Natural disasters and accidents can devastate paper and film records. Unless you have originals stored in a climate-controlled and stormproof facility, recovering from such a loss may be difficult and expensive at best and oftentimes impossible. Consider the following:
“PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. — As Hurricane Katrina approached, local historians were confident a vault filled with precious pre-Civil War pictures, maps and documents cataloging the history of this Gulf Coast community would be safe. Hopes were high after the storm passed. The former bank building that served as the Pass Christian Historical Society headquarters washed away, but its vault still stood. Workers opened it to find wet, sopping papers — the ruined history of a seaside town. Most of the collection including town ledgers and old newspapers is lost.”
– Caryn Rousseau, Associated Press (Article from the L. A. Times)
Preserving your records as digital images provides for quick recovery of otherwise irreplaceable records in the aftermath of a fire, flood, tornado, or other natural disaster or accident. Records can be quickly restored to computer systems, and historical documents and books can be reprinted if necessary. Digital preservation allows for quick recovery and start-up of your governmental office or business after such an event and should constitute a major component of your disaster recovery plan.