BOOKS DEPARTMENTS DISASTER PLANNING FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT, Roger E. Herman; Universe Books, 381 Park Ave., S., NY, NY, 10016; 138 pages, $15. A basic, how-to manual specifically designed for local government administrators and other officials, describes how to prepare emergency operation plans and to train existing personnel to cope with disaster if it should strike. The book instructs how to contend with disasters more routinely and decrease the “unknowns” that confound normal response. BUILDING CONSTRUCTION FOR THE FIRE SERVICE, Second Edition; Francis L. Brannigan; National Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park, Quincy, Massachusetts; 392 pages, $ 18. This new edition has been revised to reflect recent changes in building design and construction. Text includes safety factors and fire problems in wood, steel and concrete construction as well as chapters on garden apartments, flame spread and fire growth, smoke movement in buildings and structural conditions affecting high rise fires.