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Subject: Re: Storage of tapes and other media - A Bit OT
From: "Jones, Virginia" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 6 Dec 2006 08:34:10 -0500

text/plain (55 lines)

<The problem as I see it is that the quoted standards do not related to 
access to records, just the protection of records.>
That is correct.  Currently, no international standards exist relating
to the access to records in physical storage (not to be confused with
standards relating to accessing records in electronic repositories).  I
have not come across any U.S. national standards that do so either - but
I am always willing to learn about them if they exist.  This may be a
gap in standards that can be filled by both the RM and the storage

< As I understand it, it is possible for a vault to be compliant with
all of 
the standards you quote, but sill be in a building that could burn for a

Under unusual circumstances anything is possible. The fact that whole
buildings could burn to the ground while surrounded by flood waters was
an unusual circumstance in North Dakota several years ago.  The fact
that flood waters would remain high in parts of New Orleans for more
than a week following Katrina was unusual.  I worked for the State of
New Mexico during the state penitentiary riots in 1981.  The fires
started by the prisoners burned unchecked for 3 days.  Records (paper
records at that) that were stored in proper fire resistant housing
mostly survived (there were some documents around the "edges" that
burned or were badly damaged).  Records that were not stored properly
were consumed by the fire.

The point is we plan for the usual with the unusual in mind.  If a
storage facility does not meet ALL the requirements of NFPA 232
(partitioning, fire suppression, construction, etc.) it can indeed
destroy everything in less than a week.  If it does meet all the
requirements, it has a good chance of not completely destroying
everything if it does burn for a week.  I don't claim to work miracles,
just use all the tools at hand to safeguard the records under my

<This is where the RM and Business Continuity concerns diverge>
I don't see the diversion.  Business Continuity encompasses four basic
elements of planning - prevention (including mitigation), preparedness,
response, and recovery.  RM is responsible for these four elements as
they relate to  records and information.  The RM piece then becomes part
of the whole BC plan.  No BC plan is going to guarantee eliminating loss
- only in reducing it as much as possible.

Ginny Jones
(Virginia A. Jones, CRM, FAI)
Records Manager
Information Technology Division
Newport News Dept. of Public Utilities
Newport News, VA
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