Posted on 20 Nov 07
(Nanci Taplett is the Public Relations Manager for storefront owner AMS Services)
During your business continuity planning process, it is important to think about what documents to replicate and keep in a safe place. By keeping copies of important papers, you will be able to get your business up and running more quickly and easily after an event.
Each business is unique, but there are some records that everyone should consider adding to their data back up or keeping off-site in a safe location:
Once you have developed your list of documents you want to keep safe, the question becomes, “Where do I store them?” You can keep it simple or take advantage of new technology.
- Letter of instruction to your employees in case you are not available
- Wallet size employee and vendor call lists
- Hard copies of the business continuity plan
- Employee and work assignment lists
- Active client list
- Building and site maps that show utility shutoffs, water hydrants, gas lines, floor plans, etc.
- Resource lists including equipment and supplies
- Finance and purchasing procedures
- All of your own insurance records and policies
- Hardware and software inventory records and photos
- Deeds, titles, rental agreements, lease and/or mortgage documents
- A list of bank, loan, credit card (you may want to photocopy front and back), mortgage, lease, debit and ATM and investment account numbers
- Certificates for stocks, bonds, investments and employee retirement accounts
- Federal and state tax returns
- Any building improvement records, warranties and receipts
- Presentations, invoices and e-mails
- Research and historical work archives
Keeping it simple
The simple solution is to keep a copy of your records with your evacuation kit or emergency supply box in a waterproof, fireproof portable container and a separate record in a bank deposit box. However, you may want to consider keeping a set of documents (hard copy or CD) in an off-site location with friends, family or even another independent agency out-of-state.
You can also utilize free photo websites to upload your inventory pictures, scan and burn copies to CD, USB flash drive or send to a Hotmail or Yahoo account, use the personal web space provided by your ISP to house PDFs in a password-protected environment, utilize online bill pay, etc.
One of the easiest document solutions is to choose ImageRight or AMS 360. These solutions provide efficient, dependable and reliable backup and restoration of documents. If you choose an AMS Services online solution, your backups are created automatically and hosted in the AMS Data Center. Tape backup happens daily with tapes vaulted and stored off-site. In the event of a fire or natural disaster at your local agency offices, any home or temporary office with an Internet connection will allow you to access your agency’s data and continue to serve your customers.
There are a lot of options out there to help you get organized and protect your business. Do a little preparation up front to save you a lot of headaches in the long run. For more information regarding this article please contact Nanci Taplett, Public Relations Manager, AMS Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-444-4813.
For more information about AMS, visit the AMS storefront at