After the flood: Lessons learned from small- scale disasters


This chapter uses two case studies of small disasters caused by water to examine the impact of such small-scale events on the libraries concerned, how those libraries managed the emergencies, and what lessons were learned which will inform their planning for future incidents. The case studies show that while both incidents are water-related, they are quite different in terms of source, size, impact, recovery time, and frequency. Many books and articles on disaster planning focus on the larger disasters, such as hurricanes and floods, which may be the reason the much more common smaller emergencies do not get the attention they deserve. Libraries should be planning for the small disasters first, and then scaling up their preparation to account for the larger, less frequent events, rather than the reverse. More libraries may be persuaded to do such planning if they are preparing for a probable scenario rather than one which may only be a possibility.

Publication Title

Handbook of Research on Disaster Management and Contingency Planning in Modern Libraries