The Essential Records program, administered by the Office of the Public Records Administrator in accordance with Sec. 11-8(a) of the General Statutes of Connecticut, supports the identification and preservation of essential records of the state and of its political subdivisions.
Due to the essential nature of the services provided by government, public agencies at any level must continue to operate regardless of conditions during an emergency or disaster. Emergencies can be small, like a burst pipe within an office or storage area; mid-sized, like a propane tank leak that forces the closure of town hall for multiple days; or large scale, like the tornadoes, hurricanes, snow storms and power outages that Connecticut has recently experienced. Each one of these events could and has had an impact on public records. Essential Records are those records necessary for the continuity of government operations during or immediately following a disaster or emergency situation.
The loss of essential records or the inability to access them can also prevent the recovery of a community in distress. In the event of an emergency, how long it takes to get minimal operations established and normal operations restored is critical. Most agencies have an IT data systems restoration plan; some have personnel plans for restoring agency operations; but very few have identified the actual operational records required to support disaster response activities and personnel and to get agency operations back to normal. These essential records require special protection strategies to ensure they are protected and accessible. An essential records program facilitates identification and protection of these critical operational records.
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