Information for Federal Records Officers: Hurricane Irene and Records Disaster Preparedness Plans

As you are probably aware, Hurricane Irene is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale) as it tracks towards the east coast of the United States later this week and into the weekend.  Federal agencies from Florida to New England may be affected by high winds and rain from this major storm.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recommends that you contact your local records managers to prepare for the implementation of your agency’s records disaster preparedness plans.  If your agency does not have a records management disaster preparedness plan, please refer to to find emergency preparations guidance including a records emergency toolkit.

Depending upon the damage caused by Hurricane Irene, it may be necessary for your agency to implement a records recovery operation.  Water damage will likely be the major records recovery issue.  For advice and assistance on records recovery operations please refer to:

On this website you will find a template for contracting for records recovery services:

You will also find a list of records recovery vendors.  This list of vendors is provided by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for informational purposes.  Inclusion on the list should not be viewed as an endorsement of the quality of the vendor’s services.

NARA’s staff is available to provide additional information and guidance.  The following are points of contact for national records recovery and records management advice from NARA:

  • For advice on records recovery issues, please contact Doris Hamburg, NARA’s Director of the Preservation Programs Division on 301-837-1785 or via email at or Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler, Chief of the Conservation Branch on 301-837-2906 or via email at
  • For advice and assistance on records management issues, including to report on the emergency destruction of records under 36 CFR 1229.10 or the loss of records under 36 CFR 1230.14, please contact the appraisal archivist or senior records analyst assigned to your agency.  Please see a list of agency staff assignments and points of contact at

3 thoughts on “Information for Federal Records Officers: Hurricane Irene and Records Disaster Preparedness Plans

  1. Excellent posting, Paul, as was the one about WNRC’s operating status. I really like the way Records Express is becoming a leader among NARA’s good blogs as a source of timely, accurate information quickly and effectively disseminated outside the agency. I also liked Arian’s post about the federal court records. As a federal historian and former NARA employee, I say, “thumbs up NARA records peeps!”

  2. Maarja – Thanks so much for the comment and the complement! We are trying to spread the good records management word here on Records Express.

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