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Vital Records are those records deemed essential to:
- The continuity of Laboratory operations before, during and after emergencies
- The recreation of the legal and/or financial status of the Laboratory after an emergency
- The protection of the legal and financial rights of the Laboratory and individuals affected by Laboratory activities.
There are two types of Vital Records:
These records are essential to continued functioning or reconstitution of the Laboratory during and after an emergency.
delegations of authority
listings of Vital Records storage locations
descriptions of essential emergency functions
emergency plans and directive(s)
lists of key personnel
disaster recovery plans
emergency operating procedures.
These records provide evidence of legal status, ownership, and financial status, are critical to the continued life of the Laboratory, irreplaceable and cannot be reconstructed or recreated. Rights and Interests records must be stored in a manner which makes them appropriately available to support timely resumption of the Laboratory operations during and after an emergency.
Identifying Vital Records
The acid test for vital records is as follows: for each record thought to be vital, ask:
Can the Lab’s critical work continue without the record?
Can the records be found elsewhere or reconstructed?
Is it considered unique and irreplaceable?