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					Section 14 – Emergency Preparedness for a
Mission Storage Facility

Contents
   Main Things to Remember about Emergency Preparedness for a Mission
   Storage Facility
   Introduction
   Disaster Prevention
   Disaster Recovery Plan
   Disaster Recovery Measures


   Other Relevant Toolkit Sections
   Documents
   Glossary


Main Things to Remember about Emergency
Preparedness
       Prevention is the best insurance and protection: keep your records cool,
        dry, secure and in boxes.
       Think through the types of disaster that could happen, their likelihood of
        happening, and devise means to prevent them, mitigate their effects and
        recover as quickly as possible.
       Work with stakeholders at your mission to prepare a comprehensive
        disaster plan with prevention, recovery and review mechanisms.
       Make sure staff are aware of and trained in the disaster plan.


Introduction
Semi-active records in storage are being retained because they have value for
your office and/or for the UN and its stakeholders. They are vulnerable to a
range of threats such as wear and tear, theft, destruction due to a major
disaster and temporary inaccessibility or destruction due to a minor disaster.
Effective management of semi-active records includes preventing, as far as


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possible, a disaster occurring in the first place, planning what to do if you are
unlucky enough to experience a disaster and having a written plan which
contains all the necessary documentation and procedures to manage disaster
prevention and recovery appropriately.

A disaster does not have to be a widespread or catastrophic event (e.g. a
tsunami, earthquake, volcano etc.). It could be a localised floor or insect
infestation or could be something caused by human action such as a deliberately
set fire or a bomb. The key attribute is that a disaster poses a threat to the
physical safety and integrity of records. It is essential to get your mission’s
disaster plan reviewed by the Department of Safety and Security.


Disaster Prevention
The best protection against a disaster that either destroys or damages your
records is to build or adapt your storage area according to ARMS
recommendations and to have a good disaster prevention regime. This includes:
       Where in the building you store the records
       Ensuring that you have control over access to the storage facility
       Making sure that building work and moves are carefully managed
       Training staff and making them aware of the policies and procedures for records
        storage
       Undertake regular inspections of storage facilities
       Having appropriate fire and flood prevention and detection
       Ensuring that any necessary special measures for protecting electronic records
        are in place

There is a set of checklists at the end of this section that you can use to help
ensure that your semi-active record storage is effective in preventing disaster
which could damage or destroy the records. Remember that one basic but very
effective way of protecting records is to put them in boxes.


Detecting and Treating Insect Infestation
Insects are a threat to records because they use them as a source of food (paper
contains protein and starch) and their droppings cause damage that can deface
or eliminate part of the text. Some parts of the world are more prone to insect
infestation than others but UN staff, regardless of duty station, should regularly
check all areas where records are stored to ensure there is no sign of insect
infestation. If there is evidence of insect activity action should be taken to stop
it, to decontaminate and to ensure it cannot start again. It is particularly



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important that records due for transfer to UNHQ are free of insect infestation
because:
       US Customs will delay and possibly prevent delivery of infested record shipments
        to ARMS
       If infested records are undetected until arrival at ARMS storage, the UN must
        commit significant staff and financial resources toward treating the records
       If infestation is not detected immediately by ARMS staff, infested records can
        contaminate other records held at ARMS storage

ARMS’ Guideline on Preventing and Treating Insect                           Infestation   gives
comprehensive advice on procedures and materials required.


Disaster Recovery Plan
You will also need to put in place a disaster recovery plan, which will ensure
that, in the event of a disaster, you and your colleagues can act swiftly to
recover damaged material and prevent further damage to records.

This plan differs from a vital records plan in that the action taken in an
emergency or disaster covers all records, not just vital records. In practice both
plans are closely linked: for more information on managing vital records see the
Toolkit section Managing Risks and Protecting Vital Records.

Since disaster recovery for records storage is a specialised area, you should
discuss your semi-active records disaster plan with ARMS staff. This plan should
be part of a larger plan for the Mission which should include:
       all records, active, semi-active and those already designated as archival
       all record storage areas, active and semi-active

In developing your plan you should:
       Anticipate likely disasters and their impact on the records
       Know who to contact to help with each aspect of the plan (this needs to be
        flexible as different scenarios will require different responses)
       Work out how to salvage and repair records in the event of damage (you may
        need to make arrangements with external contractors)
       Decide what your salvage priorities are (for example older records near their
        destruction date are not as important as archival records or nearly current
        records)
       Have a plan to continue to provide access to records whilst the salvage and repair
        operation is going on
       Develop a checklist to ensure that damaged storage space has been properly
        rehabilitated and is safe and secure to store records again


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A possible model for a plan is provided in the sample Emergency Plan.


Information Box

Components of a Disaster Plan for Semi-active Records
       Preventative measures to ensure the risk of disaster is as low as possible
       A vital records programme which identifies and protects vital records. Vital
        records for semi-active storage management include:
                 contact details for staff who run the facility
                 documentation on records in the facility
                 the location register
       Strategies to stop the disaster (where possible)
       A strategy to secure records from any further damage
       Salvage priorities
       Strategies and procedures to recover/repair records which have been
        affected by the disaster
       An action plan to resume essential functions (for semi-active records
        management the essential function is access to the records in storage)


Disaster Recovery Measures
The most common disaster to befall semi-active record storage are those that
result in fire, smoke or water damage and damage caused by mould, insects or
rodents. With digital records created on the UN system the most secure way of
protecting them from disaster is to make sure that they are backed up (i.e.
copied) because restoration and salvage of digital media is expensive, time
consuming and unreliable. The table “disaster recovery: causes, effects and
actions” at the end of this section gives general guidance on the effects and
treatment of damaged records but be sure to consult ARMS before taking any
action.




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 Checklist: Preventative Measures to Protect Semi-active
Record Storage

– General
   Do not store records in basement or on top floors/attics

   Ensure you have sole ownership or tenancy of the storage space




 Checklist: Preventative Measures to Protect Semi-active
Record Storage

– Building Works and Moves (periods of high risk)
   Liaise with building contractor to obtain clear picture of work undertaken

   Check insurance - both builders and UN office’s

   During roof repairs protect records with polythene sheeting

   Check for blocked drains if demolition work occurs adjacent to your
    building

   If moving use own staff as much as possible

   Protect records while waiting to move/be put away – e.g. raise off floor
    onto pallets, cover etc.




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 Version 3 – January 2008         Section 14                        Page 5 of 12
 Checklist: Preventative Measures to Protect Semi-active
Record Storage

– Staff Awareness and Training
   Train all staff who have access to the storage area to be aware of threats
    to records

   Train all staff who have access to the storage area in preventative
    measures to protect records

   Ensure that new staff are properly trained to follow record protection
    procedures and to ensure unnecessary disasters are prevented




 Checklist: Preventative Measures to Protect Semi-active
Record Storage

– Security
   Establish good locking up procedures

   Install automatic security alarms

   Install locks on all doors, windows and skylights

   Install bars and/or toughened glass around windows

   Conduct regular facility and security inspections of semi-active record
    storage

   Control all building keys

   Supervise non-staff in semi-active record storage as well as people
    visiting the office generally




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 Checklist: Preventative Measures to Protect Semi-active
Record Storage

– Preventing Fire
   Ensure compliance with all fire regulations

   List and ensure all flammable liquids in separate, locked metal cabinets or
    store rooms

   Keep semi-active record storage areas clean and tidy

   Ban smoking in semi-active record storage areas

   Check electrical wiring regularly

   Appoint a staff fire officer

   The local authority fire officer should tour with fire prevention staff to
    point out vulnerable areas

   Discuss with local fire brigade how best to protect/salvage records in
    event of fire

   Install fire alarms, smoke detectors and heat detectors as appropriate

   Drill staff in raising the alarm and evacuation procedure

   Shelving should be strong, stable, non-flammable (including paint)




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 Checklist: Preventative Measures to Protect Semi-active
Record Storage

– Preventing and Mitigating Flood Damage
   Ensure mains supply, heating and drainage water pipes do not cross semi-
    active record storage areas

   Pitched, not flat, roof/roofs

   Flood alarm systems installed

   Check possible water penetration points regularly

   Inspect and maintain gutters and drains

   Check humidity levels regularly – a rise can mean water penetration

      Ensure taps are always turned off

   Turn off water at mains when the building is not occupied, with an
    automatic over-ride for fire

   Use of good quality, well-made boxes and other equipment for storage

   Top shelves are not used for storage but act as “roof”

   Bottom shelf 6” (15cm) above the floor




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 Checklist: Preventative Measures to Protect Semi-active
Record Storage

– Special Considerations for Electronic Records
   Ensure that regular backups are made which are tested for restorability
    and legibility

   Ensure a good, up to date fire wall is in place

   Ensure good, up to date virus protection is in place

   Limit access to computer systems with passwords

   Use data encryption where necessary/appropriate

   Use auxiliary generators and surge protectors

   Employ due care when handling floppies, tapes etc




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Table: Disaster Recovery: Causes, Effects and Actions
        Media             Cause             Effect          Repair and/or Restorative
                            of                                       Action
                         Damage

Magnetic & digital       Water       Extremely vulnerable   Refer to experts for salvage. May
                                     to humidity, can       be able to disassemble casings of
                                     corrupt or destroy     both tapes and diskettes and dry
                                                            tapes vertically in air; dry
                                                            diskettes with lint-free cloth.
                                                            Replace into new cases and copy.

Magnetic & digital       Mould       Can corrupt or         Handle with gloves and mask,
                                     destroy. Potential     may be possible to arrest mould
                                     health hazard          by reducing temperature and
                                                            humidity. Separate affected
                                                            material from unaffected. Refer to
                                                            experts for salvage.

Magnetic & digital       Insects &   Unlikely to eat        Refer to experts for extermination
                         rodents     magnetic media but     of insects and salvage of records.
                                     excretions may         Handle with gloves and mask.
                                     corrupt or destroy.    Separate affected material from
                                     Potential health       unaffected.
                                     hazard.

Paper                    Fire        Can destroy, renders   Handle carefully, refer to paper
                                     brittle and fragile.   conservators for repair and/or
                                                            copy, scan or microfilm



Paper                    Water       Can destroy, loss of   Handle carefully, may be possible
                                     integrity, renders     to air-dry small quantities on site,
                                     fragile                use blotting paper to inter-leave.
                                                            Otherwise refer to paper salvage
                                                            experts for freeze/vacuum drying




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         Version 3 – January 2008           Section 14                     Page 10 of 12
Table: Disaster Recovery: Causes, Effects and Actions
        Media             Cause             Effect            Repair and/or Restorative
                            of                                         Action
                         Damage

Paper                    Mould       Renders writing          Handle with gloves and mask,
                                     illegible, damages all   may be possible to arrest mould
                                     or parts of paper.       by reducing temperature and
                                     Potential health         humidity. Separate affected
                                     hazard                   material from unaffected. Once
                                                              dried can be brushed off. Refer to
                                                              experts for salvage.

Paper                    Insects &   Renders writing          Refer to experts for extermination
                         rodents     illegible, damages all   of insects and salvage of records.
                                     or parts of paper.       Handle with gloves and mask.
                                     Potential health         Separate affected material from
                                     hazard                   unaffected.

Photographic prints      Fire        Can destroy, renders     Handle carefully, refer to
                                     brittle and fragile      photograph conservators for
                                                              repair and/or copy, scan or
                                                              microfilm

Photographic prints      Water       Can destroy, loss of     Rinse in cool, clean water if
                                     integrity, renders       necessary. If loose, spread out or
                                     fragile                  hang to air-dry; if bound,
                                                              interleave with wax paper for air-
                                                              drying. May be kept in a bucket of
                                                              clean water for up to 48 hours. Do
                                                              not freeze!




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         Version 3 – January 2008           Section 14                       Page 11 of 12
Other Relevant Toolkit Sections
       Section 16 – Managing Risks and Protecting Vital Records


Documents
       Guideline on Preventing and Treating Insect Infestation (ARMS)


Glossary
Disaster recovery plan: a written plan which sets out:
       the precautions and procedures to minimise the risks and effects of natural and
        man-made disasters such as fire, flood, earthquake, terrorism etc.
       the steps to be taken to resume business in the event of a disaster
       the personnel, equipment and processes necessary to recover, secure and make
        available the vital records in the event of disaster

Vital records: those records which, in the event of a disaster, are essential for
the recovery of vital operations and the ongoing business of an organization.
Without its vital records the organization cannot function effectively




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 Version 3 – January 2008                 Section 14                          Page 12 of 12

				
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