Over the last few years, flooding has increased enough to spur scientists in the Northeast and elsewhere to ask if this paradigm is the “new normal.” Government officials, engineers and insurance companies are vested in this query, as its answer determines how they will need carry out their duties. Moreover, residents of zones that were previously considered dry havens are now advised to purchase flood insurance. And, of course, businesses are struggling with how to protect their assets, including crucial documents, from flooding.
A recent New York Times article highlights the issue and focuses specifically on how it is affecting coastal and floodplain communities in New Jersey. Rising ocean levels are partially to blame; a one-foot increase in sea levels over the next 30-40 years, as predicted in the report “Surging Seas,” would spur flooding in the 22 New Jersey municipalities that lie below the 4-foot elevation mark. Increased incidences of hurricanes and river flooding also indicate that New Jersey businesses will see more flooding threats – and resulting wet documents – as time goes on.
Communities in New Jersey and other water-prone areas are working to protect themselves against increased flooding. More homeowners are carrying flood insurance, more towns are building levees, and more business leaders are researching how to protect their companies against wet documents and damaged office buildings.
How Businesses can Protect Documents against Flooding
Although no action can completely guarantee you won’t be stuck with wet documents, taking the following steps will decrease chances that flooding will damage your important files.
- Store important documents on upper stories. Take advantage of gravity. Remember that basements are the first areas to flood. Avoid storing important documents in areas that are commonly subject to water infiltration.
- Scan files and store data off-site. The cloud has made it much easier for businesses to protect their most important files – namely, by converting important documents into digital format and storing them in off-site storage centers, away from local disaster zones. If you have thousands of documents, or high-security documents to digitize, consider partnering with a disaster restoration expert. Companies that are knowledgeable about how to restore wet documents may offer scanning services, as well. Contact Polygon to learn more about document scanning services.
- Select high-quality storage containers. Spring for the more expensive, more waterproof containment solutions. Your company’s data is worth it.
- Organization matters. The more carefully organized your papers are, the easier it will be to make decisions about how to prioritize scanning, where to store precious items and so forth.
Finally, remember that you won’t have to face the disaster of wet documents alone. Disaster recovery gurus can help provide expert advice on how to restore wet documents. Here at Polygon, we specialize in providing a quick response to flooding emergencies. Our process for drying and restoring documents was designed with our clients’ needs in mind. If a client needs access to a document during the restoration process, our employees can locate the document and copy or fax it immediately. So even if your wet documents are being restored in our facility, you can still access them as needed.
[ Photo by: USACEpublicaffairs, via CC License ]