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Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Cockroach, Rat Infestation is Evidence Self-Storage is a Big Risk

Imagine if you had valuable belongings tucked away in a self-storage center: old photo albums, keepsakes, furniture, etc. Then imagine if you went to your storage unit to retrieve a favorite photo and found it infested with cockroaches and rats.

That’s exactly what happened to Linda Mack of Richmond, Va., recently. She arrived to find her belongings soiled and mostly ruined. She claims roaches were breeding in an adjacent unit and the infestation spread to her rented space.

Luckily, Mack had insurance she bought through U-Haul, which owned the storage center. Unfortunately, that insurance didn’t cover certain problems, and that type of infestation was one. A big mess got bigger. Much bigger.

Who, me?

Who, me?

Now imagine you were storing important company documents in such a storage unit — imagine there were business-critical or even customer sensitive files involved. And then imagine if rats and/or roaches infested them. Rats chew and nest. Cockroaches breed and destroy. Suddenly, you’ve lost data you couldn’t afford to lose.

Believe it or not, many small businesses store such important documents this haphazardly. Here are a few questions to ask before you store your critical business documents in any facility:

-Are the documents protected from moisture?
-How secure is the storage facility?
-What if you need a document and for some reason can’t access your storage unit?
-How well-built is the structure in which your documents are stored? Is it storm proof?
-Are your files easy to locate once you access your storage space?

The bottom line is that not all storage units are worthy of your critical business documents; in fact, most of them are not. And when you put those documents in storage, it’s not enough to insure it.

In fact, all it takes is a little research to learn what you need in a storage facility. What you need is to find a records management partner, a company that specializes in securely and safely storing critical documents. Some attributes of these companies include:

-Facilities designed specifically for storage of records, with the ability to ward off potential disasters such as tornadoes, floods and earthquakes, hurricanes.
-A company from whom records are easily accessible via a courier system.
-A company that offers personal service so you know you can access your documents quickly and efficiently.
-Preferably, a partner that offers web access to inventory.
-A facility in which records are shielded from extreme temperatures, mold and moisture with environmental controls.
-A facility with a fire suppression system that is also monitored by security at all times.
-A partner that is associated with national records and information management organizations such as National Records Centers (NRC) and Professional Records & Information Services Management (PRISM)

If you are considering a storage facility for your documents, and none of the questions above can be answered to your satisfaction, that should be plenty of reason for you to smell a rat.

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