Are you Ready to Weather the Storm?
Bluebonnets and Indian Paint Brush are abundant along the roadways, so it must be tornado season, right? According to ustornadoes.com, about 30% of all violent tornadoes in modern history (1950-2018) occur in April. May is a close second at 24% and June 15%. And, as if the threat of cyclonic winds and hail wasn't enough, the Atlantic Hurricane Season is on its heels, starting June 1st and not ending until November 30th. Are you ready?
Although you may be inland, the threat of flooding is still prevalent, as we've witnessed in recent years. So even if you're roof remains intact during a storm, damaging water can still penetrate as levels rise, often not cresting for several days. Do you have a plan?
To be proactive and attempt to minimize the risk of damage, one of the most important things you can do is to store your books and documents in an elevated position. Direct contact with the floor is inviting problems, even if it’s not ground floor. Plumbing leaks are not unheard of and can cause an incredible amount of damage to books, paper and photos even when outdoor conditions are pristine.
If you do encounter a water emergency, it’s important to dry any wet materials as quickly as possible. Mold and mildew can quickly take hold, usually within 48 hours. If it’s a book, you’ll want to stand it on end and fan it open, allowing the air to get between the pages. You can place disposable paper towels between the pages to help absorb the moisture. In fact, you’ll probably need to change them several times during the drying process. Placing an electric fan in the room can help with evaporation and drying.
If it’s loose papers that succumbed to water, you’ll want to lay them on absorbent materials on a flat surface. When the paper is almost dry, you will want to place it between towels or blank newsprint with a light weight on top so the paper will dry flat.
When the sheer volume of damaged documents is too much to process, if you’re able to freeze the water
damaged documents, this will prevent mold growth and may just save them. And although not the same as an original volume or case file, digital copies of vital data is always a good archival fallback and should probably be included in your disaster plan.
So don’t wait until disaster strikes to set your plan in motion. If you need assistance and ideas about where to begin, Data Preservation Solutions can help. Check out or S.T.O.R.M. business continuity page and feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation.