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Hurricane Preparation and Recovery Plan:

Evacuation, security and reporting procedures
for HURRICANES, Section III: P of the

( Revision of November 2008)

These procedures are library specific for each of the five conditions of hurricane preparedness (OPCON is an abbreviation of "OPerating CONdition"):

OPCON 5: Hurricane season (June 1-November 30)
OPCON 4: Notification
OPCON 3: Standby
OPCON 2: Full Alert (or County Administrator's order to close County offices)
OPCON 1: Evacuation, followed by Reentry and Recovery

See Appendix F of the Continuity of Operations Plan for the five classes of hurricanes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: EXCEPTIONS TO THESE PROCEDURES: Our hurricane procedures are guidelines only. Things can change fast during a hurricane. Here are just four possible exceptions to watch for:

• Actions normally taken during OPCON 2 maybe called for when we are still officially at OPCON 3 (The County Administrator, MIS, or the Library Director may make this decision just before weekends/holidays or when delay could put the public, staff, and Library property at risk).

• Once library facilities have been closed OPCON 2 (or upon the order of Administration), the Library Director may reopen them immediately upon a change back to OPCON 4 status. Staff will be directed to return to work as scheduled.

• An evacuation (normally OPCON 1) may possiby go into effect at OPCON 3 or 2, depending on the progress of the storm.

Developments during a single storm may call for two OPCON conditions at the same time (for instance, OPCON 3 for hurricane and OPCON 2 for tropical storm as the storm gains strength).

1. OPCON 5: BEGINNING OF HURRICANE SEASON:

A. Employee Review of Policy:
Each library employee will review the full hurricane policy by June 1 of each year. Staff may be trained in these hurricane plans and procedures.

B. Notification of the Library Director:
By June 1 of each year, the Emergency Coordinator will review hurricane emergency policy. Any revisions will be reviewed with the Library Director throughout the hurricane season.

C. Update Evacuation Telephone Numbers for Each Library Employee:
By June 1 of each year, Branch Managers will send their employees' evacuation contact forms to the Director's Administrative Assistant. The Director's Administrative Assistant will compile a list, file it and distribute copies to the Emergency Coordinator and each Branch Manager. If information changes during hurricane season, it is the employee's responsibility to inform the Director's Administrative Assistant immediately.

D. Branch Emergency Teams: Each branch should recruit staff willing to serve on a Branch Emergency Team, who may be called back to work during an emergency after other employees have been dismissed. Each Branch Emergency Team should consist of at least three persons at the Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island locations. Lobeco and St. Helena Teams may consist of only two persons. It may be necessary to create two Branch Emergency Teams, depending on circumstances: one group to commit to evacuation preparations and a second group to commit to recovery operations. See Section 3, Item D for procedures if a Branch Emergency Team cannot fulfill its obligation.

E. Posting Emergency Information:
Each Branch Manager will make sure that official Hurricane updates are posted on the Branch's staff bulletin board along with the current County reentry information phone number(s), EOC web address, and Official Evacuation Route Maps.

F. Emergency Supplies:
The Emergency Coordinator will talk to staff at each branch to decide what hurricane supplies are needed throughout hurricane season. These supplies are for emergency use only. The Emergency Coordinator will then purchase these supplies and distribute them to the branches.

G. Photographic Documentation:
Each Branch Manager will maintain a digital photographic file of key areas of the interiors and exteriors of each library branch facility, to be included among documents required for damage reports. This file should be backed up and secured at OPCON 4. Each year, the Emergency Coordinator will provide disposable cameras for purposes of documenting any damage that occurs. Damage photos may be taken with a digital camera if one is available at the branch.

H. Web EOC Verification:
The Emergency Coordinator will contact the County Emergency Management Department to verify procedure, passwords and functionality of the Web EOC online notification system by June 1 and wil inform the Library Director, Branch Managers and library Coordinators of the system's status.

2. OPCON 4: NOTIFICATION:

A. Notification of all personnel:
The Library Director will notify the Emergency Coordinator, the Service Area Coordinators, and the Systems Manager of the OPCON 4 status.

•The Emergency Coordinator will then notify the Branch Managers. If a Branch Manager is not available, the acting Branch Manager will be notified for further action.

• Branch Managers will notify their Branch Emergency Team and Branch Service Area Managers.

• Branch Service Area Managers will notify their employees.


B. Remove perishable items from refrigerators.

C. Library vehicle gas tanks will be refilled after each use.

D. Regularly monitor weather and Internet bulletins.

E. The Emergency Coordinator, Library Director, Branch Managers (or staff previously designated to serve in the Manager's absence) and library Coordinators will regulalry monitor the County's Web EOC system for Department Head Briefing Reports (bulletins from the Emergency Management Department to each County department) and Department Head Situation Report (reports from the various County departments).

NOTE:
Only the Emergency Coordinator and the Library Director will send reports on Web EOC, collecting information from Branch Mangers and Coordinators to submit to Emergency Management as a unified Library response. Other Library personnel will monitor Web EOC without submitting reports. Web EOC may be accessed only from County PCs.

F. Each Branch Manager will check the inventory of emergency supplies. Managers will inform the Emergency Coordinator of any shortages.

G. Branch Managers and Service Area Coordinators will keep their cell phones on until status drops to OPCON 5.

3. OPCON 3: STANDBY:

Hurricane conditions are possible and may threaten an area for the following 36 hours. A specific affected area and time period of danger will be announced.

A. Notification of all personnel:
The Library Director will notify the Emergency Coordinator, the Service Area Coordinators, and the Systems Manager of the OPCON 3 status.

•The Emergency Coordinator will then notify the Branch Managers. If a Branch Manager is not available, the acting Branch Manager will be notified for further action.

• Branch Managers will notify their Branch Emergency Team and Branch Service Area Managers.

•Branch Service Area Managers will notify their employees.

B. Branch Managers will refer to Appendix B, " Branch Specific Hurricane Priorities for Collections, Records and Equipment." These designated materials will now be placed in boxes or other containers in preparation for their removal to storage.

C. Management Information Systems (MIS) will call the Library Systems Manager with instructions to backup the SIRSI system. This notification to shut down may take place at any time during OPCON 3. All library branches will close at the time of the systems shutdown.

D. Close all branches at 5:00 PM unless MIS has taken the system down earlier.

E. Make sure vans are full of gas.

F. Back up all individual staff PC files.

G. Deposit all cash on hand every day.

H. Keep watching weather and Internet bulletins.

I. Keep monitoring Web EOC (see 2., E. above).

J. Branch Managers will notify their Branch Emergency Team that they may be called back to work at a moment's notice to secure the building and that they should make plans accordingly. If the Branch Emergency Team cannot fulfill their obligation, then the staff in the branch at closing must perform the tasks in listed immediately below in Section 4, Item D every night. The Branch must be readied for opening by the morning staff every day.

K. All employees will report to work on the following day unless notified otherwise. They may be asked to work overtime or ensure buildings are secure.

4. OPCON 2: FULL ALERT:

NOAA issues a "Full Alert" when hurricane-force winds, high water and rough seas are expected within 24 hours or less with sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.

A. The Library Director will close all Library locations immediately upon notification from the County Administrator. Branch Managers will dismiss their employees as tasks are completed and will determine at which point to discontinue activities not completed.

B. Notification of all personnel:

The Library Director will notify the Emergency Coordinator, the Service Area Coordinators, and the Systems Manager of the OPCON 2 status.

•The Emergency Coordinator will then notify the Branch Managers. If a Branch Manager is not available, the acting Branch Manager will be notified for further action.

• Branch Managers will notify their Branch Emergency Team and Branch Service Area Managers.

• Branch Service Area Managers will notify their employees.

C. Keep monitoring Web EOC, as possible (see 2., E. above).

D. If necessary, employees will inform their Branch Manager of any changes in their evacuation contact information. The Branch Manager will report this information to his updated information if possible.

E. Branch Managers will immediately assign library staff to perform the following functions:

• Secure materials, records and equipment that had been packed in OPCON 3.

• Box and label manuals, ledgers and other essential paper records and take them to designated storage areas.

• Cover stacked or grouped containers with plastic sheeting.

• Remove any remaining items from refrigerator and unplug it, leaving the doors open.

• Disconnect all other electrical equipment and appliances throughout the library, to prevent short-circuiting and risk of fire after power surges when current is restored after a storm. Be sure to disconnect equipment in offices of absent coworkers.

• Lock up all cash on hand, including copier money.

• Leave photocopiers and cash registers unlocked and open.

• Follow routine Circulation Department closing procedures.

F. Managers will restrict use of vehicles to OPCON 2 preparations. If possible, vehicles will be secured in County garages when no longer needed: the Beaufort and Lobeco vehicles go to the the Central Garage, Shanklin Road, Burton and the Hilton Head vehicle will go to the LRTA garage in Bluffton. If conditions prohibit this, the vehicles will remain at each branch.

G. The last staff to leave will:
• Notify the Emergency Coordinator that the facility has been secured.

• Double-check window and door locks.

•Do a final walk-through of the building.

•Set the alarm upon leaving.

•Turn off the lights.

• Make sure that the exterior doors are locked.

G. If possible, the Branch Manager will inform the Emergency Coordinator of the closing of his/her facility. The Emergency Coordinator will then inform the Library Director of the action taken.

5. OPCON I: EVACUATION, REENTRY AND RECOVERY ACTIVITIES:

EVACUATION:

A. The decision for mandatory evacuation of specific areas of the state is made by the Governor of South Carolina.

B. During evacuation (mandatory or voluntary), employees will access the updates on the County reentry information phone number(s) on at least a daily basis. All employees will return to work immediately upon either voicemail notification or communication from the Library Director or the Branch Managers. Each employee must contact his/her Branch Manager as soon as possible in the event of difficulty to return to work.

C. Throughout absence from work and/or evacuation, the Emergency Coordinator will maintain daily communication with the Library Director. The Emergency Coordinator will inform each Branch Manager of any significant information not accessible on the toll-free voicemail telephone updates. The Director and Library System Emergency Team will determine when it is necessary to contact other employees directly to communicate this information.

D. FUELING OUTSIDE BEAUFORT COUNTY:
If any Library vehicles are taken outside the County for evacuation, as determined by the Library Director, the employee driving the vehicle will be responsible for fueling. All receipts will be handed into the Director's Administrative Assistant as soon as possible.

RE-ENTRY AND RECOVERY:

NOTE: As directed by County, Library System, or Emergency Management administration, Library employees may be assigned temporarily to assist other agencies in their recovery efforts. These agencies include (but are not limited to):

• FEMA and other federal or state assistance agencies;
• Other County agencies.
• The American Red Cross; The Salvation Army; and the United Way (these agencies are contracted by Beaufort County in the event of emergencies).

A. The Beaufort District Collection:
Because of the unique value of materials in the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort location, the Historical Resources Coordinator and Emergency Coordinator will attempt recovery of those materials no later than 48 hours after the occurrence of the storm. Although circumstances may delay this goal, the Historical Resources Coordinator and Emergency Coordinator will contact the Emergency Management Department for permission and clearance to rescue the Beaufort District Collection as early as possible. Preservation of this collection is the priority of the Library System.

B. General Procedures:

1. As soon as possible upon re-entry, the Library System Emergency Team will contact the County Emergency Management Department to authorize access into each secured library facility. If the Emergency Management Department so determines, each Branch Manager will enter the building accompanied by a law enforcement officer or designated Emergency Management employee. Under no circumstances will a Branch Manager re-enter the building for the first time alone.

2. The Branch Manager will photograph any areas in the interior and exterior of the facility that have sustained evident damage. Branch Managers will inform the Emergency Coordinator, the Library Director and the County Building Maintenance Department immediately of any damage to the facility. The Branch Manager will notify the police of any evidence of criminal activity within the facility.

3. Immediately upon clearance of each facility, each Branch Manager will consult with the Historical Resources Coordinator for selection and treatment of any damaged library materials needing repair and/or shipment to appropriate recovery vendors, according to collection priorities listed in Appendix B. The managers will also begin notification of available employees of other County agencies and volunteers from the public for cleanup and recovery efforts.

4. The Library System Emergency Team will direct library staff in any recovery tasks and in the restoration of all normal operations.

5. Each Branch Manager will provide the Emergency Coordinator with photographs of damage or theft along with a written report of the re-entry event within three days of the re-entry (photographs may be sent later if developing facilities are not fully operational). The Emergency Coordinator will then compile and submit a general report to the Library Director with three days upon receipt of each location's report.

6. If electrical power has been restored, all windows should be opened and available electric fans and dehumidifiers should be placed to control humidity levels in areas of highest collection priority.

7. Each employee will continue to access the voicemail telephone updates (or any local telephone numbers that may have been provided), on at least a daily basis. All employees will proceed to return to work immediately upon telephone notification or upon direct communication from the Library Director or the Library System Emergency Team.

8. Each employee will inform his/her Branch Manager of local changes of address and/or telephone number immediately upon re-entry. Each Branch Manager will then send these changes to the Director's Administrative Assistant for updating of the employee contact list.

9. The Library Director will report damages and theft to the South Carolina State Library, as required by that agency.

10. The Emergency Coordinator will communicate regularly with the County Emergency Management Department throughout recovery and as necessary thereafter (through Web EOC, as possible).

 
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