Dubuque County Library District

Emergenices Policy


Staff should be familiar with the locations of fire exits, fire extinguishers and fire alarms in their building.


Should fire alarms go off, and/or should smoke or fire be seen in a library facility, staff should immediately pull a fire alarm bar if present, and call 911 to report the emergency. If conditions permit, staff should then clear all patrons from the building. Unless a fire is small and appears easy to contain with a fire extinguisher, staff should not attempt to fight the fire.


If fire alarms go off, patrons and staff should evacuate and gather in the following locations:

  • Asbury: parking lot along Asbury Road.
  • Farley: Memorial Hall front steps
  • Epworth: Pavilion across the parking lot to the south
  • Holy Cross: Main Street Market parking lot


Peosta/NICC should follow school procedures and directions for building evacuation and gathering location.


Under no circumstances should staff or patrons return to the building until authorized to do so by the fire department.


Tornado Warning

In the event that a tornado warning is issued (as indicated by either NOAA weather radio or an automated phone call from Alert Iowa) staff at each DCLD branch should notify patrons of the warning and encourage them to go to the shelter as quickly as possible. Patrons must go to the shelter or immediately leave the library facility. Unattended children should accompany staff to the shelter. Staff should quickly check restrooms for patrons if possible. Staff should then take the weather radio/flashlight, red county emergency bag, and a cell phone with them and direct patrons into the shelter. Exterior doors should remain unlocked. Shelter locations are as follows:

  • Asbury: building basement
  • Epworth: restrooms
  • Farley: restrooms
  • Holy Cross: building basement
  • Peosta: building basement (designated shelter)


Staff will monitor the storm and all should remain in place until an all-clear is issued.


Peosta/NICC staff should follow school procedures and directions during school hours.


Should a facility sustain storm damage, staff should attempt to contact the Director as soon as possible. The Director will contact local officials.


Should a severe thunderstorm warning be issued, the library will remain open as usual. Direct patrons to stay away from windows. Staff should monitor the weather for updates. Should sirens sound or the NOAA weather radio indicate severe thunderstorms with winds of 70 MPH or higher, respond to such as for a tornado warning, above.


Winter Storm

The Director or designee will decide whether to close any or all branches for winter storms. Unless staff have been informed that a branch is closed, they should assume it is open and make every effort to report to work. If a staff member feels that attempting to do so could seriously compromise their safety, or discovers en route that conditions are too dangerous, they may, per the union contract, elect to take vacation for time missed or make arrangements to make up the time, and must contact the Director as soon as possible.


The Director will notify all staff as soon as possible in the event of a system-wide or individual branch closure. Closures will be reported to KCRG, KWWL, KDST, KDTH, and WDBQ as well as to the Telegraph-Herald.


Power Failure

In the event of a power failure lasting longer than 15 minutes, staff should attempt to contact the appropriate city/institution officials to find out if there is knowledge of, and an estimated duration for the event. If power is to be out longer than one hour, staff should contact the Director and inform them of the situation. The Director will determine whether or not to close the facility.  At Asbury, any groups scheduled to use the Asbury programming room should be notified of a closure, if possible.


Peosta/NICC staff will follow school policies and procedures.


Medical Emergencies

Staff should call 911 and explain the emergency. 911 may ask you to stay on the line, and may provide specific instructions. If so, follow them.


Unless specially trained (CPR, etc.) library staff should not administer first aid of even a minor nature out of concern for the safety of the injured individual. Staff should typically do no more than keep a sick or injured individual comfortable and protected from needless disturbance until medical help arrives.


No medication, including aspirin, acetaminophen, or antibiotic ointment should ever be dispensed to the public.


Staff should notify the Director of any medical emergency occurring at the library as soon as feasible.


Revised 6/21/22

Revised 9/29/22

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