Disaster Planning and Essential Records

Disaster planning and vital records protection are critical elements of an effective records management program. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is responsible for disseminating information relating to the identification, preservation and protection of vital records.

In addition to providing training sessions, PHMC's staff at Pennsylvania State Archives (PSA) have prepared disaster planning and vital records protection templates. These templates can supplement existing continuity of operations plans (COOP) to further prepare for potential disasters that could affect records.

Templates include:

  • Information about prevention, preparation and recovery
  • Forms to help develop lists of disaster response personnel, priority records, physical description of building, and hazardous materials
  • Example vendor information *

* Vendors are included for informational purposes only and their inclusion does not constitute endorsement by PSA or PHMC.

State Agencies, Boards and Commissions

The state Continuity of Government Office under the Office of Administration requires state government to develop plans to protect records that are vital to governmental activities so that critical services will be uninterrupted, maintained or restored in the event of a disaster.

Planning Templates

Records and Document Recovery Services

State agencies that are in need of immediate recovery and restoration services for non-electronic documents may use the services of two suppliers currently on contract.

Local Governments

The Commonwealth's Emergency Operations Plan requires local government agencies to develop plans to protect records that are vital to governmental activities so that critical services will be uninterrupted, maintained or restored in the event of a disaster.

Planning Templates