In times of natural disasters, many people look toward the Red Cross to assist them with devastation to their homes while libraries look toward LYRASIS Disaster Resources to provide them disaster assistance information, prevention and planning resources, and response and recovery resources. Read more about how Tom Clareson, Senior Digital & Preservation Services Consultant at LYRASIS, led a 10-week disaster preparedness training project in New Jersey that prepared library staff in advance of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.

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Disasters in New Jersey can take many forms – fire, derailments, leaks – but usually the most prolific, widespread and damaging are the result of weather: snowstorms, rain storms, straight-line winds, hurricanes and an occasional tornado.  According to Environment New Jersey, since 2007 every county has experienced at least four weather-related disasters; Atlantic County the most with nine.

The one-two punch of Hurricane Irene and the Halloween snowstorm of 2011 snarled the state for weeks and served as a wake-up for all agencies, especially those concerned with protecting valuable papers, collections and artifacts.  One year later, with even greater destructive force, Hurricane Sandy brought to the forefront the need for agencies to collaborate, coordinate, share information and best practices, provide resources and plan strategies together. Continue reading.