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The Library’s Place During a Community Disaster 2008 Kansas Library Conference Helen Rigdon, MLS Director, Coffeyville Public Library.

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Presentation on theme: "The Library’s Place During a Community Disaster 2008 Kansas Library Conference Helen Rigdon, MLS Director, Coffeyville Public Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Library’s Place During a Community Disaster 2008 Kansas Library Conference Helen Rigdon, MLS Director, Coffeyville Public Library

2 And the Rains Came Down Late June 2007, southern sections of Kansas was hit with several days of very heavy rains after a very wet spring. Hardest rain fell Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30

3 Flood Facts River crested at 30.7 feet above flood stage of 26.5 feet Water poured over the top of the levee for 2.5 days City notified residents to evacuate on Saturday night, June 30 90,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into flood water

4 Flood Facts East side of town was barricaded off Residents were not allowed into their homes for 10 days Mold grew at an alarming rate inside of flooded homes No highway access to the south or east for several days

5 Flood Facts 12,301 volunteer hours were logged for FEMA reimbursement. This number does not include Red Cross or Salvation Army hours 140 National Guard housed in college residence halls and in tents

6 Flood Facts 960 persons were displaced according to FEMA Potential loss of $15.8 million in structure values To date, 355 homes have been demolished

7 Oil in Water – July 1, 2007

8 Coffeyville Fairgrounds

9 Coffeyville Flood – July 1, 2007

10 Coffeyville Resources Tank Farm – July 1, 2007

11 Coffeyville Neighborhood – Flood July 1, 2007

12 Coffeyville Flood – July 1, 2007. Former Wal-mart and Townsman Hotel

13 Library’s “Job” Given a library’s “place” in the community and the proficiency in gathering, verifying and disseminating of information, it is only natural for the public library to take on a major role during a community disaster.

14 Services Attended all City Hall/Informational meetings so correct information was posted. Obtained and handed out all forms/brochures from FEMA, Red Cross, Kansas Department of Health and EPA, K.A.R.E and others Houses the EPA report about the impact of the flood

15 Services Helped citizens locate and initially apply for FEMA relief until FEMA set up Printed off filing instructions for FEMA, including list of needed documentation Community Room used by environmental cleanup company to work out of until other space could be found

16 Services Provided email access for Red Cross volunteers, National Guard, and the scores of other service volunteers that came to Coffeyville Library’s Community Room was used by local mental health agency to hold town meetings to help citizens deal with emotions Supplied victims information on preservation of damaged property

17 Services Supplied books to the four shelters Worked with the Red Cross in helping people find Internet resources Provided a calming place away from shelter for displaced persons and families City Recreation was displaced and still use Community Room for crafts classes

18 Family Treasures Preservation Library of Congress Preservation


20 Individuals can not sign up for assistance until President declares federal disaster for individuals. Coffeyville received disaster declaration for local government first (Monday, July 2) Individual declaration did not come until July 5

21 FEMA Printed off copies of the Applicant’s Guide for help after a disaster. Printed off copy of what documents victims needed when applying. Helped get victims logged in. Met with FEMA representatives and CPL was used for victims sign up until FEMA moved in their own equipment.

22 Operation Photo Rescue Jerri Hayes from Operation Photo Rescue contacted CPL. Outside of Katrina, Coffeyville has been the only other place to receive assistance from this organization Four volunteers came to Coffeyville on September 28 and 29, 2007 to help flood victims restore pictures CPL supplied the contact, room and marketing

23 Operation Photo Rescue

24 Library Disaster Plan Each library needs one But where to start? Who has the time? What goes in it? HELP!

25 Disaster Planning Resources The Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website The Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website


27 dPlan dPlan is designed to help institutions of all sizes: Small and medium-sized institutions that do not have in-house preservation staff University libraries, museum campuses, or statewide library systems that need to develop separate but related plans for multiple buildings, locations, or branches State agencies or professional associations that seek to structure training programs on disaster planning


29 Library Disaster Planning After creation, plan should be reviewed and updated yearly City Disaster Plan Check with city officials Make sure they know library is willing to step up and play an active role Volunteer during disaster to stay in touch with city officials and disaster personnel

30 Most Important Role As one anonymous patron said in a customer satisfaction survey done in Fall 2007: “It gave us someplace quiet and relaxing to go during the flood and allowed us and our children to get out of the shelter.”

31 Resources City of Coffeyville/Cindy Price FEMA Operation Photo Rescue Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance

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