Natural Disasters and Records- Be Prepared!

Seeing the moving images and photographs of the recent flood in Australia reminds me of my volunteer efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I was part of a team that gutted houses and salvaged anything we could find that was in good condition. Sadly, very little was saved. I remember asking myself in each house first, did the people get out alive? And second, did they have enough time to grab their most beloved things including their archives?

Lately, it seems another natural disaster is striking somewhere in the world without much warning. And each time one occurs it serves as a reminder to us to be prepared. Be prepared to stay alive, and be prepared to keep your most valued records intact.

With the latest devastating floods in Australia, the Australian Society of Archivists Inc. (ASA) and Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia (RIM Professionals Australasia) expressed their sympathy, but also to state that they are here to support in the area they know best- valuable records:

“Beyond the tragic and devastating losses of lives, property, and livelihoods lies the lengthy process of re-construction and re-establishment of businesses and day-to-day life. The recent disasters reinforce the importance of including vital business and personal records, and memorabilia, in all preparations for disasters and potential evacuations. In the aftermath of any disaster, time is critical. Swift action and care is required when salvaging damaged records.” —Australian Society of Archivists

The full statement of support can be accessed. A list of disaster preparedness resources is provided at the end of the statement.

Also, please keep in mind that you can get information regarding Disaster Preparedness and Response from our Web site and I highly recommend checking this out!

Brandon

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About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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