It wasn’t just a bad year for natural disasters, but 2017 also set a record for the loss of property and physical documents/records as well. With numbers exceeding $265 billion in damage, the cost of loss of records is estimated at over $200 per document, including the cost of materials used in replacing the record and man-hours.
Natural Disasters and Paper Records
The three most common natural disasters associated with property loss include fires, flooding, and hurricanes. Paper is the most difficult format of record keeping to protect and recover after contact with water and/or fire. With paper, you don’t only have to worry about natural disasters, but the day-to-day mishaps that occur. Sunlight, spilling a drink, and plumbing issues are all common and can cause a disruption in daily operations.
Electronic sources of storage (i.e. CD’s, DVD’s, flash drives, and hard drives), on the other hand, can usually be recovered by the user or a dedicated professional. As an extra measure of security against file loss, paperless documentation is also able to back up files to remote storage such as the cloud.
With no end in sight to the ever-increasing natural disasters, the focus should be on the prevention of K-12 data loss.
Employee and student information aren’t the only documents that can be saved due to backup. Vital records and documents needed to assure the organization can operate on a daily basis are also available to go paperless.
Hurricane Harvey was the cause for a substantial amount of damage this year, leading to the long-term closure of schools. Loss of vital documents resulted in long-term school closure, which has detrimental effects on the psyche of victims of natural disasters who want a sense of normalcy.
Following Hurricane Harvey, praises were laid on digital backup services that helped save government and residents document. Though the replacement process is long and drawn-out, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Thankfully, K-12 record management software can safely store important employee and student information that is required to operate (such as phone numbers, addresses, banking information, test scores and grades, etc.), while adding an extra layer of cybersecurity, preventing further K-12 data loss.
The transition to paperless is easier than ever and safer, thanks to a variety of K-12 record management vendors on the market, there are options that prevent or lessen the effects of K-12 record loss.
Tips for Preventing K-12 Record Loss:
Consult professional emergency coordinators/prepare for the worst.
Review/update district policy regarding documentation storage.
Create an emergency contingency plan in the event of data loss.
Avoid the headache and extra cost associated with disaster recovery services by preemptively backing up K-12 data.
Do your homework. Although FEMA offers tips on how to replace some damaged records, they don’t account for the records that schools are required to keep. Since schools are regulated at the state and local level, the Federal government has little to offer in hopes of replacing documents.