Ruins after the Great Boston Fire of 1872
Disaster preparedness is something that every archive plans for and reviews on a yearly basis. If archives are preparing their facility and records for a disaster, should genealogists do the same?
I have long lamented that genealogists are also "home archivists". Most genealogists don't work as archivists but they do have some of the same responsibilities that archivists have, which are:
- Collect original records
- Collect original photographs
- Receiving donated records (from family and distant, new found, cousins)
- Organizing and preserving records
Would it not be pertinent to preserve these original records and have a disaster plan in place in case the unthinkable happens? It would be difficult to explain an entire disaster plan in this blog post, so here is an example of a Disaster Preparedness Plan from the New York State Archives that the genealogists can use as a guide:
This plan describes the steps necessary to anticipate, prevent, plan for, and recover from a disaster affecting records in any format.
|Houston County Lions Club Records Donation, Houston County, TN. Archives|
Many of the steps in this plan are ones that the genealogist or "home archivist" can implement to protect and preserve original records, photographs and artifacts in their possession. The main idea is to be prepared and keep your records in a state of preparedness in case of a disaster.
None of us know when the next fire, tornado, earthquake or flood may happen to us or our home. But we can prepare and plan ahead to save and preserve our genealogical records.
REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!
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