A disaster prevention plan is a written, approved, implemented, and periodically tested program specifically outlining all actions to be taken to reduce the risk of avoidable disaster and minimize the loss should a disaster occur. The plan is based on a critical and thorough review of potential disasters to the facility, its geographic location or industry.
The plan is a statement of appropriate responses for quick and cost-effective disaster recovery. It should identify which, where, and how stored records are to be protected and retrieved. Such reviews include the following issues:
- Are microfilm, magnetic media and optical disks stored in appropriate environments?
- Are smoking laws in full compliance in areas where paper or chemicals are stored?
- Are boxes or other containers of records 12" to 14" off the floors (perhaps on pallets) even during initial processing activities?
- Are chemicals, including those used by custodian and in office machines, stored in a manner to avoid or minimize disaster?
- Are electrical appliances (i.e., coffee pots and other high heat producing items) turned off at the end of the day?
- Should such appliances even be in an area used to house records?
- Are proper security measures taken for the safety of the entire facility's contents?