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On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey with catastrophic results for many communities, including Brick Township. Located on the Atlantic Coast, Brick Township suffered damage to approximately 10,000 of its 26,000 residences from the hurricane. Nearly 500 of these homes were destroyed or required demolition afterwards. Since then, the Township of Brick Archives has been using its digitized Construction and Land Use records to support the community’s recovery from this devastating storm. When the Township implemented document digitization in 2006, disaster recovery was not its intended purpose. However, having these digitized records readily available has proven to be highly beneficial for Township officials, residents, property owners, insurance adjusters, and officials of other government agencies involved in storm recovery. These records are being used for insurance claims, disaster relief grant applications, and to rebuild storm damaged structures. As the community struggles to recover from Hurricane Sandy, the Township Archives is using its in-house digitization program to document those storm recovery efforts. The Township of Brick’s use of digitized records for disaster recovery offers valuable lessons which are applicable for all governments located in disaster prone areas. Most importantly, government agencies which have land use records for areas that are vulnerable to natural disasters ought to be digitizing those records now to create an invaluable resource for post-disaster recovery.



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