. As soon as possible, the senior staff member will telephone the Emergency Coordinator, the location's Damage Assessment Manager, and the Library Director. NOTE: The fire alarm systems at each facility will call the Fire Department dispatcher automatically. (As soon as circumstances permit, the Emergency Coordinator will notify the Chief Information Officer, and the County Building Maintenance Director, Public Information Officer and Risk Manager.)

3. When emergency response personnel arrive on the scene, senior library staff will inform the firefighting personnel rescue priorities and floor plan of the facility. If possible, staff will provide a copy of these documents.

4. Library staff on the site will cooperate with rescue operations as directed by emergency response personnel.

5. Staff witnessing the fire will keep detailed notes in order to file an accurate incident report after the disaster (See Security/Emergency Policy established for each library branch).

6. Staff on the scene may re-enter the facility only upon authorization by the emergency response personnel and only as instructed by persons listed in Item #2.

7. The Library Emergency Team will document the incident with photographs and a narrative report. The Team will also consult with the County Emergency Management Department and County Risk Manager in the event of any damage to pursue documentation and necessary actions.

8. The Emergency Coordinator will communicate regularly with the County Emergency Management Department throughout recovery and as necessary thereafter.

III. E. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for FIRES:

In Anticipation of the Event:

1. Staff will become familiar with the location of all fire extinguishers in the building. Refer to the floor plans in Appendix D.

2. By June 1 of every year, each Damage Assessment Manager will provide the Fire Department serving his/her facility with a current list of collection and other priorities (Appendix C) and a up-to-date floor plan locating these areas (Appendix D). The floor plans include the location of fire extinguishers in each building.

In the Event of Fire:

Follow reporting procedure in Section IV.

Appropriate Action Before Arrival of Fire Department:

1. Report all fires, regardless of their size. If possible, notify the Damage Assessment Manager or senior staff of your location within the building.

2. Although staff can extinguish small, self-contained fires with appropriate extinguishers, large spreading fires should be handled only by the Fire Department. Use common sense. Never endanger yourself, and always be sure there is an exit for your escape. Do not attempt to extinguish chemical fires.

3. Do not break windows. Oxygen feeds a fire.

4. Evacuate the library if you are unable to put out the fire, following procedure in Section IV.

5. If it is safe to do so, disconnect electrical equipment that is on fire.

6. Do not attempt to save possessions or collections at the risk of personal injury.

7. Do not return to the emergency area until emergency response personnel instructs you to do so.

8. As soon as possible, the Emergency Team and appropriate staff members will consult with the Historical Resources Coordinator to determine recovery procedure for any damaged library materials. If computer equipment is involved, contact the Systems Manager immediately.

III. F. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for THUNDERSTORMS and TORNADOES:

1. Quickly locate flashlights and battery-powered radios in your immediate work area. Monitor radio and Internet weather bulletins throughout the emergency.

2.Stay away from exterior walls and glass. The Damage Assessment Manager at each location will identify secure windowless areas within the building to shelter staff and the public during tornadoes.

3. Stay off elevators. Use telephones only for emergency purposes.

4. Do not leave secure areas until instructed by the Damage Assessment Manager or senior staff.

5. In helping patrons move to designated areas before and after the storm or tornado, be polite but firm. Warn them calmly of the danger. If patrons refuse to comply, leave them.

6. As necessary, follow reporting procedure in Section IV.

7. The Emergency Team will authorize reentry and recovery upon instructions from the responding emergency response personnel. The Team will consult with the County Emergency Management Department and County Risk Manager in the event of any damage.

8. In assessing rescue priorities for materials, records and equipment, staff will refer to the current list of collection and equipment rescue priorities (Appendix C) and a up-to-date floor plan locating these areas (Appendix D).

9. As soon as possible, the Emergency Team and appropriate staff members will consult with the Historical Resources Coordinator to determine recovery procedure for any damaged library materials. If computer equipment is involved, contact the Systems Manager immediately.

III. G. Evacuation, security, and reporting procedure for EARTHQUAKES:

1. IMPORTANT: Do not attempt to exit or enter a building during an earthquake. This applies to all persons.

2. The greatest danger is from falling objects. Stay clear of heavy items (such as computer equipment) and loose objects (like shelved books) likely to fall during an earthquake.

3. Cover your head. Crawl under or beside a sturdy table or desk, or stand in a non-glass doorway. Get a solid wall between you and any walls with windows or glass doors.
4. Be alert for gas leaks, live wires, flooding, and other hazards.

5. Remain where you are until is safe to leave, or until you are directed to do so. Aftershocks may follow. If so directed by emergency response personnel, follow evacuation procedure in Section IV.


6. Follow reporting procedure in Section IV, as soon as it is safe to do so.

7. As soon as possible, the Emergency Team and appropriate staff members will consult with the Historical Resources Coordinator to determine recovery procedure for any damaged library materials. If computer equipment is involved, contact the Systems Manager immediately.

III. H. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for CHEMICAL SPILLS and CHEMICAL FIRES:

If a chemical SPILL occurs:

1. If toxic chemicals come into direct contact with your skin, remove affected clothing and immediately flush the affected area with clear water.

2. Follow County policy for reporting workplace illness and injuries.

3. If there is any possible danger, evacuate the area, following procedure in Section IV. If the chemical is a potential hazard to the air conditioning and heating system, take appropriate action to shut down the HVAC system immediately.

If a chemical FIRE occurs:

Never attempt to extinguish a chemical fire.

As appropriate, follow procedures in Sections IV.

III. I. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for EXPLOSIONS AND RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE:

General Rules to Follow Immediately After an Explosion:
1.Remain calm and avoid "heroic" behavior. Stay alert: one event can follow another. There may be more danger yet to come.

2. For your protection, consider crawling under a study table or desk. Remain there for at least 60 seconds, but be mindful that detonation delays may vary and are unpredictable.

3. Stay clear of windows, mirrors, glass display cases, overhead fixtures, glass doors, filing cabinets, bookshelves, and electrical equipment.

4. If evacuation is ordered by emergency response personnel, follow procedures in Section IV. Avoid known problem areas where there are gas lines, fire hazards, etc. Once out of the building, keep as far away from the structure as possible.

5. Do not use elevators.

6. Do not use matches or lighters. Sparks may trigger explosions.

7. Avoid using telephones and hand radios, which may emit hazardous sparks or signals that could trigger other bombs.

8. As soon as possible, the Emergency Team and appropriate staff members will consult with the Historical Resources Coordinator to determine recovery procedure for any damaged library materials. If computer equipment is involved, contact the Systems Manager immediately.

III. J. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for TELEPHONE AND MAIL THREATS and SUSPICIOUS OBJECTS OR SUBSTANCES:


Telephone Threats:

1. Listen calmly and carefully. Try to keep the caller talking, so you can gather more information.

2. If possible, signal (for instance, with a written note) a colleague to contact the police department for you. Otherwise call as soon as the caller hangs up.

3. Promptly complete the incident report in Appendix G (Forms, currently under development). Write down as many detail as you can remember. This information will be useful to police interviewers.

4. Discuss the threat only with appropriate Library and emergency response personnel.

5. If evacuation is ordered by emergency response personnel, follow the procedures in Section IV.

Mail or Written Threats; Suspicious Objects or Substances:

1. Avoid contact with the item. Keep others from handling it or going near it.

2. Notify the appropriate Library and emergency response personnel.

3. Promptly write down everything you can remember about finding the suspicious item on the form provided in Appendix G (currently under development).

4. Discuss the threat only with appropriate Library and emergency response personnel.

5. If evacuation is ordered by emergency response personnel, follow the procedures in Section IV.

III. K. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for MINOR EMERGENCIES:

Refer to Security/Emergency Policy established for each library branch.

III. L. HOSTAGE SITUATION:

1. Remain calm.
2. Follow instructions.
3. Don't provoke captors.
4. Don't speak unless spoken to.
5. Don't make suggestions.
6. If a rescue attempt occurs, get to the floor immediately and don't make any sudden moves.

IIII. M. ACTIVE SHOOTER (Gunman):

1. If possible, call 911 and state that there is an active shooter in the building (Be sure to use the specific phrase "Active shooter").
2.
If possible, pull the fire alarm.
3. Scatter.
4. Find a safe area, which may be outside of the building.
5. Know your closest exits.

NOTE: Tell fire department personnel when they arrive that there is an active shooter in the building
(Be sure to use the specific phrase "Active shooter").

III. N. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for ELEVATOR SECURITY:

Refer to Security/Emergency Policy established for Beaufort Library Location.

III. O. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for FIRST AID:

Refer to Emergency Procedure established for each library branch.


III. P. Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for HURRICANES:

This lengthy section is posted on a separate Web page, www.bcgov.net/bftlib/emergencyh.htm

IV. Roles / Responsibilities / Authority:

The Library Director has ultimate responsibility for emergency management but designates responsibility for the execution of this policy to the Library System's Emergency Coordinator.

The Library Emergency Team:

The Emergency Coordinator heads an Emergency Team for the Library System. The Team includes the branch managers of all locations, who serve as Library Damage Assessment Managers at the locations in Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Lobeco, and St. Helena Island.

It is the responsibility of each Damage Assessment Manager:

o To document each emergency episode at his/her location.

o To assign staff to appropriate tasks in each emergency.

o To cooperate with the Emergency Coordinator and appropriate authorities in all aspects of emergency preparation, evacuation and recovery.

Moreover, the Historical Resources Coordinator advises the Emergency Coordinator and the Damage Assessment Managers of recovery procedures for library materials following emergency situations, and is responsible for recovery activities for library materials in the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort location.

The Library's Systems Manager advises the Emergency Coordinator and Damage Assessment Managers of emergency preparations and recovery activities for computers and automated systems.

V. Available Resources:

1. Vehicles:

See specific OPCON stages of Evacuation, security and reporting procedures for HURRICANES.  All Library System vehicles will be secured at the Central Garage, Shanklin Road, Burton (unless needed for evacuation purposes out of town).

2. Supplies

NOTE: The following list consists of suggestions for possible purchase, according to the needs of each branch location. Some items have been purchased on a one-time basis, and others may be projected for purchase within the annual Emergency Budget mentioned in Section VI, "Estimated Cost of Plan." Supplies may be assigned by the Emergency Coordinator or requested by the managers of each library branch location.

o Plastic sheeting o Electric Fans o Wet Vacs and attachments
     
o Push Brooms o Squeegees o Boxes of plastic gloves o Gowns
     
o Masks w/out respirator o Masks w/ respirator o Box of disposable masks
     
o Full sandbags o Empty sandbags o Cloth rags (gray)
     
o Terry cloth towels o Power strips o Dehumidifiers
   
o Nilfisk o Boxes of paper towels o Rolls of freezer paper
     
o Extension cords o Sheets of plastic o Rolls of duct tape
     
o Pairs of Rubber Boots o Flashlights o Battery-powered lanterns
     
o Batteries for all flashlights and lanterns o Disposable cameras, with flash (one per branch location each year) o Waterproof containers for storage
     
o Cardboard cartons for storage o Adhesive labels for containers and boxes o Waterproof markers for labeling
     
o Pencils o Newsprint paper (Unprinted)
o Large plastic trash containers o Weather radios (one per branch location and floor)


3. External Agencies:

The Library works closely with the Beaufort County Emergency Management Department in the management and resolution of major emergency situations.

The South Carolina State Library provides administrative and advisory support in the event of major or catastrophic damage.

VI. Estimated Cost of Plan:

The Library has a budget line item that is determined yearly. 

The extent of damage and liability (to buildings, other properties, and persons) will vary according to the nature and severity of the hazard. Some damage may be negligible, while hurricanes and fires are capable of destroying entire buildings and their contents. Commitment of staff resources would also vary. The Library System insures its facilities and collections against catastrophic damage.

VII. Emergency Contacts / Telephone Numbers:

Wlodek Zaryczny
Director of Library Services
Office Voicemail (843) 470- 6506
Cell Phone: (843) 812-0
982
E-mail: wzaryczny@bcgov.net

Miriam Mitchell

Emergency Coordinator
Office Voicemail (843) 470-6526
Cell Phone: (843) 812-1855
E-mail: miriamm@bcgov.net

Jan O'Rourke
Assistant Director of Library Services
Office Voicemail (843) 470-6509

Cell Phone: (843) 812-8459
E-mail: jorourke@bcgov.net

Appendix A
-- Employee Emergency Contact List:

Available through the Emergency Coordinator as appropriate. The Library System list is completely revised at the beginning of each hurricane season (June of each year), and employees submit individual changes as soon as possible.

Appendix B
-- Hurricane Priorities for Collections, Records and Equipment:
(by Branch Location)

Actual location of specific equipment and records inside a particular branch library facility is available from the Damage Assessment Manager at that site. See Appendix C, "Priorities during Fires and Other Unforeseen Disasters" for priorities for recovery of the collection following a hurricane.

NOTE: Each location will maintain an inventory of library-owned artwork and submit a copy to the Emergency Coordinator. The inventories specify any storage or removal procedures and locations.

[A] BEAUFORT LOCATION:


[1] Collections:

(1) Beaufort District Collection: Remove all items listed on the "BDC Emergency Preparedness Priority List" (provided by the Historical Resources Coordinator) to the Beaufort Circulation Office. Store all other materials on the shelves in the Beaufort District area (cover shelf faces with plastic sheeting attached to top of shelf units). Emergency Coordinator will direct Buildings Maintenance staff to install window shutters upon OPCON 3 notification.

[2] BEAUFORT LOCATION

Library-Owned Artwork: Inventory on file at Beaufort Branch and in the Beaufort District Collection (duplicate filed with the Emergency Coordinator).

[B] HILTON HEAD ISLAND LOCATION:
(1) Library-Owned Artwork: Inventory on file at Hilton Head Branch (duplicate filed with the Emergency Coordinator).

[C] BLUFFTON LOCATION:
(1) Library-Owned Artwork: Inventory on file at Bluffton Branch (duplicate filed with the Emergency Coordinator).

[D] LOBECO LOCATION:
(1) Library-Owned Artwork: Inventory on file at Lobeco Branch (duplicate filed with the Emergency Coordinator).

[E] ST. HELENA ISLAND LOCATION:
No current priority list for hurricanes.

Appendix C
-- Priorities During Fires and Other Unforeseen Disasters
(By Branch Location)


GENERAL NOTES:

1) See Appendix D for floor plans that locate these specific collection areas at each branch location. Staff will direct fire and other emergency personnel to rescue these materials in order of their numbered priority, if possible.

2) These priorities also apply to recovery of the collection following a hurricane.

[A] BEAUFORT LOCATION:

[1] Beaufort District Collection
[2] Original artwork;
[3] Microfilm of local newspapers, census and historical documents;
[4] Cumulative Reference sets;
[5] Business Reference volumes;
[6] Business records -- Not automated (e. g., active interlibrary loan requests);
[7] The ADULT circulating collection (by Collection Policy emphases);
[8] The children's collection.

[B] HILTON HEAD LOCATION:

[1] Original artwork.
[2] SC history and genealogy materials;
[3] Microfilm of The Island Packet;
[4] Cumulative Reference sets;
[5] Business Reference volumes;
[6] Business records -- Not automated (e. g., active interlibrary loan requests);
[7] The ADULT circulating collection (by Collection Policy emphases);
[8] The children's collection.

[C] BLUFFTON LOCATION:
[1] Original artwork.

[D] LOBECO LOCATION:
[1] Original artwork.

[E] ST. HELENA ISLAND LOCATION:
No current priority list for fires.

Appendix D
-- Floor plans for Locating Collections During Recovery, Fires, and Other Emergencies - Including Locations for Extinguisher (By Branch Location)

Floor plans not posted on this Web site.

Appendix E -- Directory of Selected Recovery and Preservation Vendors / Resources

(See source : South Department of Archives and History Web page, http://www.state.sc.us/scdah/drsloc.htm)

Appendix F -- Classification of Hurricanes:

The Saffir/Simpson Hurricane scale classifies hurricanes into five categories of severity:

Category 1: Minimal damage; Winds 74-98 mph; Storm surge 4-5 feet.
Category 2: Moderate damage; Winds 96-110 mph; Storm surge 6-8 feet.
Category 3: Extensive damage; Winds 111-130 mph; Storm surge 9-12 feet.
Category 4: Extreme damage; Winds 131-155 mph; Storm surge 13-18 feet.
Category 5: Catastrophic damage; Winds 155 mph or more; Storm surge higher than 18 feet
   
 
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