Cycle
The periodic removal of obsolete copies of vital records and their replacement with copies of current vital records. This may occur daily, weekly, quarterly, annually, or at other designated intervals.
Disaster
An unexpected occurrence inflicting widespread destruction and distress, and having long-term adverse effects on Agency operations.
Disaster prevention
The process of surveying the work place, identifying areas or situations which might cause or contribute to a disaster, and taking action to eliminate or minimize the areas or situations.
Dispersal
Protection of vital records through production of duplicate copies stored at other locations and/or levels of an organization.
Duplication
Transferring of records to microfilm, electronic, or magnetic media, or paper photocopies, in order to protect vital information. Copies are made at the time of origination or on a scheduled basis.
Emergency
A situation or an occurrence of a serious nature, developing suddenly and unexpectedly, and demanding immediate action. This is generally of short duration, for example, an interruption of normal Agency operations for a week or less. It may involve electrical failure or minor flooding caused by broken pipes.
Emergency operating records
Vital records essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency.
Legal and financial rights records
Vital records essential to protect the legal and financial rights of the Government and of the individuals directly affected by its activities. Also known as rights and interests records.
Mitigation
Any actions taken to prevent or soften the effects of a man-made or natural disaster.
Pack-out
The portion or phase of disaster response in which damaged records are identified and removed off site for either immediate recovery operations or frozen storage until recovery operations can begin.
Recovery
The portion or phase of disaster response in which efforts are made to salvage and reconstruct damaged records in order to restore normal operations.
Response
First-line implementation of a disaster-plan immediately following a disaster. The disaster team goes into action and components of the plan go into effect.
Tier 1 records
Records essential to the continued functioning of an organization within the first few days of an emergency. Also called COOP vital records.
Tier 2 records
Records essential to respond to the emergency, to handle the crises and reduce or mitigate disruption of the operation, between days 6 and 30.
Tier 3 records
Records necessary to respond to the emergency after 30 days. These are mostly project-specific records that are needed to continue work on the most crucial projects after the emergency response is under control.
Vital records
Records essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency and also those records essential to protecting the legal and financial rights of that organization and of the individuals directly affected by its activities.
Vital records inventory
A list which identifies the records that have been designated as vital. It includes other identifying information such as where the records are located, who is responsible for them, when they are cycled, and similar information.
Vital records officer
The headquarters, regional, laboratory, or field office records officer with responsibility for coordinating the vital records program.
Vital records program
Policies, plans, and procedures developed and implemented and the resources needed to identify, use, and protect the essential records needed to meet operational responsibilities under national security emergencies or other emergency or disaster conditions or to protect the Government's rights or the rights of its citizens.

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