Document Safety

autumn lake

Fall is a wonderful time of year.  The evenings grow crisp, the days grow shorter, the holidays approach, and festivity is in the air.  Fall is full of warm memories; pumpkin pie, bonfires, and the smell of pine hearken back to simpler times when the world didn’t seem as crazy.  Even the colors of fall are soothing; Leaves change colors in a slow fade from green through crimson and saffron into a finally shade of mocha.  Documents get wet, ink smudges and pages wrinkle into an archaic yellow . . . wait what?  That’s not supposed to happen.  At this point you realize that, for whatever reason, your documents have been damaged by water.  Maybe it was a faulty waterline, an overflowing washing machine, or perhaps condensation from the water heater.  Even humidity and mold can affect your pristine records, turning them into bloated soggy messes.

Fall can also be a very sobering season.  It is often the time of the year when unexpected calamities strike.  This year, October brought with it, not a devastating stock crash, but instead a monster storm named Sandy: creatively nicknamed the “Frankenstorm.”  Hurricane Sandy left destruction and loss in its wake.  Much of the Northeastern Seaboard was assailed by flooding, high winds, and torrential rains.  Thousands were stranded without power.  Transportation has been difficult and many have been unable to find gasoline.

Those unaffected by the powerful storm should say a prayer of thanks, but they should also stop and think.  The town of Wilmington (where Tarheel Imaging is headquartered) was fortunate enough to avoid the fury of the storm, but we are far from danger-free.  A hurricane could strike any state along the Atlantic Coast at almost any time.  Hurricane season stretches for almost half a year.  You’ve seen previous blogs devoted to the importance of disaster preparedness, but in the aftermath of Sandy, it is even more paramount than ever.  The flooding from Sandy was vast and extensive.  Residents of more than ten states had no power.

Unfortunately, documents are highly susceptible to water damage.  In fact, paper is quite fragile.  For several reasons, Tarheel Imaging and Microfilming recommends that important documents should instead be stored as microfilm.  Despite its long history, microfilm is still a highly dependable technology.  It is the only data archiving system that does not rely on electrical power or digital technology.  Microfilm can be read by the human eye, using only the optical aid of a magnifying glass.  Microfilm is also highly durable.  Paper degrades quickly and easily, but experiments show that microfilm could last up to as long as 1000 years.  Finally, microfilm saves an incredible amount of space.  A roll of microfilm only requires two percent of the space taken up by a corresponding amount of paper.

Just like any other season, fall is a time of change.  Nothing stays entirely the same.  Time continues to flow by, pulling all along with it.  Cars break down, people age, and documents degrade.  Be prepared for change.  Sometimes things change course swiftly: storms blow up, computers crash or people move away.  Other times lives are slowly bent along a gradually changing course.  You never know what life will throw at you, but be prepared to duck.  Just because quick change has not affected you recently, doesn’t mean it never will.  Are your documents safe and secured?  Do not put off data storage any longer.  Call Tarheel Imaging today.