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February 12, 2015


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All CKLS members can use this trailer for free. We will haul it to your library. Just call.

  • During normal business hours, call 800-362-2642 or 620-792-4865
  • Harry Willems 316-617-3427 (cell)
  • Chris Rippel 620-282-9355 (cell)
  • Gail Santy 620-282-9372 (cell)
Protective gear
Hard hats
Safety glasses
Gloves - Blue cotton with leather palm various sizes
Gloves - 6 pack of yellow cotton
Knee pads - 1 pair
Dust masks, box of 50 masks
Earplugs, box of 4
Tarps, plastic sheeting, twine, rope, tape
Tarp - Blue  50' X 30'
Clear film - 6 mils 20' X 100'
Nylon cord - #10 50 feet
Nylon rope - 3/8 inch 50 feet
Nylon Twine 16oz. #18
Duct tape
Drying equipment
Carpet blowers Airfoxx AFX-AM4000A
Dehumidifier DriEaz 3500i GR170-240Pint
Water Vacuum FloodPumper TMI-NO-3312
Generator Briggs & Stratton 30242
Gas can - 5 gallons
Bucket - 5 gallons
Hose - medium duty, 50 feet
Towels, paper - package of 6
Tub - 70 quarts
Drill - Skil 3/4"
Saw - Circular plus additional blade
Saw - Hand saw 15 inch blade
Drill set
Hammer - 16oz Steel handle
Hammer - 13oz - wood handle
Screwdriver - 6 piece set
Utility knife
Ladder - folding 17 foot
Rip bar - 24 inches
Plier set 6 pc
Tape Measure 33 feet
Utility knife blades - Stanley 100 pack
Flashlights - 2 D-batteries
Brooms and buckets
Broom, Push 18"
Bucket - 70 quart
Mops, Twist
Broom, Corn
Waste bags - 30 gallons, package of 40
Trash can, 50 gallons
Halogen lights
Extension cord - 12 guage 50 feet
Extension cord - 12 guage 100 feet
Extension cord, 2' 3 outlets
Electrical tape - 1 roll

Planning templates

Red Cross' Ready Rating takes you through a process to assess your preparedness for handling a disaster and planning a response to an emergency. Requires signing up, but it is free.

Pocket template one-page both sides at

CalPresevation is a printable plan in Word at

Online disaster planning tool for simplifying planning.

Sample plans

Simple drying instructions

Heavy duty salvage instructions

Run, Hide, Fight video at

[Word version of this document is at]

The video contains the following lists. Add these lists to your disaster plan.


·        If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate.
·        Evacuate whether others agree or not.
·        Leave your belongings behind.
·        Help other escape if possible.
·        Prevent others from entering the area.
·        Call 911 when you are safe.


·        Lock and/or blockage the door.
·        Silence your cell phone.
·        Hide behind large objects.
·        Remain very quiet.


·        Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
·        Act with physical aggression.
·        Improvise weapons.
·        Commit to your actions.

When law enforcement arrives:

·        Remain calm and follow instructions.
·        Keep your hands visible at all times.
·        Avoid pointing or yelling.
·        Know that help for the injured is on its way.
I would recommend life-like practice each step because:
·        This will reveal flaws in imagined plans. For example, when the fire alarms went off in one library, the fire department’s search for the fire discovered they did not have all the keys to go everywhere in the building and where locked out of important areas.
·        Panic causes people to fall back on habits and forget the correct steps, e.g., turning off the cell phone ringer. Repeating of the correct steps makes habits out of the correct steps which may save their lives.
"Caring for books" is a 2-page brochure explaining the causes and signs of damage and what you can do to reduce damage. (pdf)
"Protecting your treasures", 2-pages printed, covers protecting, shelving, storing, cleaning and handling books.
Busting dust is a Web page, 2.25 pages printed, explaining how to clean and vacuum dusty books.
"Salvaging household furniture" discusses salvaging furniture that is upholstered, mildewed, submerged, veneered, and warped.
"Flood-damaged wood furniture" is 2-pages about assessing the damage and salvaging submerged furniture, damp furniture.

Eliminating odors

Emotional health after a disaster at 

Helping children with disaster at

Pets and disaster at

Returning home after a flood at

Recovery series at

    • Financial recovery
    • Emotional recovery
    • Checking your home
    • Checking utilities and major systems
    • Water safety
    • Food safety
    • Generator safety
    • Picking up after a disaster
    • Picking up after a fire
    • Repairing your flooded home
    • Important steps for safe and speedy recovery

The people cleaning up the library and salvaging materials need to understand what is important and needs to be salvaged first.

One of the earlier steps in recovery is assess the damage, i.e., listing the types of items damaged and then using the priority salvage list to identify which items should be saved first, second, third, etc.

Though the Janet Evanovich and Stephen King books may be the most popular items in your library, these books are not valuable because they can be easily and cheaply replaced. The most valuable items are:

  • Critical to the ongoing operation of the library.
  • About your town, county or state.
  • Irreplacable or not easily available elsewhere
  • Fragile or sensitive to fluctuations in temperature or humidity
  • Cost of replacement is more than cost of restoration.

Here are several examples of illustrating and listing what is important in a disaster plan.

  • Cornell Library provides a floorplan with area marked out and number by priority. Quickly understood. 
  • University of Arizona Law Library lists section and identifies its location at

Ask your insurance agent the following questions. Some questions probe the adequacy of the library's insurance in financing the rebuilding of the library and its collections. Other questions reveal requirements by the insurance company for processing damage claims. Make sure to include these requirements in the clean-up and recovery processes. If the insurance company wants photos of the damage before clean-up starts, for example, make sure taking photos is near the beginning of your cleanup instructions. I give special thanks to Craig Thurman of Thurman-Morrison & Associates, Inc. Insurance Agency for reviewing these questions.

  • Does the insurance company know your building is being used as a library as opposed a to “city building”?
  • Does the policy actually cover the top five disasters likely to occur in your town? What exactly does the insurance cover for each of these disasters? (Ask your County Emergency Management Coordinator the top five disasters likely to occur in your town. Also ask if the county has "Emergency Equipment and Supplies.")
  • Does your insurance agent know your library has computers, television, DVD player, fax machine, microfilm reader-printer, etc.?
  • What is contents inside the library is covered by the insurance policy? Here are the contents for special consideration:
Important records and papers
Fine arts (Please get these works reappraised.)
Exhibition/display materials that you may take from the building
Temporary exhibits (If your insurance doesn't cover temporary exhibits, you should tell people who display things in your library.)
  • Does the insurance policy provide money to rent another facility for continuing operations while the damaged building is being repaired?
  • Does your insurance cover only what your used furniture and books are worth now or what buying new contents will actually cost?
  • What is required by the insurance company for an inventory of library contents? A list of items? Photographs? Videos? How should these be done?
  • An inventory list template is at Store this inventory in a bank safety deposit box.
  • Is your insurance adequate to cover 80% to 90% of replacement costs?
  • How does the insurance company want the library to report disasters?
  • Must the insurance representative see the damage before clean-up can begin?
  • What is required to prove that the library owned a book that is being discarded because of damage? Entire book? Title page?

"Emergency Procedures Guide" is a Word document listing procedures to follow for a variety of emergencies.

  1. One each page fill out the procedures for that type of emergency. 
  2. Then arrange the pages so the bold title of the emergency hangs below the pages in front of it. 
  3. When the bold titles are displayed so all are seen, cut off the tops of the pages so they are even and staple the top.

Does the library's current disaster plan have the following features?

Up-to-date list identifying the location of turnoff valves for all utilities.  Yes  No

Location of the up-to-date inventory of items in the library.  Yes  No

Up-to-date list of library people to call in case of emergency to help clean-up, etc.  Yes  No

Up-to-date list of telephone numbers for non-library emergency people, e.g., police, fire, ambulance, utility companies, etc.   Yes  No

Identifies person responsible for communicating with staff, city, media, etc.  Yes  No

Identify salvage priorities, i.e., ranked list of what to save first, second, third, etc.  Yes No

Identify the location of cleanup supplies.  Yes  No

Identify other organizations and people who will help your library recover from a disaster.  Yes  No

Identifying locations outside library where damaged items can be taken for salvaging.  Yes  NoSteps for transporting damaged items to location for drying, etc.  Yes  No

Steps for cleaning up various types of media in the library.

  1. One-page essay, "Lessons Learned from the Flood of 2007" at 
  2. Two-page outline, "Before Disaster Strikes: Ten Things You Need to Know": pdf or Word document

Planning for disaster recovery

  1. The right menus offer links to plan templates and advice in writing a disaster plan.
  2. Insurance questions are questions to ask your insurance agent to ensure your insurance finances your recovery.
  3. Salvage priorities provides criteria for identifying the really important items in your library, as opposed to what is merely popular.
  4. Disaster Trailer lists supplies for cleaning up disastrous messes in CKLS Disaster Supply Trailer. I recommend adding to your plan, all the cell phone numbers mentioned on this page so you can contain us day or night.
  5. Drying books, odors, etc. provide instructions for drying out and repairing damaged items.
  6. After writing your first draft, compare the draft with the "Evaluating the Current Plan". Make improvements.
  7. Upon completing the final draft, email a copy of plan to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Chris RippelThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">.

After disaster strikes

  • Get out your plan and implement it. If you can't find your plan, remember it is in the left column of this Website.
  • Call CKLS for their Disaster Trailer. The trailer contains a big water vacuum for sucking up lots of water; dehumidifiers and fans to dry out the air; and gloves, hardhats, power and hand tools, big tarps, electrical cords, etc.
  • Drying books

The Central Kansas Library System offers Library Evaluations to our member libraries.

Before conducting the evaluation, the CKLS Administrator and Consultants visit with the librarian and board to find out their goals for the library and to ascertain the role the library plays in the community. As much as is possible, the evaluation is prepared with these end goals in possible. The Administrator and Consultants visit the library and conduct a thorough in-person evaluation. This is done during library closed hours so as not to disrupt library business. Chris Rippel compiles the evaluations into a single report. CKLS Consultants are available to present the report to library board, when requested and explain how it can be used. For example, CKLS libraries have used the library evaluation to help prepare action steps, determine priorities in building upgrades, collection development, and to leverage funding, where appropriate.

Below you will find links to two complete reports for real small to medium-sized libraries. These complete reports have been "sanitized" and names and locations have been removed. This gives you a good idea of what the final document can look like.

You will also find links to all the blank evaluation forms CKLS uses. The blank forms are provided as MS Word documents so you may edit them as needed.

Finally, you will find a link to the Spreadsheets for Librarians. Chris Rippel created these spreadsheets to help librarians collect statistical data in an easy, organized way, but he also uses them to help prepare reports for the library evaluations.

Library # 1
Library #2
At the beginning of each year, librarians submit an annual statistical report. The document you are reading shows how to use a spreadsheet of the statewide collection of this data to create bar charts comparing your library with 40 other libraries serving communities of similar size. Some states provide their statewide statistical data only in pdf. Ask for a spreadsheet version.
I use these charts for two purposes.
First, quite often librarians "feel" a deficiency in the library and need a way to prove this "feeling" is real. These charts support claims that "other libraries serving towns our size have more of this or that and, therefore, our library needs more too." The tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet illustrate two examples. "Staff FTE" shows the need for more staff. "Total local income" shows the need for more money.
Second, when Chris Rippel evaluates libraries, he creates about 15 charts covering all aspects of the library: library size, hours open, local income, expenditures, staffing, collection size, circulation, programming, etc. Comparing charts allows Chris to claim that a library is equivalent to other libraries in some aspects, but not in another aspects. Often the charts suggest strategies for making improvements. For example, since staffing FTEs and total local income are lower than other libraries, raising local income would provide additional money to increase staff hours. The "library evaluation" tab illustrates several examples of this type of analysis.
All statistical analysis relies on quality of the data. "Issues" discusses this analysis grapples with the unreliability of the data.
So how are these charts created? The "Steps to creating charts" tab illustrates eleven steps for making charts. Once this method is learned, creating a chart takes about one minute.
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