Disaster Information Specialist Webinars


Access recordings of past NLM Disaster Information Specialist webinars below.

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Upcoming Webinar


TBD - Please check back soon for details of our next webinar.


Archived Webinars



April 22nd, 2019

Flooding in the Midwest: One University's Efforts to Reach Out to the Community


Four speakers (Elayne Saejung, Teresa Hartman, Aileen Warren, and Ellen Duysen) with various backgrounds and approaches presented how they all worked together at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) to provide outreach to their communities in Nebraska and Iowa following the devastating floods in March, 2019. This webinar showcases the collaborative outreach efforts between campus Emergency Management, the McGoogan Library of Medicine, the Human Resources department, and Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health led to efforts ensuring that internal students, faculty, and staff, as well as residents of the states of Iowa and Nebraska received updated information on health and safety resources and guidelines. 


February 14, 2019 

National Library of Medicine Exhibits: Managing Information Around Public Health Emergencies and Pandemics

This webinar hosted speakers from the National Library of Medicine. Patricia Tuohy introduced the Exhibition Program’s new Exhibitions Connect initiative, curated resource guides of health information resources related to individual banner exhibitions. Highlighting the new National Library of Medicine exhibition “Politics of Yellow Fever in Alexander Hamilton's America,” as a case study, Ms Tuohy reviewed the Exhibition Program’s strategy for creating this resource guide, and how host venues are able to use the guide to connect their communities to NLM resources. Christie Moffatt discussed how NLM’s Web Collecting and Archiving Working Group collects born-digital web resources on public health emergencies, such as the Ebola Outbreak of 2014, the 2016 Zika Virus health threat, and most recently, on the ongoing opioid epidemic



November 15, 2018 

Accessing the Evidence During Times of Crisis

Humanitarian Evidence Week (HEW) is an initiative led by Evidence Aid, in collaboration with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at University of Oxford and other organizations, to promote a more evidence-based approach to humanitarian aid. During HEW, organizations present webinars, write blog posts, and participate in debates to highlight topics related to generation, use and dissemination of evidence in the humanitarian sector.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) hosted a webinar that highlighted the work of several international organizations as part of HEW 2018. Ben Heaven Taylor, CEO, Evidence Aid,  introduced their work in providing access to evidence-based information on interventions during disasters. Caroline de Brun, Knowledge and Evidence Specialist, Public Health England (PHE), discussed the PHE collaboration with Evidence Aid and Healthcare Information For All to investigate the role of libraries in supporting teams working in disaster zones, by helping them find and use evidence. Her presentation looked at the outputs from that collaboration, and described the work that has followed on, leading to the launch of an International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Evidence For Global and Disaster Health Special Interest Group


October 18, 2018 

Sharing and Management of Disaster-Related Data

Speaker Lisa Federer, Data Science and Open Science Librarian at the National Library of Medicine, discussed how managing and sharing data have become important issues in the context of research data. During a disaster--when time is of the essence--it’s even more important to ensure that data are properly collected, managed, and curated. Data must also be shared with the appropriate stakeholders to get information out to everyone who needs it, when they need it. She also outlined best practices for data management and data sharing and how they apply to disaster-related data.


September 20, 2018 

Planning for Disaster: Partnerships Ensure Continuity of Operations

Speakers from the National Library of Medicine and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center described steps that libraries can take to develop Continuity of Operations plans to deal with the new realities in disaster preparedness. They explored the development and maintenance of a real life collaboration between two military libraries, one federal library, and one local hospital library. 


August 9, 2018 

Data Management in Disasters & Public Health Emergencies

Nicole Strayhorn, NLM Associate Fellow, discussed the results of her project to identify open data sources and data sharing policies used during disasters and public health emergencies. For the purposes of this short-term project, she narrowed her research to the data needs of stakeholders, and the challenges of sharing and accessing data around the ongoing Zika virus outbreak. 


June 14, 2018

Disaster Health Training from the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health

Kandra Strauss-Riggs, Education Director, and Victoria Klimczak, Project Coordinator at the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) discussed two new products. The NCDMPH Disaster Health Core Curriculum is a modular, online course covering the 11 core competencies in Disaster Medicine and Public Health. The content was developed by a team of disaster health experts and is delivered in a flexible online format.  Secondly, there is a new website and app for Stop the Bleed, teaching lay people how to correctly apply pressure to stop life threatening bleeding.


March 8, 2018

Hospital Preparedness Program and the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule

Melissa Harvey, RN, MSPH, Director of the ASPR National Healthcare Preparedness Program, discussed the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), resources ASPR TRACIE has to support health care preparedness and response, and the impact and opportunities that the new CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule offers health care coalitions.


February 8, 2018

Managerial Perspectives on the Role of Public Libraries in Disaster Response

Michal Linder Zarankin, PhD, adjunct faculty at Virginia Tech, discussed managers' perceptions of how their public service organizations can support their communities in disaster response. For this webinar, she focused on public libraries.

The Natural Hazards Center at the University of Boulder recently posted a summary by Dr. Linder Zarankin outlining her research.



November 9, 2017

Logo: Humanitarian Evidence Week, November 6-12, 2017Humanitarian Evidence Week: Improving the availability of reliable health information
Speakers provided an overview of two powerful platforms that promote access to health information for those involved in humanitarian action. Ms. Taylor described the scope of the Disaster Lit® database and the process used by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) to select high-quality resources, freely available on the internet, about the medical and public health aspects of disaster and public health emergency preparedness and response. Dr. Pakenham-Walsh discussed how his organization, Healthcare Information For All (HIFA), promotes communication among stakeholders to realize a vision of a world where every person will have access to the healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of others.

Learn more about Humanitarian Evidence Week 2017.


October 12, 2017

Shorecrest King Tide data collection: map showing water depth in comparison to elevation above sea level Community Health Maps: Using Mapping Tools During Disasters
John Scott and Kurt Menke presented. The Center for Public Service Communications and its partner Bird’s Eye View, together with the National Library of Medicine (NLM), have developed the Community Health Maps (CHM) initiative (https://communityhealthmaps.nlm.nih.gov/) . CHM’s premise is that community-based organizations, environmental health groups, public health agencies, and emergency management departments are in a better position to serve their populations when they are able to collect and maintain their own data, rather than relying solely on national or state agencies, or majority-institution partners to provide data to them. CHM has dedicated a number of resources and trainings to train students, teachers, community members, and researchers to empower and utilize these resources. This webinar provided an overview of the tools on the CHM blog, and gave ideas on how attendees can begin utilizing these tools during disaster response.


March 9, 2017 

Big Data and Data Science: What Do We Need to Know?
Lisa Federer, Research Data Informationist at the National Institutes of Health Library,explained what big data is and provided an introduction to the data science techniques that can be used to analyze it. She also discussed how data science can help researchers find meaning in data and discuss some of the common techniques and tools used in a variety of different research areas.

January 12, 2017 

Updated and Enhanced Online Disaster Health Information Training Classes
Representatives from the National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center demonstrated you how you can access newly updated, self-paced, online courses that introduce you to sources of critical disaster health information and get you on your way toward becoming a Disaster Information Specialist.



November 10, 2016

Resources of the US Geological Survey Library (USGS)
Emily Wild, Librarian and Physical Scientist at the Denver USGS Library, shared the earth science information resources available from the Library. The resources include research reports, data sets, imagery, and alerts/warnings for geological hazards including earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, floods, droughts and wildfires. The USGS is the science agency for the Department of the Interior, providing science and research about natural hazards, groundwater, environment health, and the impact of climate change.

September 8, 2016 

Collaborations between Libraries and Disaster Organizations
Tania Bardyn and her team from the University of Washington Health Sciences Library presented about their current Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project. The Library, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response and the Washington State Emergency Management Division, developed a mobile application (app) for Android devices called Response & Recovery App in Washington (RRAIN Washington) to improve access to National Library of Medicine (NLM) disaster information resources in Washington State. This is a follow-on project to the RRAIN app created in 2014 for iPhone and iPad devices. Sarah Carnes, a virtual intern with the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center, presented about her project "Design and Delivery of an Outreach Strategy to Increase Awareness of Disaster Information Resources."

August 11, 2016

Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects 2015 Reports
Terri Rebmann, Director of the Saint Louis University Institute for Biosecurity, discussed how they collaborated with the School of Medicine Medical Library and four emergency management agencies across Missouri to increase awareness and knowledge of National Library of Medicine information resources among emergency responders and reference librarians. Mollie Barnathan of the Public Health Division of the City of Portland, Maine shared how their organization worked with the Portland Public Library to train library staff on preparedness and disaster health information and to create a role for library staff to assist during a public health emergency.

June 9, 2016 

Putting the Pieces Together: A Librarian & Disaster Response
Mary White, Global Public Health Librarian at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discussed her experience on disaster response teams in addition to her role providing consultation, training, and research support for the students, faculty, and staff affiliated with the School.

May 12, 2016 

CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives) Response Efforts and Information Training
John Koerner, MPH, CIH, Chief of the CBRNE Branch at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) discussed how ASPR and other HHS agencies prepare for and respond to CBRNE incidents. The webinar included an introduction and demonstration of the new online CBRNE information training class developed by NLM Disaster Health.

March 10, 2016 

Zika Virus Response and Information Resources
Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, Director of CDC’s Division of Public Health Information Dissemination and Senior Consultant to CDC’s Zika Response, provided a CDC Zika response update and representatives from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) discussed how information resources are pulled together and organized for the NLM Disaster Health Zika Virus Health Information Resource Guide.

February 11, 2016 

From West Africa to Omaha: Research on Ebola and Other Emerging Pathogens
Drs. Kratochvil and Gordon from the University of Nebraska Medical Center reviewed the research on Ebola conducted within the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit and discussed preparations by the biocontainment unit team as well as the IRB, which positioned them to be prepared not only to care for patients with Ebola, but to initiate and conduct research in a rapid and collaborative manner.



December 10, 2015 

Efficiently Finding Elusive Disaster Health Information
Representatives from NLM Disaster Health discussed how to satisfy information needs for disaster and public health information when PubMed is just not enough. They discussed what kind of information is available in NLM Disaster Lit(SM) and demonstrated how best to do grey literature searches.

October 8, 2015 

Stress and the Relaxation Response: Help for Those Affected by Disasters
Speakers Herbert Benson, MD, Director Emeritus Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Mind Body Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Manoj Bhasin, PhD, Director of Bioinformatics, Co-Director of Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School; and James E. Stahl, MD, CM, MPH, Section Chief, General Internal Medicine Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Associate Professor of Medicine Geisel School of Medicine, spoke about using the relaxation response for professionals and volunteers affected by stress when responding to disaster.

September 10, 2015 

Reports from 2014 Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects
Lori Harding, Coordinator, Library Services, at Elkhart General Hospital shared information about the library's Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project, "Preparing your Go-Bag for Disaster-related Information Needs". The Library, in partnership with the Hospital's Emergency Preparedness and Education and Program Committees and the Elkhart Fire Department, has been developing training sessions to identify authoritative sources for information in a disaster or public health emergency using National Library of Medicine resources. Ruiling Guo, Associate Professor of Health Care Administration Program and former medical librarian at the Idaho State University Health Sciences Library, and her team partnered with the Southeastern Idaho Public Health Department to provide a disaster information training program for healthcare emergency preparedness professionals to support their disaster preparedness and response efforts in Southeastern Idaho rural communities.

August 13, 2015 

Integrating Librarians into Local Disaster Management and Training
Brian Bunnett, Chair, Public Services Department, from the Cunningham Memorial Library at Indiana State University spoke about the library's current Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project. The Library, in partnership with Vigo County Emergency Management, has been exploring roles for integrating librarians into the planning and response activities of local disaster management groups and developing training sessions using disaster health information resources from the National Library of Medicine.

July 9, 2015 

Where Can I Find Evidence-based Disaster Health Information?
Representatives from the Disaster Information Management Research Center at the U.S. National Library of Medicine presented about how to use U.S. National Library of Medicine resources to access evidence-based disaster health information.

June 11, 2015 

RRAIN - Response and Recovery App in Washington State
Representatives from University of Washington Health Sciences Library shared information about their current Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project. The Library, in partnership with HEALWA (Health Evidence Resource for Washington State), the State Department of Health and other area hospitals and libraries, created an app and a training program to increase access to reliable disaster information for statewide disaster response and recovery.

April 9, 2015 

Being a Digital Humanitarian
Patrick Meier, PhD , an internationally recognized speaker and thought leader on humanitarian technology and innovation, talked about what it means to be a digital humanitarian. His recent book on this subject is entitled "Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data is Changing Humanitarian Response."

February 12, 2015 

Interactive Approaches for Learning Information/Communication Tools and Emergency Management Procedures
Representatives of the Disaster Information Management Research Center of the National Library of Medicine presented about using tabletop exercises and virtual reality for training on emergency management procedures such as the Hospital Incident Command System, and for learning how to use information and communication tools that may be needed in an emergency or disaster

January 15, 2015 

Leveraging Libraries and Librarians to Improve Disaster Readiness in Our Nation's Libraries and Our Communities
Dan Wilson, Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, will present about his experiences advocating for greater disaster readiness in our nation's libraries. In addition, he will talk about creating a disaster readiness culture at the library he works at (University of Virginia Health Sciences Library) and his role in establishing a Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) at the Charlottesville/Albemarle County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Older webinars

Webinars for 2008-2014 are in the archive