5.2 Response and Resiliency: Challenges in the Aftermath of a Disaster

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 11:00 AM
Room 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Joyce Shaw, Univ. of Southern Mississippi, Ocean Springs, MS

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded the Gunter Library at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, with over a foot of storm surge water. On the campus, the storm surge destroyed the Hopkins Instructional Labs, the physical plant offices and maintenance shop, the anadromous fisheries building, half of the toxicology building, greenhouses, and pier. In the months and years to follow, navigating life and work in a disaster area while building a skillset for resiliency, and embracing change become the tools and challenges for long-term recovery for the library and the people who work and use it. One part of resiliency skillset building recommended at every library focused disaster planning and recovery workshop offered after the storm was Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. CERT training provides citizens with skills, knowledge, and tools to prepare and respond to a variety of natural and man-made emergency events. It is 20 hours of classroom lecture and hands-on activities developed by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and funded through state homeland security offices. Becoming CERT certified helps citizens in the event a disaster or emergency impacts their community. Gunter Library organized and hosted two CERT training sessions, one in 2008 and one in 2014, and participated with first responders and city employees in the 32 hour FEMA L-930 Integrated Emergency Management Course: City of Ocean Springs. Helping citizens become more resilient is a big step toward building resilient communities.
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