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 What to Do About Damaged Records

Local Agencies


  • We have valuable information on our web site at: www.sos.la.gov.  On the top of the page is a banner with TIPS FOR PERSONAL/GOVERNMENT FLOODED RECORDS.
  • If you need to reach the records management or archives staff for salvage questions contact us by email or phone:
    • Carrie Fager Martin, Records Management


      (225) 925-7552 wk phone

      (225) 922-1220 fax

      (225) 335-3350 cell

    • Doug Harrison, Archives/Conservation/Preservation


      (225) 922-1218 wk phone

      (225) 922-1220 fax

      (225) 931-7165 cell

  • If your agency does not yet have a schedule (or you cannot locate your current schedule) and you need to know how to proceed, contact our records management section above for further details.


  • If you do not have a vendor, we are developing a list of vendors who have worked with state disasters of this nature, in addition to the pre-approved vendors on State Contract for this Fiscal Year.
  • You can also reach our sections via section email at recmgt@sos.la.gov or lab@sos.la.gov.


  • Complete a Damage assessment worksheet as soon as possible and submit it the State Archives Records Management section.  We will add it to your agency’s permanent file and use it to follow up with your agency on the progress/status of your situation.   The form can be emailed to recmgt@sos.la.gov or carrie.martin@sos.la.gov.  If you want to fax it you can send it to (225) 922-1220. 



  • Document the damage for FEMA/Insurance with photos before and as you begin recovery efforts to show the need.


  • If your agency has an approved records retention schedule on file with our office (and can access it) use it as a preliminary guide to identify the priority of records to salvage based on following order 1) Vital; 2) Important; 3) Useful.


  • Vital and Important records should be stabilized (begin treatment or at least get treatment started) where retention is permanent or remaining retention is more than 3 years.


  • Important (with 3 years or less retention remaining) and Useful records: if possible try to salvage records that would be needed for your next financial audit or to protect the rights and obligations of clients, stakeholders, public, and the government.  Otherwise, begin to develop lists of series for disposal requests. 


    • Pay attention to records that have an M or C in the Security column of your retention schedule because they will need to be destroyed in a confidential manner.  Burying in landfill is not sufficient for disposal of these records.
    • You need to complete a disposal request form (write FLOOD on the top) and fax or email to us and we will do our best to get you a quick turn around to document your actions for FEMA/legal response.