Expert's Corner: How to Preserve and Recover Documents After a Disaster
November 26, 2013
In his latest Expert's Corner, Michael Keating outlines ways that manufacturers can preserve important documents after a disaster. This is Keating's fifth in a series on disaster planning and recovery. Future installments in his disaster series will cover disaster preparation training for manufacturers and web resources and disaster guides for manufacturers. After record-breaking rainfall sent floodwaters from the Cumberland River into downtown Nashville three years ago, a Tennessee state government warehouse stood in four feet of water. Thousands of critical documents archived by state's Supreme Court and various agencies were damaged or destroyed. Such a disaster could leave a manufacturing company reeling or even pushed to the brink of bankruptcy. It's crucial that documents be readily available to a business after a disaster, said Scott Byers, CEO of information management service EDM Americas All businesses rely on paper documentation, said Tom McGuire, managing director/president of The Solutions Co "There are more than 5 billion boxes of documents stored in North America, alone," McGuire said. "Will we ever truly be a paperless society? Probably yes, but not for decades into the future." In the meantime, manufacturing executives need to plan for disasters and vital document recovery, he said. "Not planning for a disaster is a disaster in itself," he said. "Having a disaster recovery plan is a key component in successfully navigating problems when they occur." McGuire recommends that a document recovery plan include:
- Finding a qualified professional document restoration company.
- Stabilizing the damaged materials by freezing damaged documents with a vacuum freeze-drying process. Freezer trailers or a freezer storage facility are employed in the process. Stabilizing the materials prevents further damage and buys time should the decision-making process require more input.
- Completing an inventory count of all damaged materials.