We too often think that natural disasters happen to other businesses, but can’t happen to ours. However, as we’ve seen in recent years, extreme weather events can happen anytime, anywhere. They can have a destructive impact on businesses, displacing companies, forcing them to re-establish business operations and jeopardizing critical documents containing sensitive information. It is important to be prepared as more than 70% of businesses would fail within 3 weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due fire or flood.
Many business documents are essential to day-to-day operations, while others, like financial and healthcare records, must be maintained to ensure compliance. Any of these documents may be organized on a computer server, in file cabinets or off-site.
Given the unpredictability of extreme weather, any organization entrusted to maintain critical records should give strong consideration to the methods by which they secure documents and information. It is more important than ever to consider the possibility of destructive weather and plan accordingly to prevent possible loss or destruction of critical records.
Here are some ways to be prepared:
- Take inventory of paper and digital documents.
- File and secure paper documents so they can be quickly accessed.
- Perform routine backups on document storage servers.
- Examine the safety and security of where documents are stored.
- Ensure irreplaceable documents are stored on a computer server or off-site.
- Consider other options if current storage compromises record security.
- Request digital versions of documents that are kept off-site.
After an unexpected weather event, it is important to evaluate how well your company was prepared. Take an honest look at how efficiently and effectively critical documents were protected. Then, decipher what changes need to be made to better protect documents and information should another extreme weather event happen in the future.