Disaster Planning & Vital Records

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

In addition to providing training sessions relating to disaster planning and vital records protection, staff of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Bureau of Archives and History have prepared templates (Microsoft Word) for a Disaster Response and Recovery Plan for Records with related appendices, and a Vital Records Protection Plan. These templates can be used by a variety of state agencies as a supplement to their existing COOP plans to help further prepare for potential disasters that could affect their records. By filling in the appropriate information, a state agency can tailor these two plans to address its specific needs and programs. Please click on the following links to take you to the templates designed specifically for state agencies, boards and commissions:

State agencies should contact Jerry Ellis of the Bureau of Archives and History at (717) 787-3384 or geellis@pa.gov for more information. Mail inquires may be sent to Jerry Ellis at the following address: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Pennsylvania State Archives Building, 350 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0090.

Vital Records Disaster Planning (M210.8) (PDF)


If you need further assistance, please contact us at Ra-staterecordsmgmt@pa.gov.

Forms and Directives  
PDF Documents Authorized Personnel Form
Document Title: Authorized Personnel Form
PDF Documents Authorized Personnel Form Instructions
Document Title:  
MS Excel Documents File Plan Template
Document Title:  
PDF Documents M210.1
Document Title: Commonwealth of PA Employee Records Management Manual
PDF Documents M210.7
Document Title: Manual on the Commonwealth Records Management program
PDF Documents MD210.5
Document Title: Commonwealth of PA State Records Management Program
MS Word Documents STD-56
Document Title: Records Action Requests Summary and Deletion
Documents in the Directory STD-59
Document Title: Records Transfer List
Documents in the Directory STD-59-GS
Document Title:  
MS Excel Documents STD-59-P79
Document Title: Personnel Records Transfer Lists
MS Excel Documents STD-61
Document Title: Reference Request
MS Excel Documents STD-62
Document Title: Records Disposal Report
MS Word Documents STD-64
Document Title: Records Action Request:Addition or Amendment to Records Retention and Disposition Schedules
PDF Documents STD-64 Instructions
Document Title: Records Action Request: Addition or Amendment to Records Instructions
Documents in the Directory STD-65
Document Title: Microfilm Requirement Analysis
MS Excel Documents STD-66
Document Title: Request to Acquire Microfilm Equipment