n.an emergency-operating record immediately necessary to begin recovery of operations after a disaster, and a rights-and-interests record necessary to protect the assets, obligations, and resources of the organization, as well as its employees and customers or citizensJoffrion and Cloonan 2020, 134–135For example, to facilitate a future recovery effort, the building’s blueprints or architectural drawings might be designated as an essential record with copies safeguarded in several formats and locations. The same applies to personnel and payroll records, because access will facilitate recovery.Joffrion and Cloonan 2020, 135The essential records of the institution must always be the top priority in a recovery effort. These are not the holdings or collections, but rather the operational, organizational, financial, personnel, and legal records that the institution must maintain. These records must be identified, and their priority for recovery is an essential part of the disaster-planning and recovery strategies of any institution.
Essential records typically document delegation of authority and line of succession, and include legal documents and contracts, financial records, and other rights-and-interests records.