"Disaster Preparedness and Response for Records-Keepers"

OVERVIEW: "If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes" is a popular saying in Ohio. But don't wait until disaster strikes to come up with a recovery plan! It is vital that governments be prepared for small-scale to large-scale disasters of various types (man-made, natural, internal, external, etc.) that could affect records. In fact, some records are essential (or vital) to the recovery efforts themselves and the resumption of business. This full-day interactive workshop was conducted by persons with a passion for disaster recovery planning and experience in government and emergency management.

Through a mix of lecture, small group and hands-on activities, this workshop:

  • Highlighted the liabilities due to loss of essential business records
  • Provided techniques for identifying essential/vital records
  • Taught how to conduct risk assessments on the potential harm to records
  • Discussed recovery team roles and authorities, as well as working with first responders and other response partners
  • Identified appropriate records protection strategies, storage options and how to secure confidential records
  • Discussed how to develop and test a disaster recovery plan for government records and how to fit it into a government’s overall Continuity of Operations Plan
  • Dove into recovery techniques for wet or moldy records
  • Provided information on immediate and long-term response to and tracking of disaster recovery efforts.

PRESENTERS: Nick Crossley, Director, Hamilton County Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency | Becca Halbmaier, Regional Administrator, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives | Daria Labinsky, Records and Information Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Pari Swift, University Records Manager, The Ohio State University

Nick Crossley 

Nick Crossley is the Director of the Emergency Management & Homeland Security agency in Hamilton County, OH. He is a seasoned leader in the emergency management profession, with over 19 years of experience in various roles. Prior to his current role, he served as the Director of Emergency Management and Mission Continuity at the University of California, Davis, and as the Director of Johnson County, KS – Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

As the current President of the International Association of Emergency Managers - USA, Nick plays a prominent role in the profession, and is active on the Justice & Public Safety Steering Committee and the Emergency Management & Homeland Security subcommittee with the National Association of Counties. He also holds an appointment to the FEMA Region 5 Advisory Committee.

Nick is a certified Emergency Manager and a certified Public Manager. He holds a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of AR at Little Rock, a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri, and has graduated from the Executive Leaders Program at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Becca Halbmaier 

Rebecca Halbmaier has been with the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives since July 2018 and is one of four Regional Administrators in the Local Records Branch in the Archives and Records Management Division. She provides records management consultation, training, and guidance to local government agencies in the 29 county West Region. She has been a Library Assistant and held a Professional II Library Certification through KDLA. Rebecca has been a Senior Archeologist for archaeological and environmental projects and has been a Registered Professional Archaeologist. Rebecca holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Iowa, an MSc in Palaeoecology of Human Societies from University College London, and an MS in Library Science from the University of Kentucky. Rebecca is the 2022 recipient of the Council of State Archivist’s Rising Star Award.

Daria Labinsky 

Daria Labinsky has been a records and information specialist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since May 2021. She is the regional records officer for the Mountain Time Zone (MTZ) offices and has conducted remote disaster training for the MTZ records custodians. Previously she worked as an archivist at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta and the National Archives at St. Louis, and as a Preservation Technician in Preservation Programs at the National Personnel Records Center. While in Preservation Programs, she responded to water leaks on a regular basis (in buildings both new and old) and assisted in disaster response training for NPRC and Archival staff. She has an MLS from Emporia State University and a BS and MSJ from Northwestern University.

Pari Swift

Pari Swift is the University Records Manager for The Ohio State University.  Prior to joining OSU, she served for 8 years as Senior Records Manager at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, building their records program from the ground up and partnering with IT and legal on multiple major initiatives.  She began her records career at the Ohio Historical Society-State Archives where she spent 9 years as Local Government Records Archivist and then as Assistant State Archivist.

She has served as chair of the Ohio Electronic Records Committee and of the governor-appointed Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board (OHRAB), was President of the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) and of the Greater Columbus Chapter of ARMA.  She currently serves as NAGARA’s Treasurer, volunteers on NAGARA’s Professional Development Committee, after serving 5 years as Chair, and is Education/Seminar Director for ARMA Greater Columbus. She received her BA from Wittenberg University and her Masters of Library and Information Sciences degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  In 2014, she attained her Certified Records Manager designation. In her “free” time, she leads her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, is a council delegate, and a member of her local Girl Scout service unit team.