A storm system fed by Hurricane Joaquin has been inundating South Carolina with record rainfall since last Thursday. According to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, nine people have died, 40,000 people are without water, 26,000 people don’t have power and more than 500 bridges and roads have been closed after historic flooding. The New York Times reports residents of Columbia have encountered broken waterlines, impassable roads and thousands of power failures in their neighborhoods.

How does this problem affect you if you live somewhere other than South Carolina? Your business needs a “worst-case” disaster recovery plan that protects your business documents and keeps your company running during and after a natural disaster. What happens if you live an area that’s susceptible to flooding, forest fires, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes or other natural disasters?

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Natural Disaster Preparation

Plans for duplicating documents, archiving on microfilm media, and storing in a common sense off-site location should all be part of document preservation and emergency preparedness for most organizations including corporations, hospitals, utilities and state and local government agencies.

Where are your documents stored right now?

Are your documents “securely” stored in a basement library?

Are they in boxes or rolled up on shelves in the same building where you do business?

Are your digital files all that you are keeping on your internal server or in the “cloud”?

Does that seem logical for keeping critical records and your organization running well into the future?

My current recovery plan is fine. It wont happen to me.

Think of all the records that are essential to protecting life, property, rights and to restoring order following a disaster. What happens if and when any of the following are lost? Is that risk you are willing to take really worth it in the end?

▪Maps and floor plans to aid rescue workers

▪Construction records to aid engineers assess damage to buildings, tunnels, levees

▪Infrastructure records

▪Medical records for safe and effective treatment of patients

▪Plat maps, deeds and mortgage records for establishing ownership

▪Bank records to verify financial assets

▪State, county and city historical records

▪Business and personal records

Is your business prepared for a natural disaster? Evaluate your level of preparation before bad things occur.

Consider the following when evaluating your level of preparation for the unknown and risk you are willing to take on the life of your documents. Do any of these apply to your organization?

▪ Reliance on a single technology: Are all your vital records on a disk or memory card, or in the “Cloud”? Are all your eggs in one basket? Disaster does not only strike paper. What about data loss on desktop computers or corporate servers?

▪ Obsolete technology:The pace at which technological obsolescence occurs and your ability to open records down the road.

▪ Inadequate analysis of risks: Have you considered natural and man-made disasters such as hackers, inadvertent human error, arson, terrorist attacks, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc? Are your business critical documents stored in a basement, flood zone?

▪ Management incompetence: (Not applicable to every organization, but it does happen.)

▪ Cutting Costs: Negating the need for an alternative record source in order to save money or use toward a new project.

How can I back up my data and prepare for a natural disaster?


▪Plan for a worst-case scenario and develop a recovery plan that fits all your requirements.

▪Duplicate your documents, archive them on microfilm and store them in an accessible, off-site location.

▪Make sure your storage plan is in compliant with local, state and federal regulations.

▪Test your recovery plan and process once or twice a year.

▪Make sure you are able to quickly access your vital records to get your operation back up and running.

Tameran Graphic Systems provides businesses with comprehensive resources to manage, access and preserve business-critical documents, especially wide format technical documents, in today’s digital world.  Tameran’s  microfilm services can be seamlessly integrated with your existing workflow. Your digital, paper documents and existing microfilm documents can be integrated to make them available for digital distribution to anyone who needs them, anywhere they may be needed, while also preparing and completing a more permanent archive on microfilm.