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ICYMI Webinar Recap: Are you Ready? Essential Disaster Health Information Resources

Posted by on March 18th, 2020


Over the next several weeks, we will be recapping some of the exceptional webinars that the NNLM SCR has hosted over the course of 2019 and early 2020. If you would like to access an archived version of this webinar and the others we have hosted, please click here.

In January of this year, our Executive Director Brian Leaf presented a webinar entitled “Are you Ready? Essential Disaster Health Information Resources”. After viewing this recording, the learner will be able to:

  • Describe trends and terms used in disaster preparedness
  • Describe factors that impact different audiences and their ability to respond to disasters
  • Brainstorm programming and potential interventions to better educate and prepare older adults for disaster response
  • Identify NLM databases, resources, and apps that can help provide disaster health information to older adults during all parts of the disaster cycle.

Brian begins by introducing and discussing project partnerships, such as a “Stop the Bleeding” event and the SCR CONNECTions emergency management webinar by Bill Inenogle in 2018. Brian also mentioned that funding of $15,000 is available as the Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Award.

It’s vital that communities recognize the very important role that libraries play in times of disaster. FEMA has recognized libraries as essential resources for relocation funding in the event that facilities become unusable. Brian cites the functions libraries have served in t he wake of hurricanes in the past, becoming places of physical shelter and resources for research, bilingual staff, and communication with youth. To help support this role, the NLM and MLA have partnered to offer a Disaster Information Specialization; further information on this is available from both the NLM and MLA.

Diving into the meat of his presentation, Brian outlines and defines the four phases of disaster management:

  1. Mitigation
  2. Preparedness
  3. Response
  4. Recovery

He also goes over some examples of disaster types, both manmade and natural, from terrorism to fires to radiation emergencies. The disaster management cycle is presented in graphic form, which is included in this column.

Where we get our information can make or break our complete understanding of any event or subject. Brian discusses the difference between resources for “scholarly information” and “grey information”, and offers examples and merits of both. He presents an article that discusses how we search for medical advice online and how these habits translate to understanding reputable resources for disaster management information. In addition to being diligent in our search for reliable information, we should also prepare specific plans for ourselves, our families, our groups, or our organizations in the event that a disaster should strike; Brian discusses strategies for this, taking variables such as communication, supplies, contingency plans, and even pets into consideration. It should also be noted that, because our life expectancy is growing, we must  take special measures to ensure the safety of our older populations, including emphasis on physical fitness as an important factor in disaster preparedness. A resource is presented that offers fitness motivation and support for people 55 and older, but Brian emphasizes that this site contains excellent information for any adults looking to become healthier.

The rest of this webinar focuses on valuable resources for information and training on this subject, most of which are listed below. 

Resources for disaster preparedness information:

This webinar is available to watch on YouTube.

Look out for blog posts in the coming weeks which will recap more NNLM SCR webinars.

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Image of the author ABOUT E. Bailey Sterling
E. Bailey Sterling is a Digital Communications Specialist with the NNLM SCR and presently a graduate student pursuing an MS in Information Science specializing in Health Informatics from the University of North Texas (GMG!). She's an analog gamer, writer, and lifelong learner living in DFW. If you have anything you'd like to see featured on the NNLM SCR blog or social channels, please email Bailey.Sterling@unthsc.edu. We would love to hear more about what's happening at your library!

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