Tips for Record Management during a Disaster

by | Published on May 11, 2021 | Document Conversion / Scanning Services

Efficient record management plans are vital for any business to ensure that no important documents are lost during natural disasters such as fires, floods, blizzards, and even hurricanes. More and more businesses are adopting the remote working model to prevent COVID pandemic. Going remote too presents several unique challenges when trying to efficiently operate a business. One of the key challenges is managing business records and keeping them securely. A practical way to ensure safekeeping of business records is to digitize them with the support of reliable document scanning companies. Along with running their projects smoothly, companies should focus on proper record management, data protection, and business continuity during a disaster. Taking precautions and implementing a disaster preparedness plan will prevent the loss of valuable records in the instance of a disaster.

Make sure that your firm’s record management plans for disaster includes the following strategies as well.

Make Digital Copies

Instead of storing important and confidential business documents in a filing cabinet or closet, digital copies can be stored in an electronic archive. Business files can be scanned, digitized and converted into the required electronic format. This could help save your staff’s time by enabling them to easily find a particular file even among thousands of documents. It is proven that most businesses can run smoothly online with the help of advanced document management software and reliable data conversion services. With electronic document management, you can get back to business as usual and as quickly as possible.

Cloud-Storage Options

Scanned records can be kept safe in any storage device or in cloud storage. Cloud computing allows work documents, records, and other important files to be stored in the limitless space of the internet, rather than in the limited space of offices, off-site storage facilities, or computer hard drives. According to Fortune Business Insights, the cloud storage market size is projected to grow from USD 76.43 billion in 2021 to USD 390.33 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 26.2% in the forecast period. Cloud spending increased during the height of the pandemic, as it facilitates faster file sharing and accessibility for remote offices and their staff.

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Back up Paper and Electronic Records

Important hard copies must be stored in a safe place, where fire or water can’t reach. Protect electronic records by following appropriate backup and storage procedures. Consider duplicating key information or performing daily backups of computer systems containing essential records. Store portable storage media such as CDs, DVDs, backup tapes and disks in a secure environment, where the records will not be affected by weather disasters. Ensure that the backup copies are readable and at least one set of backup copies is stored in a remote location. Clear storage procedures and policies ensure that all office records are well protected and accessible as needed in the event of an emergency.

Staff Training and Preparation

Staff training helps to avoid record disasters and to mitigate their effects to a great extent. Strong preventative measures in place make retrieval of damaged records faster and more effective. Provide necessary training for all your staff to handle records safely, protect any sensitive information, and clean up records according to retention schedules.

Disaster Recovery Plan

Develop and implement a formal disaster recovery plan that involves measures for prevention, recovery, and post-incident reviews. Such a disaster recovery plan for electronic records should include data recovery, hardware, software and the expertise to operate it. An effective plan ensures that, in the event of an emergency, your office can act quickly and effectively to protect data and prevent any further risks to records. According to the UN ARMS Records and Information Management Guidance, an effective disaster recovery plan will include information about likely disasters and their impact on the records, preventative measures to reduce the risk of disaster or to mitigate damage as much as possible, the locations of vital, high-risk, or sensitive records and procedures for protecting them, emergency contacts, identification and management of vital records, priority actions to help the office resume business operations as soon as possible, procedures for salvage and repair of records and information, integration of records recovery operations and more. Above all, it is important that all your staff are aware of their roles and duties to help execute such a plan effectively.

To scan and digitize bulk documents – paper, microfilm – microfiche scanning, books or photos, advanced document scanning services are available. Such services help improve your business workflow and brings other benefits as well.

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