Storm restoration: Scanning is critical in emergency response

Outage management: Scanning for disaster -- Canon Solutions America explains why scanning is a critical tool for utility companies in emergency response.

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Safety products: Devastating storms, hurricanes and other natural disasters can cause chaos and crisis when they strike. When they happen, they require quick action in order to begin the recovery process. Utilities companies ­ such as gas, electric, pipeline, telecommunications and water/wastewater ­ are often among the first responders in a disaster situation. The inability to quickly locate critical infrastructure documents and distribute them to key personnel could rapidly stymie relief efforts.

However, with the use of document management tools, utilities personnel can moderate the effect of natural disasters by “weatherproofing” critical documents, such as network maps, filed data or customer information. That means implementing scanning and storage solutions to ensure total preparedness when a catastrophe hits.

Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., offers key tips for careful disaster planning to help ensure that essential documents are protected and readily available for those who need them.

1. Scan everything - fast. Spreading out a scanning project over a long amount of time in order to go through every single document is a surefire way of ensuring the project will not be completed. As a rule of thumb, it is better to scan every piece of paper that is larger than 11 in. x 17 in.. Consider hiring a temporary agency or an outside contractor to assist if the project is too large and time-consuming for in-house staff.

2. Consider standalone scanners. Many modern engineering copiers/printers include a scanner that can do an excellent job of capturing valuable prints, and most are capable of handling heavy use. However, if you have an overwhelming volume of documents, consider using a standalone scanner. The cost of the equipment is minimal compared to the value of your documents.

3. Take reasonable precautions to protect originals. Don’t send original, irreplaceable documents offshore or, if you must send them, make sure the shipper is insured and reliable. Scan critical documents on a continual basis, as they arrive, as part of your overall document management and protection process.

4. Scan first, index later. Another sound rule is to scan first and index later. Initially, scanned documents should include a sequence number, print number and title. Further indexing should be done as a separate process. Post-processing is a luxury, so focus on producing good quality scans to start. Make it easy for others to view scanned files by using the common PDF format.

5. Create a secure digital archive. After completing the scanning project, create a secure, digital archive for scanned files that is protected against unauthorized users, viruses and hackers. Replication and backup are the best insurance policies against catastrophic data loss. Implement flexible user privileges and consider web-based publishing that will allow authorized personnel to gain access to vital information at the moment they need it.

To learn more about how utilities companies can utilize sophisticated wide-format scanning solutions to proactively prepare for disaster situations, visit the Canon U.S.A booth [#1305] at the upcoming 2015 ESRI International User Conference, July 20-24 in San Diego, CA.

About Canon Solutions America, Inc.
Canon Solutions America provides industry leading enterprise, production, and large format printing solutions, supported by exceptional professional service offerings. With the technology offerings of the Canon and Océ brands, Canon Solutions America helps companies of all sizes improve sustainability, increase efficiency, and control costs through high volume, continuous feed, digital and traditional printing, and document management solutions. A wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., Canon Solutions America is headquartered in Melville, N.Y. and has sales and service locations across the U.S.

For more information about Canon Solutions America or other products, click here to go to Utility Products’ Buyers Guide.

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