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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

Developing a Library Building Program: Public Library as Disaster Recovery Center

Disaster Recovery Centers

Is your library a designated Disaster Recovery Center, or do you think it may be in future?

Special considerations:

  • Emergency Generator
    • Adding the extra circuit and switch required is a great idea, whether or not you will purchase a generator with library funds. The emergency management agencies will appreciate the ease of plugging one into your connection.
    • Another consideration is whether you want to power the entire library or only the Disaster Recovery Center area (usually the meeting room) during a power outage. If you want to power the whole building, you may decide to purchase an integrated generator as part of the electrical system.
  • After-hours access to your meeting room and restrooms becomes essential.
  • Policy considerations must be clearly delineated. Work with the emergency management agency to determine expectations and roles. For example, what is expected of library staff (including the Director) if the Disaster Recovery Center is deployed? Will the Center continue to operate when the library reopens? Is the library expected to operate, providing information services, during the emergency? What happens if a critical Library or Town meeting needs to occur while the Center is using the meeting room?