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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 Cayman Islands

  • 98% literacy rate

  • Major industries: financial services, tourism

  • No direct taxation



Recordkeeping environment
Recordkeeping environment Cayman Islands

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 Cayman Islands

  • 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


Hurricane ivan
Hurricane Ivan Cayman Islands


The aftermath
The aftermath… Cayman Islands

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 Cayman Islands

50% of vital records damaged

Included most of personnel records of Government

Damage to Government records…


First 48 hours
First 48 hours… Cayman Islands

Limited access to refrigeration

No power on site

Commence clean up…


Action 72 hours
Action: 72 hours Cayman Islands

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 Cayman Islands

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: humidity

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 humidity

  • 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 humidity

  • 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 humidity

NSW Fire Brigades

Information Management Unit

[email protected]

Ph: 9265 2867

Mob: 0407 108 696


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