Are you ready?

The ravaging wildfires in the West and devastating floods in the South are jarring reminders of how our daily lives can be upended swiftly. As we have seen and read in recent days, people in these impacted areas have had to react and evacuate without adequate time to prepare. This should serve as our collective wake-up call to make sure we put the time in now to ready ourselves for a disaster or emergency. September is National Preparedness Month and, a national public service campaign of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), was “designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.”

Business disruption is expensive with loss of revenue and additional unanticipated expenses; insurance will not cover all the costs. Mitigating the disruption requires preparedness, and, in the case of a business, that means having a business continuity plan and a solid document management program is an essential part of that planning.

Simply put, a document management program identifies, protects, and makes available records necessary to a business’ ongoing operations. While written specifically for non-federal entities responsible for vital records, Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recommendations to conduct a risk assessment are equally relevant to the business community. They are:

  • Identify the risks involved if vital records are retained in their current locations and media, and the difficulty of reconstituting those records if they are destroyed.
  • Identify offsite storage locations and requirements.
  • Determine if alternative storage media is available.
  • Determine requirements to duplicate records and provide alternate storage locations to provide readily available vital records under all conditions.

Source: Continuity Guidance Circular 1 (CGC 1): Continuity Guidance for Non-Federal Entities, Annex I.

If you are a business that still relies on paper-based records to do business, a natural or man-made disaster could be calamitous. The time is now to devise a records management program. How can TDEC help you prepare? Contact us for more information.

September 24, 2020