VITAL RECORDS RECOVERY
Covering Your Assets
Every vital organization owes its birth and life
to an exciting and daring idea.
—James B. Conant
What are your personal vital records? Are they your car title, your home’s deed, a marriage license, or even a divorce decree? Whatever they are, you spend a lot of time and effort to be sure they are safe because you know they may be difficult and time consuming to re-create later. The same holds true for your company’s business records. They need a well-thought-out emergency management program if they are to be there when you need them.
Throughout this chapter, the references to documents and records apply to information stored on any media, including paper, magnetic, optic, or microfilm. There may be a bit of difference in how they are stored, but the issues for their handling and management are essentially the same.
This chapter focuses more on mitigating actions than on recovery, as that will address most of the emergency situations that you will encounter. Also included are recovery actions for small, contained records damage. There is always a chance that an emergency will overpower the best defenses and a recovery action will be needed. Few facilities are staffed or equipped for a largescale recovery. Your best plan is to prearrange for a professional recovery service to come onsite to assist. Such a service is also a resource for designing your records mitigation processes. Remember that in a wide-area disaster, an outside service may already be engaged, so be prepared to take the initial preservation actions on your own.