According to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 1,000 tornadoes occur on average each year in the United States. This is a higher figure than most would think because many of these reported tornadoes are small ones that are barely mentioned on the news. However, even a small tornado can cause serious damage to your business or office building.
After a tornado has swept through, your business will most likely need document restoration assistance for damaged and wet documents; even the heaviest of damaged documents can be salvaged if you have a quality document restoration service to help you. Document scanning is another method of arming yourself against tornado damage. The following is a closer look at the nuts and bolts of document restoration before and after a tornado, and how you can preemptively use document scanning to speed up the recovery process.
Document emergency kits. All businesses are required by state law to have some kind of emergency first aid kit on the premises at all times. But what about an emergency kit for your documents? Among other items, you might keep a rugged laptop or a few USB thumbs drives handy, along with digital copies of critical business documents (such as insurance records). During the document restoration process, it helps to have a clear, legible soft copy for comparison – another reason to take digital backups of your records with you when you evacuate.
Document scanning. As mentioned above, document scanning can really pay off in times of disaster. A tornado may disrupt your physical documents, but your digital soft copies can be secured with multiple backups that are impervious, for the most part, to natural disasters. Document scanning can also make the disaster recovery process go more smoothly. While your physical documents are being recovered, you can use digital soft copies to keep business going.
Stay alert. Another way to plan ahead is to always be alert. Keep all lines of communication open when you hear of a brewing tornado. In fact, a tornado can strike very quickly – sometimes before businesses and communities within its path can be alerted. Cell phones and radios are your best bet for emergency alerts. Set up RSS weather and news feeds on your phone. Remember, for most areas, analog broadcast TV no longer works with the implementation of the new digital TV spectrum.
Offsite data storage. If possible, keep additional copies of your documents offsite. This could mean with an online storage or cloud service, or at a remote location. Just make sure you choose somewhere safe, away from the tornado alley of the Midwest. (And if you happen to live in this area, it’s strongly recommended that you begin the document scanning process now rather than later.)
Dealing with the aftermath of a tornado is much easier if you are prepared. Once the dust settles and the tornado has dissipated, you will have to assess the damage and decide how much document restoration is needed. Just be sure to always put employee and personal safety first – your documents can be restored, but the human body is much more fragile!
[ Photo by: Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection, via CC License ]