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Disaster Preparation: the Link between Local Libraries and Navigating an Emergency

Public libraries are an important part of any society and can connect you to all sorts of information on any subject or question you may have. While many think of libraries as simply a room full of books, that could not be farther from the truth; with the help of a library, you can be connected to resources, both digital and physical, inside and outside of our building, including information on fire safety, emergency preparedness, and firework safety that is appropriate for any age.

For children, we have books available to check out both in-house and online. These range in topics from how to survive a fire, what to do in case of an emergency, how to interact with emergency services, and how to deal with the aftermath of a disaster. These are incredibly important resources for children, as it helps them understand the world around them, and how to safely navigate it both physically and emotionally.

For adults, library resources include books, databases, and reference materials from entities such as FEMA that cover a myriad of topics including how to elevate your flood-prone house, questions about the National Flood Insurance Program, and reducing damage from localized flooding. Two examples of the databases that are available are the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, and Fort Bend County Libraries. A quick search of ‘fire safety’ in each of these returns magazine articles, guides, and flyers covering wildfire safety, preventing firework damage, summer safety, fire safety for the elderly, reducing your risk of a house fire and so on. These resources are great assets to have both before and after an event.

It’s also important to remember that your public library doesn’t just provide help and services prior to an event or emergency. Think of them like ports in a storm, where you can find a place to cool off or warm up, charge your devices, and connect with others. It is our goal to help in any way, shape, or form. If there is an item that your home library does not have for whatever reason, rest assured that they will connect you with the piece of material, resource, or person who can help you the best, whether it be through special ordering the item, placing a phone call, or researching and providing you with contact information for someone who is more knowledgeable on the subject.

Connecting people to the information they want and need is a library’s main goal, no matter how small the request. Regardless if you’re looking for resources regarding the before, during, or after an emergency, you can be certain that your library will have what you’re looking for, and help you discover anything else you need.

Laura H. Houston Crime Stoppers

Laura Hancock, MLIS

Senior Librarian, Dickinson Public Library

Posted by Laura Hancock, MLIS on 13 Jul 2022