Disaster Plan

This plan is on file in the following locations:

  • On premises in the office file cabinet in the folder marked “Disasters Policy”
  • On premises in the folder behind the circulation desk marked “Library Policies”
  • Off premises in the home of the director
  • Off premises in the home of the president of the board of trustees
  • Off premises in the home of the chair of the building and grounds committee
  • Keep the Disaster Plan available behind the circulation desk and filed in the office.
  • The staff and trustees need to be aware of its location and contents.
  • Review and update the plan annually (including names, addresses and telephone numbers of personnel, service providers and government offices).
  • Maintain fire extinguishers, first aid kits, etc.
  • Keep access to exits, fire equipment, electrical panels, and plumbing valves clear.
  • Store valuable records/materials in fire/waterproof areas.
  • Maintain a disaster kit and update the emergency supply inventory annually.  Kit should include:
    • First Aid Kit
    • Corded, non-electric telephone
    • Rubber/latex gloves
    • Battery-powered radio
    • 2 heavy duty utility flashlights with fully charged batteries
    • Roll of plastic sheeting
    • Paper towels
    • Tarp
    • Duct Tape
    • Scissors
    • Gallon-size zip-lock bags


Building Evacuation

The building should be evacuated whenever remaining in the building becomes dangerous or upon the request of government authorities.

  • When evacuating persons with disabilities, ask how you can help before giving assistance.  Ask how he or she can best be assisted or moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with that person.
  • Get the attention of a person with a hearing disability by touch and eye contact. Clearly state the problem. Gesture and pointing are helpful, but be prepared to write a brief statement if the person does not seem to understand.
  • Do not grasp a visually impaired person’s arm.  Ask if he or she would like to hold onto your arm as you exit, especially if there is debris or a crowd.

Priorities for Salvaging Materials

In the case of a disaster, please salvage items in the following order:

  1. All local history materials and ephemera including materials on the shelves to the left of the office door and items in the plastic tubs in the basement room opposite the door to the furnace room
  2. All artwork and ephemera from both the main room and the children’s room
  3. Library Director’s computer
  4. Binders of board meeting minutes on shelves above director’s desk in the office
  5. All materials on loan from other libraries on the reserve shelf behind the circulation desk

In-House Emergency Equipment and System Shut-Off Locations

Keys:   Keys are located in the wooden table drawer to the right of the door leading from the office to the basement stairs.

Main Electrical Cut-Off Switch: Located on the north wall of the furnace room.

Main Water Shut-Off Valve: Located on the east wall of the furnace room.

Thermostat: Located in the main library outside the children’s room on the bookshelf to the right of the entryway.

Furnace Over-Ride Switch: Located in the office above the main bank of light switches. 

Fire Extinguishers: There are two fire extinguishers. One is to the right of the fireplace on the west wall of the main library room.  The other is outside the bathroom door at the top of the basement stairs.

Paper Towel Supply: Paper towels can be found in the office closet and the emergency supplies box in the basement.

First Aid Kit: First Aid kits can be found in the office closet and the disaster kit box in the basement.

Emergency Contact List

Library Director: AnnaLee Giraldo                               518-496-7320 (cell)


Board President: Gary Spielmann                              518-758-7962 (home)

518-755-3262 (cell)

Fire: Palmer Engine and Hose Company                     911 or 518-828-4114

Police: State Police                                                  518-758-7010

Columbia County Sherriff                                          518-828-3344

Ambulance                                                              911

Poison Control                                                          1-800-222-1222

Plumbing: Rothermel Plumbing                                   518-758-9271

Oil Delivery/Furnace Service: HL Fuel                          518-794-9080

Handyman: Michael Urbaitis                                        518-758-9098

Electrician: Tim Reutzel                                              518-828-9347

Electric Supply: National Grid                                       1-800-664-6729 (business office)

1-800-892-2345 (emergencies)

1-800-867-5222 (power outage)

Insurance Agency: Kleeber Agency                               518-758-7123

Legal Advisor: William Better                                        518-758-1210

Locksmith: City Locksmith                                            518-828-0538

Ice/Snow Removal: John Brennan                                 518-821-3124

Exterminator: Catseye Pest Control                               518-732-7378

Computer/Networking Specialist: Cody Anderson          888-282-6383

Phone Service: Time Warner                                         1-866-44TWCBC

Internet Service: Time Warner                                       1-866-44TWCBC

Child Abuse Hotline                                                      1-800-342-3720

Domestic Violence Hotline                                            1-800-942-6906

Runaways Hotline                                                        1-800-621-4000

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)                          518-765-7551

Northeast Document Conservation Center (Andover, MA) 978-470-1010

Upkeep Checklist

Disaster Kit Box                                                                  [DATE]

Locks Secure and Keys Accounted For                                    [DATE]

Emergency Numbers Posted by Telephones                            [DATE]

System Shut-Off Labeling                                                    [DATE]

Disaster Plan Map Updated                                                  [DATE]

Fire Extinguishers Updated                                                  [DATE]

Staff Familiarized with Location of Thermostats, Exits,

Fire Extinguishers, Flashlights, Emergency Phone Numbers    [DATE]


Date of Last Analysis & Update of Insurance Coverage          [DATE]


The time to think about fires is before they happen. Familiarize yourself with the type, location, and application of the fire extinguisher(s) in the building. Orient all staff and volunteers to this information.

  • Do not panic, but do not under-estimate the potential danger to customers or staff represented by a fire.
  • At the first indication of smoke or flame, evacuate the building and investigate the situation to determine location and extent of the fire.
  • If the fire can obviously be contained and extinguished quickly and safely by staff, proceed to do so.
  • If there is any doubt about whether the fire can be controlled, immediately call 911 or the fire department.
  • In a severe situation, follow the Priorities for Salvaging Materials.
  • Notify the Library Director or, if unavailable, the Board President.
  • If there is an immediate water leak which will cause damage, shut off the main water valve in the furnace room.
  • Call the plumber.
  • If there is a flood, remove library materials from lower shelves first. Move books to a dry area.
  • For any water leaks, protect the area of damage with plastic sheeting located in the Emergency Supplies box in the basement.
  • In a severe situation, follow the Priorities for Salvaging Materials.
  • Close all exterior doors and windows.
  • Shut down and unplug all computers.
  • Keep everyone away from windows.
  • Staff should be familiar with flashlight locations.
  • Do not leave the building.
  • Shut all exterior doors and windows if there is time.
  • Shut down and unplug all computers.
  • Direct all people in the library to the basement.
  • Staff should be familiar with flashlight locations.

Flooding and Water Damage

Severe Electrical and Other Storms


Bomb Threats

If by Phone:

  • Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask the caller to repeat the message and try to write down every word spoken by the person.
  • If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, ASK FOR THIS INFORMATION.
  • Pay particular attention to peculiar background noises such as motors running, background music and any other sounds which might indicate the location from which the call is originating.
  • Listen closely to the voice (male, female), voice quality (calm, excited), accents and speech impediments.
  • Immediately after the caller hangs up, call 911.
  • Evacuate the building. The police will handle the actual bomb search.

If in Person:

  • Evacuate the building.
  • Call 911.
  • The Library should be closed to the public. Assist patrons in evacuating the building. Check bathroom to make sure that patrons are not trapped inside without light.
  • There are flashlights located outside the door to the office plugged into the electrical outlet, in the closet in the office, and in the disaster kit.
  • A corded non-electric phone is located in the emergency supplies box in the basement. Plug phone into an existing phone jack to use.
  • Turn off and unplug computers as soon as a power outage begins to occur.
  • If the Library Director is not in the building, contact the Director to apprise her of the situation.

Power Outage

Health emergencies

Staff members should exercise caution when administering first aid of even a minor nature because of the safety of the injured individual and the potential liability of the staff member. Without specialized training it is not advisable for staff to undertake more than keeping the sick or injured patron comfortable and protected from needless disturbance until medical help can be obtained. Since each case is unique, staff members should use their own judgment to do what is prudent and reasonable.

  • The Rescue Squad/Police (911) should be called immediately in the event of any serious problem.
  • No medication, including aspirin, should ever be dispensed to the public.
  • First Aid supplies are located in the office closet. [Other emergency supplies are located in a carton in the basement marked “Emergency Supplies”]

No Heat

The Building Code of New York State defines the temperature at which the library must be between September 15 and May 31.· For the public the temperature cannot be less than 68°F and for staff, not less than 65°F.  If the temperature falls below 68°F, close the library to the public. If the Library Director is not in the building, contact the Director to apprise her of the situation. The Director must authorize staff to contact HL Fuel for repairs to the furnace.

Snow storms

In the event of a snow or ice storm, it may be necessary to close the library. The Library Director or Board President will determine whether to close the library. A notice will be placed on the door of the library, and the library answering machine message and the website calendar will be changed to reflect the closing.

Phone Outage

If the phones are not functioning due to a power outage, a non-electric, corded phone can be found on the shelves in the emergency supplies box in the basement.

Disaster Plan Map

See attached map, index, and photos for more information.

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