512. Emergency Policies

If the Director decides to close the library for any of the following emergency reasons they will inform the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office and Library Board of Trustees of the decision.

A. Storms

1. The Library Director will decide if the library is to be closed due to a winter storm.
2. The Library Director may decide to close the library if a power outage occurs.
3. The Library Director may allow employees to leave work early in anticipation of hazardous weather conditions.

B. Tornadoes

Tornado Warning Issued – this is to warn that a tornado may be imminent. It can be issued after the sighting of a tornado or if radar indicated that a tornado is possible. Seek shelter immediately.
A siren will be activated in the event of a tornado warning. The weather alert radio will sound an alert tone. A circulation staff member will immediately notify the librarian in charge who will verify that staff is aware of the situation.
1. SHELTER AREAS – Please take cover in the designated locations in the library. Main locations to take cover in are the public restrooms. The staff member in charge should place the “TORNADO WARNING IN EFFECT – TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY IN A MARKED AREA” sign on the library’s front entrance door before taking cover. This sign is kept at the circulation desk in brown folder.
2. Options for the Public – Members of the public may, at their option, leave the building. However, if they remain in the building they will be required to take cover with the staff. Anyone aged 17 and below without a guardian will be requested to stay at the library.
3. After the All Clear – Upon issuance of an “all Clear” the public may be led from the restrooms and the warning sign should be removed from the front entrance door. There is no “all clear” siren or signal that the city issues.

C. Fire

1. At the first indication of smoke or flame, staff will investigate the situation to determine location and extent of the fire.
2. When a fire is discovered, an alarm should be pulled. Alarm pull stations are located next to every door that exits the building.
3. Staff will ask the library’s patrons to calmly evacuate the building.
4. A staff member will immediately call 911.
5. A fire extinguisher may be used with a small, contained fire.

D. Health Emergencies

1. 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, and health hazards to, 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.
2. The Rescue Squad/Police (911) should be called immediately in the event of any serious problem.
3. No medication, including aspirin, should ever be dispensed to the public.

E. Pandemics

1. The library will be closed under these circumstances:
a. If ordered to close by the Jefferson County or Waterloo Emergency Management Director
b. At the discretion of the Library Director when staffing the library is not possible.
2. Regular library personnel policies will be followed during a pandemic.

F. Bomb Threats

1. Staff is advised to 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 it is a note of any kind staff will inform the director or staff member in charge immediately.
2. If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, ASK FOR THIS INFORMATION.
3. A second staff member should use a cell phone to call 911.
4. Staff should clear the building of patrons and staff. The police will handle the actual bob search.

G. Lockout

1. Definition – A Lockout is a procedure which prevents unauthorized persons from entering or leaving the library. It is commonly used when the threat is general or the incident is occurring in the immediate vicinity of the library. This procedure allows library activities to continue as normally as possible within the building during the outside disruption.
2. Issuance of a Lockout Order – In the event that a potential or actual violent incident, such as a shooting, armed robbery, or person with a weapon, occurs in the vicinity of the library, and the Police believe that the library may be impacted, they will notify us by calling and will request that we issue a lockout of the facilities.
3. Staff Response – The staff member taking the phone call should make note of the time, the incident, the location, any descriptions or names of people involved, and the name of the caller. A public service announcement should be made: “May I have your attention, please. A Lockout has been issued by the Waterloo Police Department. No one is to leave or enter the building until the all-clear has been given. We request that you stay in the main areas of the library, away from doors and glass.” General information about the nature of the threat may also be communicated.
4. The locks on all entrance doors should be locked.
5. When the Police have determined that the danger is past, they will call or stop over to issue an all-clear. The doors may then be unlocked and business can proceed normally.

H. Active Shooter
An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims.

Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

• Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
• Take note of the two nearest exits.
• If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door.
• If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door.
• As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her.
• Call 911 when it is safe to do so.

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Remember that customers are likely to follow the lead of managers and employees during an active shooter situation.

1. Evacuate – If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
• Have an escape route and plan in mind.
• Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
• Leave your belongings behind.
• Help others escape, if possible.
• Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
• Keep your hands visible.
• Follow the instructions of any police officers.
• Do not attempt to move wounded people.
• Call 911 when you are safe.

2. Hide out – If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:
• Be out of the active shooter’s view.
• Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed, locked, and blockaded door).
• Not trap you or restrict your options for movement.

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
• Lock the door.
• Blockade the door with heavy furniture.

If the active shooter is nearby:
• Lock the door.
• Silence your cell phone and/or pager.
• Turn off any source of noise (i.e., computers, radios, televisions).
• Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks).
• Remain quiet.

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:
• Remain calm.
• Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location.
• If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen.

3. Take action against the active shooter – As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
• Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her.
• Yelling.
• Throwing items and improvising weapons.
• Committing to your actions.
Borrowed and adapted from the manual, Active Shooter, How to Respond, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, October, 2008.

Approved: 05/28/03;
Amended 05/27/08, 10/27/09, 4/11/2017