Do you have important paper documents and electronic storage for your company? If you do, then it’s essential to have a disaster recovery system in place to ensure that your documents are protected during a disaster and accessible after the fact.
With hurricane season rapidly approaching – and the number of severe hurricanes on the rise – we field a lot of questions at Gilmore Services about disaster preparedness. Here’s what you need to know about hiring a document storage company ahead of hurricane season.
Why Store Your Documents Off-Site?
Let’s start by talking about some of the reasons to consider storing your documents off-site before hurricane season.
- Security is an issue every day and even more so during hurricane season. Power outages can leave your office without its usual protections.
- Flooding is a significant risk during a hurricane, and we don’t need to tell you that paper records will be damaged by water. Proper storage will ensure that your documents are safe and protected from wind, rain, and flooding.
- What if you can’t get to your office after a hurricane? You’ll still need to service your clients. Secure document storage will ensure you can get to your data as needed, especially if you work with a company like Gilmore Services that provides digitization services, as well.
It’s important to keep in mind that a severe hurricane can knock out power for days or even weeks. If you’ve lived in hurricane territory for a while, you know that the aftermath can be worse than the storm itself.
An experienced document storage company will have safeguards in place to ensure that your documents aren’t damaged and that you can get to them when you need them.
What to Look for in a Document Storage Company
What should you look for in a document storage company? There are several key capabilities and characteristics to keep in mind.
- Choose a company that’s NAID certified. NAID certification guarantees that the company adheres to high standards when it comes to storing and destroying sensitive documents.
- Ask about the document storage company’s security. They should have cameras both inside and outside their facility and only authorized personnel should be allowed in. The should also conduct background checks on their employees.
- The facility you choose should be made of concrete and built to withstand disasters. In Florida, that means being able to withstand high winds and rain.
- Any documents you store should be placed on metal shelves. It is never acceptable to store paper documents on the floor where they might get wet.
- Climate control is important, too. In Florida, that means choosing a document storage company with air condition, heating, and humidity control.
- The same goes for pest control. Make sure that the company you choose has protections in place to keep rodents and insects away from your important documents.
- Fire suppression measures should be in place. Ideally, that means a system that stops fires without using water that could damage your documents.
It’s best to look for a company that offers more than storage. Bundled services should include digitization of documents and cloud-based storage, so you can access your documents even if you can’t get to the facility after a hurricane. Gilmore Services offers document storage, management, digitization, and more.
When to Store Your Documents
Hurricane season traditionally runs from June through October and peaks in September and October. Ideally, you’d have your documents in storage before June. However, it’s never too late to contract with a document storage company.
Since hurricane season peaks in the early fall, it makes sense to get your documents into storage during the spring or summer. That way, the company you choose will have time to digitize your documents and you’ll have access to them even if you can’t get to your office.
Hurricane season is not something to take lightly. Acting now to contract with a document storage company will ensure that your business and its documents are protected throughout hurricane season and beyond.
Click here to learn about Gilmore Services’ document storage options.