Monday, September 25, 2017

Libraries from Puerto Rico to Florida Respond to Hurricane Irma | ALA

Disaster planning | Hurricanes | Libraries

by Lisa Peet | September 18, 2017

Downed trees outside the Miami-Dade Public Library System’s Coconut Grove Branch after the storm
Photo courtesy of Miami Dade Public Library System

Arriving hard on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, Irma cut a destructive swath through the northeastern Caribbean and Florida Keys. More than $50 billion worth of damage was reported in the United States, as well as 39 fatalities.

Despite Irma’s size and power, Florida libraries had fewer tales of destruction to relate than their counterparts in Texas did after Harvey. While most larger systems reported some leakage and damage to property, delays in opening were mainly due to lack of electricity or running water or exterior obstructions such as fallen trees and debris.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on September 4, and ordered that all public schools and colleges across the state close from Friday, September 8 through Monday, September 11. Thousands of Floridians evacuated their homes on both coasts and headed north—the largest evacuation in the state’s history. Read more...

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