As Hurricane Maria, now a Category 5 hurricane, bears down on Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, before possibly turning northeast and threatening the east coast of the U.S, we again remind Agency Records Officers that NARA posts records emergency information and other useful guidance to pass along to other agency personnel. This information is also still relevant for any Federal agencies that experienced damage to their records as a result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
For advice and assistance on preparing for the Hurricane and records recovery operations after the end of the storm, please refer to the preservation section (https://www.archives.gov/preservation/records-emergency/federal) of our website. Here, you will find a section on preparation, and several sections about what to do if you have records that have suffered damage.
Depending on the damage caused by the Hurricane, it may be necessary for your agency to implement a records recovery operation. Water damage will likely be the major records recovery issue. The web page also includes a template (.pdf)(https://www.archives.gov/files/preservation/disaster-response/contracting-emergency-records-recovery-template.pdf) for contracting for records recovery services. Contact Preservation Programs staff listed in the preservation section (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/vital-records/disaster-pocs.html) of our website for any questions regarding records salvage and recovery vendors.
NARA staff members are available to provide additional information and guidance.
For advice on records recovery issues, please contact Preservation Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Preservation staff monitors the email address and will respond accordingly.
For advice and assistance on other records management issues arising from the storm, including the need for emergency destruction of irreparably damaged records under 36 CFR1229.10 or the loss of records under 36 CFR1230.14, please contact the appraisal archivist assigned to your agency. Please see this list of agency staff assignments and points of contact (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/appraisal/work-group-all.html).
Hurricane season ends in the U.S. on November 30.