What is a Vital Record?
Published Aug 08, 2021
So what is a vital record? As the name implies, vital records pertain to significant events; particularly, they are records of life events maintained under governmental authority. Birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage licenses all fall under this category.
When it comes to records management, the term ‘vital record’ refers to records required for an organization to continue operating during and after a disaster. To elaborate, they would hinder the organization from carrying out its daily operations if they were unavailable.
Less than 5% of records are classified as vital, and while losing the majority of records is inconvenient, you can frequently work around it or rebuild records. Vital records are those that are required to operate or to keep something from ceasing to exist.
Four categories of ‘disaster’ count: fire, security, flood, and environmental pollution. Vital records enable firms to continue operating even if all other records are destroyed in a disaster.
Types of Vital Records
Vital records are classified into five categories:
This information is required immediately following a disaster to aid with recovery efforts, such as staff contact information.
Legal contracts and leases are used to establish ownership or interests.
Demonstrates a business’s revenue and expenditures; this could be a monthly report or bank statements.
These records are essential for mission-critical services such as security procedures and information about an organization’s IT configuration.
5. Organization/Stakeholder Right
This safeguards the interests of all parties; annual financial statements and shareholder registers, for example, could be included.
How to Identify a Vital Record
Identification of vital records is required to ensure that they stay secure, accessible, and easily locatable after a crisis. Vital records are critical components of disaster recovery and business continuity plans.
Businesses must protect the appropriate records rather than devoting significant resources to securely storing non-essential records while leaving crucial records vulnerable.
Here are ways to identify your vital records:
- Determine your department’s critical functions, business processes, and stakeholders.
- Determine the potential consequences of not performing these functions.
- Determine the records that will be required to support these functions and procedures.
- Determine which of these records are crucial — if their functions can be restored in the event of their loss, they are not vital.
Protecting Vital Records
Ways to Protect Vital Records Electronically:
- Electronic vital records must be kept on central servers to ensure that they are backed up and recovered in the event of a disaster.
- Avoid storing vital records on portable hardware such as USB drives, DVDs, or CDs.
- Avoid storing vital records on the hard drive of a laptop or your personal hard drive.
- For records that must be retained for an extended period of time, use a legible format (PDF/PDFA, plain text, or rich text).
Ways to Protect Vital RecordsThru Hard Copies:
Vital records that are only available in paper format should be replicated in the same or original format, if practicable, with the originals and copies preserved in different locations. There are two ways for accomplishing this:
- Scanning and electronically archiving them
- Utilize off-site storage facilities
Keeping your vital records is as important as keeping your identity. You can and must go anywhere with them to ensure that you have something to prove who you are, when and where you were born, and who people can reach out to in case something happens. If you need your vital records, you may now order them online to avoid any hassle.
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About The Author
As a professional writer at many renowned websites Krizzia Paolyn has covered a wide range of topics in many industries. Her knack for uncovering important truths and conducting thorough research on each topic she writes about has helped thousands of people across the world.