The Information Use Management & Policy Institute (Information Institute) was invited to participate in a number of conferences related to the Use of Public Libraries in Hurricane Response and Preparedness in April and May, 2009. These conference participation opportunities relate to ongoing research efforts by the Institute regarding the Public Libraries in Hurricane Preparedness and Response Project. This project is a grant effort obtained through the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center at Florida State University’s College of Business, and extends through December 31, 2009.
The first was the 2009 National Hurricane Conference, held April 6-April 10 in Austin, TX. This conference is the nation's forum for education and professional training in hurricane preparedness. The primary goal of the National Hurricane Conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation in order to save lives and property in the United States and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and Pacific. This conference serves as a national forum for federal, state and local officials to exchange ideas and recommend new policies to improve Emergency Management. The complete program from the 2009 National Hurricane Conference can be downloaded here. The 2010 National Hurricane Conference is scheduled for March 29-April 2 in Orlando, Florida.
At the National Hurricane Conference, the Information Institute was represented by Mr. Joe Ryan who served as the Project Manager for the Public Libraries in Hurricane Preparedness and Response Project. Mr. Ryan’s presentation was entitled Public Libraries Hidden Assets in Community Disaster Response and was part of a panel discussion that covered Empowering Your Citizens to Be Part of Your Disaster Preparedness/Response Program. This discussion addressed the county and municipal partnerships and tools necessary to develop a disaster preparedness program for neighborhood associations, as well as some techniques for keeping evacuated residents informed of hurricane information.
On May 6, Dr. Charles R. McClure, the project Principal Investigator made a presentation at the Florida Library Association in Orlando that introduced the project website and discussed the various service roles that public libraries can provide their local community in hurricane preparedness and response. McClure also made a presentation May 14 in Fort Lauderdale at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference to emergency management officials that introduced them to the activities and importance of public libraries in hurricane preparedness and response. The Governor’s Hurricane Conference is the premier hurricane conference in Florida and brings together a broad array of participants in hurricane emergency management. The ideas and roles regarding public libraries were very well received.
The Information Use Management & Policy Institute is directed by Charles R. McClure, Ph.D., Francis Eppes Professor at the College of Communication & Information, Florida State University (FSU). Dr. McClure has created a collaborative partnership with state libraries in the Gulf Coast, libraries in Florida, and others that continues to gather extensive research on the role and use of public libraries in hurricane preparedness and response throughout the Gulf Coast region.