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Steps for Handling Disasters

Before disaster
  1. Obtain authority for the development of a disaster prevention and recovery plan, and appointed
    team members.
  2. Provide necessary training and safety education for team members.
  3. All members, management and the fire department should have a copy of the manual with floor
    plans containing exits, equipment locations and shut-offs.
  4. HIGHLIGHT THE RECOVERY SECTION OF YOUR PLAN BY CREATING A RED TAB SECTION or by inserting a red page to indicate location.
  5. Be knowledgeable of emergency supplies and their locations.
  6. Arrange in advance for drying and freezing space, as well as, a clean, dry location for
    undamaged materials.
  7. Arrange in advance contracts and/or agreements with restoration companies for recovery
    resources and other unavailable professional supplies.
  8. Make arrangements with disaster recovery or restoration companies for large disasters.
In the event of a disaster
  1. In a disaster, activate proper evacuation and safety procedures first.
  2. Activate the emergency alarm and notify emergency services.
  3. Notify upper management of the type of disaster.
  4. Reference RED TAB SECTION (RECOVERY SECTION) in Disaster Recovery Manual.
  5. Start calling list of team members assigned to disaster recovery.
  6. Assess damage.
  7. Photograph damaged materials and facility.
  8. Implement procedures for protecting vital records in their predetermined locations.
  9. Label and remove damaged materials or materials that are not damaged, depending on the volume of damaged documents and/or the extent of damage to the facility housing the documents.
Final Observation

For an information disaster prevention and recovery plan to be effective, it should cover and involve all departments, divisions, or businesses housed in the same facility. For larger institutions, it could extend involvement in the plan to its off-site facility locations.

Often large institutions will rely on separate facility locations as a resource for space, equipment, backups and staff. The point is when departments are located in the same facility, if one goes, they all could go in the event of a disaster.

Reviewed 2010-12-30.