Disasters can leave records lost forever

January 31st, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document Management

There are numerous disasters that humans cannot predict, from manmade attacks to storms that ravage communities. When these events occur, the people and businesses in the path of such destruction often lose money, structures and files.

In the past, fires have been particularly devastating, documents and other elements crucial to business operations. Unless administrators invested in conversion services that place records in an online database, or have otherwise copied and stored files in another location, information might be lost forever. And if these papers were mission critical, that can mean the end of the road for some businesses.

Administrators can protect their businesses by taking advantage of electronic document management systems. Professionals can take measures to ensure that closure due to lost files isn’t a possibility any time soon. 

Fire in Africa destroyed university documents
A recent fire at Nigeria’s Kwara State Polytechnic left five rooms at the school completely destroyed, according to Code Wit World News. While no one was killed, the destruction was significant, as furniture, air conditioning ducts and many sensitive files were lost.

The news source explained that the fire began in the early morning of January 16 and affected some of the offices of the school’s Director of Student Services, meaning that a significant number of student documents were among those destroyed.

Rector Moshood Elelu released a statement noting that many of the records were lost because they were stored in a file cabinet, which was destroyed by the blaze.

Particularly for companies that keep documents in such storage facilities, conversion services can be extremely helpful. Transferring documents online can allow administrators to free up space by getting rid of such cabinets and making sure files within are safe from prying eyes and disasters.

Past fires still affect victims today
In a recent blog, lawyer David Magann reported that many people are still affected by a fire that occurred 40 years ago. A blaze at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis in 1973 resulted in 80 percent of Army documents for those discharged between 1912 and 1960 being destroyed, as well as 75 percent of Air Force files dated from 1947 to 1954.

Magann noted that even in 2012, it was still possible that veterans and descendent could file to be sent any available copies of records, though many were lost forever. To ensure that future generations don’t experience occurrences like this, it might be good for organizations of all kinds to safeguard their documents. 

Brought to you by Image One Corporation, providing complete information governance since 1994.

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