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Why Document Protection Is a Vital Component of Your Disaster Recovery Plan
A disaster can significantly impact your ability to conduct business, which is why it’s important to have policies and procedures in place for dealing with catastrophic events that affect your organization. A disaster recovery plan is a comprehensive document designating contact information, roles and responsibilities, and service level agreements. While most disasters occur suddenly and unannounced, advance preparation in advance of a catastrophic event is key. Safeguarding your vital business documents should be a critical part of your disaster recovery planning.
Risky Storage Practices
It’s tempting to want to store and maintain vital business documents yourself, however this also poses a number of risks. Confidential business information has increasingly become a target for theft. Keeping critical documents and files in a safe is an option but if a disaster hits your business facility, a safe may not entirely protect your information. Alternately, your facility may be left in a state that retrieving vital information becomes next to impossible.
For these reasons, disaster recovery experts recommend that vital documents are stored offsite in an alternate location, away from your primary place of business. However, an offsite facility should be chosen carefully in order to minimize any further risks to sensitive information. Often, business owners will turn to a self storage facility for the storage of vital business documents, but self storage units are not designed for the preservation and protection of paper records. The absence of built-in shelving units means that boxes of documents are usually stored directly on the floor and stacked atop one another. These facilities lack climate control which means that the slightest moisture can lead to mold growth on documents. Security is another concern as units are only protected by a padlock. Finally, there is no system and technology for tracking individual documents which can make finding a vital record extremely difficult and time-consuming during recovery processes, when every minute is of critical importance.
Professional Records Storage
A safer and more secure option is storing your vital business documents in a commercial records center facility. Designed specifically to protect paper documents from natural disasters and equipped with the following features, such a facility not only supports your disaster recovery objectives but also facilitates comprehensive management of business records throughout the retention lifecycle, using:
- state-of-the-art security and alarm systems
- monitored card key access
- climate control
- fire detection and suppression
All documents are stored on high-density shelving units and barcoded and tracked within an inventory software system. A secure web portal enables vital records to be quickly located, retrieved and delivered to you in support of your disaster recovery activities.
What to Do If a Disaster Occurs
Sometimes, even though you’ve thoroughly prepared, there may be less vital records-such as active documents-that are damaged by a disaster. The important thing is not to panic. However, it is imperative to act quickly as mold growth can permanently damage wet paper documents. Carefully remove documents, with as little physical disturbance as possible, from the moisture source and call a professional file restoration provider who will transport your records in refrigerated trucks to a freeze-drying facility to begin the restoration process.
Records Management Center provides records storage and file restoration and solutions to businesses throughout Augusta, Evans, Thomson, and Martinez, GA, and Aiken, SC and the Central Savannah River Area. To find out more, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.