Federal aid for Cultural Heritage after Hurricane Sandy

Libraries, archives, museums, historical societies and other cultural heritage organizations in Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven and New London counties may be able to receive federal disaster assistance to help pay recovery costs after Hurricane Sandy now that President Obama has declared it a major disaster.

Organizations in the other counties should contact the town emergency manager immediately to report damage. At this point, the town doesn’t need a firm quote regarding the cost of the damage, but your report may help the county qualify for a federal disaster declaration.

Where a disaster has been declared, town libraries, and other municipal offices should contact the town emergency manager.

Private non-profit organizations, such as historical societies and museums, should watch for announcements of applicant briefings and should attend a meeting. You only have 60 days after a declaration to submit an application. With your application you will have to submit expected costs and documentation to show that your organization is eligible for the program, such as your tax exemption certificate. But this is where it gets complicated. Read the:

Guide to navigating Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration disaster aid for cultural institutions 

For your immediate recovery needs:

There is a state contract, which is open to state agencies, municipalities and non-profit organizations, to recover damaged library books, archival records and so on. The COSTEP-CT website has a list of state contracts that might be of help from recovering, including Emergency Response and Recovery Services for Records and Collections #11PSX0299. COSTEP-CT is working to help cultural heritage organizations be prepared and to be of help to their communities in the event of an emergency.

Websites:

Preservation Response & Recovery Resources from Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/preservation/emergprep/recovery.html

National Park Service Conserv-O-Gram http://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/cons_toc.html Look for Section 21: Disaster response and recovery, including Salvage of Water Damaged Collections: Paper, Non-Paper Based, Objects, Natural History, Textiles

Northeast Document Conservation Center Preservation Leaflets http://www.nedcc.org/resources/leaflets.list.php Section 3. Emergency Management, including Emergency salvage of wet books and records and photographs.

Call or email for advice on dealing with a disaster:

http://costep-ct.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Who-can-you-call-for-help-flow-chart-2012-10311.pdf

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