Sharon I agree with your points of fore thought.

The records manager, IT personnel, and officers of the company should have
prepared to insure the company records were protected BEFORE the disaster
struck.  If companies used a vendor that placed their records physically
within the NOLA bowl --then their specifications for storage were not well
thought out --especially if the records were vital.  Vital IT records should
have been moved or copied and sent to mirrored sites across country.  All of
this should have been done and then you walk away and take care of family
and feel safe and secure that you have a job to go back to! Even if it is
make shift and in trailers or such. But if no plans are made, there is no
job. That is the sad part that many managers forget.

If Iron Mountain had storage places inside the bowl, the companies that used
them should have known the risks.  I was amazed at one television station
that stayed on "air" throughout.  They had planned.  As they evacuated the
office from downtown, they went on the internet and broadcast wireless
through their sister station in Houston.  We kept them on line the entire
time.  That kept us up to date.  They also had the foresight to have their
backup site outside the bowl and used a Houston station to broadcast.  Sure
they dropped sometimes, but it was better than nothing.

Watching the drama play out is sad.  The Army Core of Engineers do not have
a plan for the levee that was breeched.  Initial interviews -- One of the
key men kept saying we have to have committee meetings, we have to have
meetings....  We were laughing at first, then when he kept saying we can't
do anything until we have a committee meeting for an entire day --it was not
funny it was negligence.

Someone should have had step by step plans written and tested BEFORE.  Yes
they planned for a CAT 3 but a secondary levee breaking could have happened
from something else. Right now the people need to be taken care of, but
there are a lot of questions to be asked at a later date.

The entire scenario will be fodder for study on creating disaster planning
and business resumption plans ---for years to come.

Carolyn Trim
Houston, Texas

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Sharon Burnett
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 7:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Records Living at Iron Mountain in NOLA

Seriously the last thing that I am going to worry about when a disaster
strikes are my records. I will concern myself with my family.

It is my job now to plan for the worst way before the worst ever happens.
Planning also means testing. Testing should happen not once in awhile, but
on a very regularly scheduled basis. Having a backup site in place does not
mean in another building 5 blocks north of your main office. It actually
means in another geography.

It is also my job to have a plan in place for my family - a disaster
preparedness kit for home and for the car. You all think about your company
or agency records, what about your own personal records? Do you have a
contact established out of state so your family if separated can call in to
give a report?

Obviously now as I post later in the day at almost 5:00 PM PST, we know more
about the extent of the disaster in the Gulf. It does little good to ponder
over the 2 days warning and what got moved where. Really seriously, if you
have all these precious records would you place yourself and others in harms
way just to move papers? Come on...people died down there.

Sharon Burnett
University Place, Washington State

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