dawn routledge rm forum state records authority 19 march 2008
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Learning lessons the hard way: Hurricane Ivan hits the Cayman Islands. Dawn Routledge RM Forum State Records Authority, 19 March 2008. Cayman Islands: facts. 98% literacy rate Major industries: financial services, tourism No direct taxation. Hurricane Ivan hits Cayman.

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dawn routledge rm forum state records authority 19 march 2008

Learning lessons the hard way: Hurricane Ivan hits the Cayman Islands

Dawn Routledge

RM Forum

State Records Authority, 19 March 2008

cayman islands facts
Cayman Islands: facts
  • 98% literacy rate
  • Major industries: financial services, tourism
  • No direct taxation
recordkeeping environment
Recordkeeping environment

Physical records management

Mounting piles of paper in offices and warehouses

Government Records Centre

Civil servants using email to do business. Printing and filing rules in place

Electronic business systems rely on paper inputs and outputs

Fledgling RM program led by CINA to address breakdown of records systems

disaster preparedness
Disaster preparedness
  • National infrastructure
  • Focused on hurricanes
  • Annual vital records plans for agencies to complete and send to National Archive
  • Little risk analysis in plans
  • 2004 hurricane season: only 24 of 75 agencies had completed vital records plans
the aftermath
The aftermath…

83% of homes damaged

30% of residents uninsured

US$3.4 billion cost to economy

damage to government records
Records Centre flooded: 1m of water through the ground floor

50% of vital records damaged

Included most of personnel records of Government

Damage to Government records…
first 48 hours
First 48 hours…

Limited access to refrigeration

No power on site

Commence clean up…

action 72 hours
Action: 72 hours

Contacted disaster recovery specialists in Canada

Calls for help coming in from affected Government agencies

Re-boxing and freezing of wet records underway

long term recovery
Long term recovery

Paid for by insurance

National Archive co-ordinated document disaster recovery for Government

Vacuum freeze drying process

Cleaning of dried records

4000 boxes, about 1 year recovery

records at risk
Dehumidifier to lower levels in records exposed to high humidity

Even offices and storage areas that escaped flooding were exposed to higher risk of mould

Records at risk
lessons learnt during
Gather information to:

Aid recovery

Provide evidence of actions taken

Enable post-recovery analysis

- Log actions taken

- Take photos

- Carry out damage surveys (if possible)

Lessons learnt: during
lessons learnt after
Lessons learnt: after
  • Importance of supporting staff and maintaining morale
  • Look after logistics of running a disaster recovery team – need food and water!
  • Identify PR opportunities
  • Beware of promising too much. Contingency in timeframes!
  • Be strategic – use opportunities to improve program
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Records are still important, even after a major disaster
  • Luck minimised records impact of Hurricane Ivan – records of many Government agencies untouched, just!
  • Recovery effort is worth it. Insurance prevented much worse impact. Good RM program makes it cheaper
  • Opportunity to improve: new environment with enthusiasm for change
dawn routledge
Dawn Routledge

NSW Fire Brigades

Information Management Unit

[email protected]

Ph: 9265 2867

Mob: 0407 108 696

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