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How to protect your records during a storm

From the NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources: The first weather event of the 2021 hurricane season, Tropical Storm Elsa, is scheduled to hit the North Carolina today. Heavy rain is projected to affect central and eastern North Carolina. Below are some guidelines and resources to help mitigate potential disasters which may cause water and flood damage to your public records:

  • Stabilize your records storage areas
  • Ensure that records are a minimum of 3-6 inches off the floor.
  • Ensure records are in record boxes and clearly labeled
  • Remove records for bottom drawers of filing cabinets
  • Consider relocating records to more secure areas in your building. Move records out of areas prone to flooding such basement and attic areas and away from windows and exterior doors.
  • Cover records with plastic sheeting for additional water protection.
  • Compile some recovery supplies, including plastic sheeting to cover records and additional record boxes.
  • Locate the retention and disposition schedule for the records in your office. Retention schedules for both state and local government are available on our website.
  • Compile an inventory of records and location in building.
  • Compile information on disaster recovery vendors.
  • Compile an emergency staff contact list.

If records are damaged by water, the State Archives offers these preliminary resources: Initial Steps Before Recovery of Wet Records, sample inventory control forms, and a selected list of disaster recovery services.

If you have further questions on disaster preparation or in the event that your records do get impacted by a disaster event, please contact the State Archives immediately.

Becky McGee-Lankford (Government Records Section Chief)
919 814-6903 (office)
919 612-0488 (cell)

Sarah Koonts (State Archivist)
919 814-6876 (office)
919 244-5944 (cell)

Mark Holland (Records Analysis Unit Head)
919 814-6908 (office)
704 880-8287 (cell)

Records Analysts are also available to assist you with record retention questions.