Briscoe Library Disaster Plan


Definition of Disaster

The UT Health Science Center Handbook of Operating Procedures defines a physical disaster as involving potential property damage and possible safety threat to persons. (  For purposes of this plan, a disaster is defined as an unexpected, adverse event that damages the Library’s facilities or systems and/or substantially diminishes the Library’s ability to offer its usual resources and services.  Disasters may be large events that everyone on site quickly notices (e.g. fire, tornado, explosion, flood), or more minor events (e.g., slow leak of water) – of little or no danger to persons and perhaps not quickly noticed – that still can cause great harm to the Library.

Emergencies include life-threatening situations, fire, explosions, severe weather, loss of electric power, accidents and medical problems.

Non-emergency situations that may warrant action include loss of network connectivity, unruly persons, discovery of vandalism, theft, mutilation, assault or harassment, and other criminal activity. Loss of telephone service to the campus is an emergency situation if the 911 line is unavailable. In general, it is at the discretion of the supervisor on duty to determine whether UT Police should be called or other actions should be taken.


Library Administration Chain of Command

Executive Director of Libraries

Director of Library and Outreach Services

Head of Collection Resources

Head of Library Technology

Business Administrator

General Plan of Action in Case of a Disaster

  • Call University Police at 911 or 567-2800
  • Evacuate the library if lives are in danger
  • Contact the Library Administration Chain of Command listed above
  • The Disaster Team Leader will contact members of the Disaster Team.

Table of Contents

Library Disaster Team Members

Procedures for Campus Emergency Situations

Emergency Building Evacuation Procedures

Policies for Emergency Closure

Emergency and Recovery Contact Information

UT Health Science Center Disaster Support

Procedures for Non-Emergency Safety or Security Situations


Appendix 1  Briscoe Library Floor Maps

Appendix 2  Emergency Evacuation Team

Appendix 3  Priority List of Collections, Administrative Records and Equipment (not publicly available)

Appendix 4  Emergency Salvage of Wet Books and Records

Appendix 5  Packing and Removal of Wet Library Materials

Appendix 6  Departmental Emergency Evacuation Procedures


Distribution of the Disaster Plan

  • Each member of the Disaster Team, as well as the Executive Director of Libraries, will have a personal copy of the full plan to be kept at home.
  • A current, electronic copy of the plan will be on the Library’s website at
  • A pocket guide (maintained by Jonquil Feldman) will be distributed to the Library Leadership Team.
  • A Business Continuity Plan is reviewed annually and updated as needed by Jonquil Feldman.

The Disaster Plan will be updated annually as:

The Disaster Team evolves

New procedures are developed

The supply list is modified

The Library’s physical space changes

Different disasters or recovery methods are identified.


Emergency & Recovery Contact Information

Emergency conditions are normally managed by UT Police, Facilities Management, and Environmental Health & Safety (for significant disasters).  Contact the appropriate department directly as listed below.

Local Contacts

Library AdministrationRefer to the Library Administration Chain of Command
Staff Emergency Contact Information is on the Staff Intranet (not publicly available).
University Police From main campus
From off campus
Harlingen (RAHC)
Facilities Management 210-567-2885 (M-F 8:00 am – 5:00 pm) 210-567-2947 (all other times)
Housekeeping 210-567-2935
210-567-2947 (all other times)
Locksmith 210-567-2794
210-567-2947 (all other times)
UT Health Science Center Environmental Health & Safety Dept.
Business Hours
After Hours
Networks and Server damage    UT HSC Computing Resources    UT HSC Systems & Network Operations (SNO) 210-567- 2280

Security Agency Contacts                                           

UT Police, Facilities Management or Environmental Health & Safety will contact the appropriate agencies.

University Police

From main campus
From off campus
Harlingen (RAHC)
City/County Security 99-911
State Security Agencies Public Safety Department 210-531-2200
Federal Security Agencies Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms 210-225-6741

210-805-2727  or  800-283-4867

Department of Homeland Security Regional Office 210-472-6030


Recovery Services Contacts


Organization Name Contact Information
BMS Catastrophe (Blackmon Mooring) 24-hr phone number: 800-433-2940
BELFOR 800-686-3333 
Eagle Environmental (hazardous spills and contaminants) 800-336-0909
Munters 800-686-8377 

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