By Rich Martin and John Klise
News stories about disasters bring with them images of catastrophic loss: homes destroyed and belongings demolished. Disasters don’t just cause personal loss, however — they’re also devastating to businesses. When the unthinkable happens, businesses can suffer more than damage to their buildings and loss of merchandise. Fires, floods, hurricanes, and other disasters can result in a loss of documents that are integral to a business' operations. That’s why every company needs a disaster recovery plan.
With technology permeating nearly every aspect of our lives these days, most organizations take the time to back up their digital files. Whether they keep copies on a cloud-based storage service, back them up to external hard drives, or keep them on servers that are stored off-site, businesses typically prioritize creating Plan B in case something happens to their important digital files.
Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case with paper files. Paper files can be destroyed in an instant if a fire breaks out or if flooding overtakes an office building – long before anyone has time to remove important items.
That’s the kind of loss that took place when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005. In that historic disaster, thousands of lawyers lost all of the case and client information they had stored in their offices. Local courthouses weren’t spared from the destruction either; they lost scores of records even as thousands of criminal cases were in the progress of moving through the system.
In the midst of an emergency, the last thing you want to think about is evacuating boxes of documents from your business. It’s impractical and potentially impossible. Planning ahead can help keep your organization running after the unexpected happens.
One disaster recovery strategy your organization can implement is to digitize essential documents in order to have access to them if the physical copy is lost or damaged. Once documents are digitized, they can be stored in a cloud-based platform for easy access from anywhere at any time.
Store Documents Off-Site
In addition to digitizing important documents, another tier of a business disaster recovery plan is to find an off-site records storage solution. This type of storage company is equipped to store a large volume of records, as well as digital files for safekeeping. Your files will also be tagged, organized, and tracked for easy location and retrieval when you need them.
Business owners opt for off-site storage because it gives them peace of mind. As they move through the day-to-day operation of their companies, keeping their documents and files with a record storage company guarantees that they still have easy access to any or all documents. They also know that if disaster strikes, they can focus on preventing loss of life instead of scrambling to grab boxes of files and papers.
An effective disaster recovery plan must be carefully strategized well in advance. This will give you time to determine what documents should be digitized for easy access. Once that is in place, you’ll find that off-site document storage provides you more space and convenience as well as puts your mind at ease. With a combination of the two strategies in place, you’ll be well-prepared for anything that Mother Nature throws at you.