Hurricane Michael has strengthened as it moves north-northwestward over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. NOAA is currently reporting the major storm will cause a life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds, and heavy rainfall along the northeastern gulf coast. While the immediate focus is on the Florida gulf coast – it is important to note that the path of the storm is projected to head toward the Carolinas which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence. Much of the Carolinas are still rain-soaked and additional rain and winds will likely result in further damage to this area.
In advance of Hurricane Michael, we again remind federal agencies of important records emergency information located at https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/essential-records and other useful guidance.
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. We also have information available to assist federal records managers in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency.
- RECORDS RECOVERY – NARA’s Preservation Division provides information on their website to assist federal records managers in preparing for, responding to and recovering from an emergency.
- RECORDS EMERGENCY DISPOSAL – Before agencies destroy contaminated records, NARA approval must be obtained. For more details on this process, see NARA’s information about emergency disposal.
- UNAUTHORIZED DISPOSAL OF RECORDS – Federal agencies are required to notify the Archivist of any unauthorized disposal of records in the custody of the agency. For more details about this process, see NARA’s information about unauthorized disposition.
- INFORMATION SECURITY – For advice and assistance on issues concerning classified national security information, please contact the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO): 202-357-5250 or via email at ISOO@nara.gov.
- ESSENTIAL RECORDS GUIDE – The management of essential records is part of every federal agency’s emergency preparedness responsibility. The Essential Records Guide addresses the identification and protection of records containing information that federal agencies may need to conduct business under emergency operating conditions or to protect the legal and financial rights of the federal government and the people it serves.
For advice and assistance on other records management issues arising from the storm, please contact the appraisal archivist assigned to your agency. Please see this list of agency staff assignments and points of contact.