When it comes time to make a decision to store your documents at an off-site storage facility be sure you’ve weighed the risks- especially the transportation of material to and from your business.
New York State/Nassau County unfortunately recently had fallen victim to human error- an unnatural disaster. Newsday covered a story on the transportation of confidential Nassau County documents while in route to their new facility located in Pennsylvania. The article: Crash-Sends-Nassau-Crime-Files-Flying.
Recently we worked on a bid (for those documents in the article) for New York State regarding the transfer and maintenance of their documents that were at the time located on Long Island. We are always thrilled about a new opportunity to work for anyone, especially locally, so we wanted to bid.
The main requirements were (and are usually all the same), quick access, security, confidentiality, low storage rate, etc. A meeting was held to discuss the RFP (Request for Proposal) with participating vendors such as ourselves. After a few minutes a question came up as to the reasoning behind New York State seeking a storage facility located at least 150 miles from the current location of their documents on Long Island. This fact was then confirmed by the state officials at the meeting. Us, along with the only other vendor from Long Island were therefore both disqualified from the bid – our facilities were too close.
What could possibly be the reason to move thousands of confidential boxes 150 miles away? Keep in mind that they still had the expectation of quick access and retrieval of these records! Well, the explanation went something to the tune of, ‘To protect our confidential documents from a natural disaster, like a flood, we need to have them at least 150 miles away from that disaster.’ In other words, when all is lost on Long Island, we still have our documents somewhere in a land far, far away (where nothing could ever happen…).
This was just before Hurricane Irene roared through our area and our facility and others centrally located were all left standing, and (may I add) dry as a bone. Now don’t forget, Irene was said to be a “100 Year Storm” by many meteorologists and hurricane experts- just some food for thought…
What you may not know is most storage facilities, like us, are built to protect and withstand a natural disaster, especially one from water which most are concerned with here on Long Island. That is why we are here, this is what we do. All of our client records are stored above ground from the lowest level of the floor (already 5 feet above ground) up on shelving to about 30 feet higher, equipped with climate control and fireproof steel shelving for protection. We do not down play the risk, but we are confident because we are prepared.
Unfortunately an ill informed decision regarding document management is often made based on the lowest storage rate per month, without considering the value of having the records close. By storing your critical business documents locally you lessen the threat of falling victim to a human disaster which happens daily. Accidents, traffic, weather patterns, and other obstacles may cause a big delay or what we may view as an unexpected disaster; ironically they should be the most expected disasters, and be a big part of your document storage vendor selection process. Moving your documents far will also lead to slow accessibility and higher activity rates due to the length of the time and distance traveled to deliver and pickup your storage boxes. You will quickly realize the value in keeping your documents readily available, because they will still be secured and protected by your vendor locally. Keep in mind, by utilizing a local off-site document storage facility less money will also be spent on activity services such as pickup and delivery. The activity rate savings may be so much greater that you will actually pay less monthly, even if your storage rate per box per month is a few cents higher versus an out-of-state vendor. We also encourage you to visit your local archive facility if you are considering using a document management service, they will be more than happy to show you around.
For over 13 years National Archives, Inc. in Garden City, NY has successfully stored valuable and critical documents for businesses throughout the Long Island, New York Metro area. If you have found this information helpful please let us know. Also, if you are seeking storage vendor, or have a need for document shredding or document scanning please contact us, call 516-794-0021, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.