Disaster planning and preparedness

While risk assessment deals with anticipated risks and the worst-case scenario is always borne in mind, it is not enough because disasters do occur in an accidental manner, especially during holidays. Disaster planning and preparedness are therefore necessary, with the disaster plan aiming at identifying responsible individuals and all necessary resources for salvage action to rescue an organisation's archival collection in case of disaster.

A typical disaster recovery plan should provide details on the following processes :

(a)notify the appropriate persons immediately in case of emergency to relate details about the nature of the emergency and the level of threat to the archival collection;
(b)assess the damage to archival collection as soon as possible after the emergency and taking immediate steps to stabilise the condition of the items so that further damage will not occur;
(c)assemble an archive recovery team of agency staff members to expedite stabilisation of the archives (generally only for major disasters);
(d)consult contractors that provide disaster recovery services if the damage assessment points to a need for their expertise; and
(e)recover the archives and the information that they contain, or transfer the remaining information to another alternative medium when recovery is not feasible.