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Family and Home Records Management

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Records management is a business function which can work in all types of organizations, large and small, international or domestic, public or private. This presentation is focus on the domestic uses …

Records management is a business function which can work in all types of organizations, large and small, international or domestic, public or private. This presentation is focus on the domestic uses of records management.

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  • Records managers are interested in all types of records, those created or received in the normal course of business of an organization. We are interested in 100% of the records, not merely those of archival quality. Some of those who’ve been at records management for a while realize that increasingly our homes support ever more complex information activities: we send and receive bills, bank statements, insurance premiums, advertising, catalogs, notices of various kinds about things of interest to us. Many homes also support hobbies or home-based businesses. These functions give rise to additional types of records. An associate and I have been looking into the market for home-based records management books; there are more of these out there than one might think, but most of them are really books about getting well organized and just a bit about records issues. Our presentation today focuses on the problems that a home disaster can bring to the records part of our lives, how we can identify records that should be protected, ways to protect the most important records, and ????????
  • Transcript

    • 1. Managing Vital Records: The Home Front Tennessee Society of Archivists J. Michael Pemberton, Ph.D., CRM Information Management Associates, Inc. November 7, 2001
    • 2. At work, at home
      • Dramatic increases in home—based businesses, blurring once-sharp distinctions between “home” and “work.”
      • Increasing numbers of sales & other professionals (e.g., consultants) working out of their homes
      • Rising number of people pursuing a hobby or collecting at home
    • 3. At work, at home
      • Increased attention to and frustration with increasing volumes of paperwork (legal, taxes, consumer, financial investments)
    • 4. At work, at home
      • What records should be created or acquired?
        • Acquired : credit reports, medical information, birth certificates, death certificates
        • Created : powers of attorney, durable healthcare power of attorney, “what my family needs to know”)
      • In what form(s) should records be created?
      • Where should records of various types be kept?
        • In single or multiple locations? SDB? Attorney, physician, broker, insurance agent?
      • How should they be filed for optimum identification/retrieval?
    • 5. At work, at home
      • Know kinds of records to keep at home, at the bank, with a lawyer, physician, accountant, other family members
      • Use a records retention schedule for home and personal records
      • Understand what records one may want to acquire (e.g., credit reports, medical information, birth certificates, death certificates,)
    • 6. At work or at home
      • Records management is the systematic application of management techniques to all records in their creation or receipt, utilization, organization, maintenance, retention, preservation, and ultimate disposal to improve efficiency and effectiveness in recordkeeping functions.
    • 7. “Records Is Records”
      • Records management basics
        • Order to chaos: reduce lost time from poorly organized or missing records
        • Create & consistently maintain systematic processes (e.g., indexing, classification, retention scheduling)
        • Learn identification & handling of several types of records: “active,” “inactive,” “vital,” and “archival”
    • 8.  
    • 9. At work, at home
      • How should records be evaluated for retention?
      • How to develop a retention schedule for records at home?
      • How should one's records be disposed of (e.g., destruction, transfer to another person, etc.)?
    • 10. How to start? (1)
      • A records inventory
        • 3-pile batch model
          • Keep (active, action needed)
          • Toss (irrelevant, outdated, unneeded)
          • File (inactive but should be maintained)
      • Now, what do I have?
    • 11. The Rule of Thirds
      • 1/3 of the records can be destroyed immediately (obsolete)
      • 1/3 of the records can be moved to low-cost storage (inactive but held according to retention schedule)
      • 1/3 of the records are keep in-office to conduct business
    • 12. How to start? (2)
      • Where are they held?
      • How are they being kept?
        • Hot attic, insects, leaky pipes, humid basement
        • pH neutral boxes, climate control (65 °F/45% RH)
      • How are they being accessed?
        • Easy-to-find ring binder)?
    • 13. How to start? (3)
      • Who knows where ring binder is located?
      • What retention values do the records have?
        • Temporary?
        • Archival? (e.g., family history)
        • Vital?
      • Part of a “what-my-family-needs-to-know” document?
    • 14. At work, at home
      • Special needs/properties of categories of records (e.g., list of records needed on the death of a family member, replacing records from a stolen purse or wallet).
      • See the long-term values of family health records, genealogical information, etc.
      • Identify special equipment (e.g., fire-proof safes, home vaults) and services.
    • 15. A home is a managed enterprise . The most fundamental responsibility of any manager is the protection of the organization’s assets.
    • 16. Defining “vital records”
      • “ Vital records” are those irreplaceable records needed for continuation or quick resumption of business in the event of a disaster or other loss.”
      • Key personal records: birth, death (as used by government)
      • “ Vital records” in the personal arena are those which, if destroyed or stolen, will cause considerable personal, familial, or societal harm.”
    • 17. Fundamental roles of “vital” records
      • Establish identification and legal status of the organization
      • Document assets and liabilities
      • Documents processes of the organization which enable work to be accomplished
    • 18. Standard strategies (1)
      • Onsite methods
        • Protection from hazards (e.g., fire, water, viruses) to insure both existence and legibility
        • Maintain rigorous climate control for long-term records (many vital records fit this)
        • Create fireproof vault for unduplicated records (below ground in home)
        • Make microfilm, xerographic, or imaged copies; hybrid technology
    • 19. Standard strategies (2)
      • Offsite methods
        • Commercial records center
          • In local area
          • At a distance from local area
        • Duplication/dispersal
          • Built-in dispersal to separate location
    • 20. Standard strategies (2a)
        • Improvised dispersal to second location
          • Data/electronic vaulting to offsite vendor
          • Data media rotation schedule (e.g., home to office to home)
          • Kinko’s will image your records!
    • 21. First vital records recovery? Alexander’s Records Center Eumenes of Cardia
    • 22. Home/business parallel Most businesses suffering a major fire in which they lose their vital records go out of business (NFPA).
    • 23. “Won’t happen here!”
    • 24. “And not here either”
    • 25. More than fire . . . Tornadic activity Floods Theft
    • 26. Fires: fast and slow
      • Smoke alarms can prevent file damage to home records
      • Slower fires “burn” long-term records
        • Acid, lignin
        • Lamination vs. encapsulation
        • Test paper, folders; 7.5 pH in paper, folders, labels, etc. (buffer with calcium carbonate)
    • 27. Your vital records (1)
      • Birth certificate
      • Adoption records
      • Death certificate
      • Divorce records
      • Marriage license
      • Social Security card
      • Household inventory
      • Will
        • Living will
        • Trust(s)
      • Power of attorneys
        • General
        • Durable health care
    • 28. Your vital records (2)
      • Passport(s)
      • Citizenship records
      • Safe deposit box inventory
      • Final mortgage cancellation notice
      • Pension plan records
      • Rental leases
      • IRA-related documents
      • Stocks
      • Deed(s)
    • 29. Your vital records (3)
      • Master records list for executor
      • Life insurance policies (w/ policy numbers)
      • Burial information
      • Who gets what--bequests
      • Title insurance policy
      • Selected home-based business records
    • 30. Your vital records (4)
      • Vehicle title(s)
      • Adoption/custody records
      • Children’s fingerprints
      • Citizenship & naturalization papers
      • Medical records (selected)
      • Military papers
      • Certificate of disability
      • Patents, copyrights
      • Prenuptial agreement
    • 31. Non -vital records (examples)
      • Service warranties
      • Cancelled checks
      • Calendars
      • Membership information
      • Voter registration cards
      • Fraternal organization information
      • Most receipts
      • Newsletters
      • Shopping lists, coupons
    • 32. Put it all in the bank?
      • Wills? (SDB sealed pending inventory)
      • Distant relative?
      • Local records center?
      • Information automatically duplicated elsewhere?
      • Combination of these?
    • 33. Retention Schedule Example Death + 7 yrs. Home SDB Birth certificates Update as needed Home SDB Household inventory Withdraw-al + 3 yrs. Home SDB IRA-related papers Expiration Attorney SDB Life insurance Policies w/ numbers How Long Where--2 Where--1 Record
    • 34. Be extra careful
      • Identity theft; impersonation
      • Use of stolen credit card numbers
      • Don’t leave balance or deposit slips at the bank ATM
      • Carry SS card, birth
        • certificate only when
        • needed
    • 35. Don’t forget: help is as close as your nearest consultant!

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