Press Release

Archives and Records Management
Release Date:
Tuesday, 1 May 2018 - 1:31pm

Businesses and government agencies are encouraged to maintain records in a state of readiness as the Territory prepares for the upcoming hurricane season.

This call for preparedness was made by Chief Records Management Officer Mr. Christopher Varlack as the Territory observed Records MayDay on May 1.

Mr. Varlack said, “Disaster planning remains of critical concern for all of us, but especially for those of us in the cultural heritage sector where the value of records, archives and historical objects is not given the needed priority to aid in the survival and preservation of those materials. Our true cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, is being lost to a culture where proactive preservation is still seen as too expensive.”

Records MayDay was started by the Society of American Archivists after the 2005 Heritage Health Index published that the passages of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in the United States revealed that many cultural heritage institutions did not have  disaster management plans.

The Archives and Records Management Unit of the Office of the Deputy Governor is marking the occasion by repurposing its 2017 disaster preparedness tips for records poster, to assist individuals and groups from all walks of life safeguard records in preparation for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season which begins on June 1.

Mr. Varlack added, "The 2017 natural disasters have forever changed the course of history for the Virgin Islands and it is imperative, more than ever, to take the needed steps to safeguard all manner of cultural heritage material; most especially, documentary heritage records and objects."

According to the Society of American Archivists web page, Records MayDay is a day when all persons take personal and professional responsibility for doing something simple—that can be accomplished in a day but that can have a significant impact on an individual’s or a repository’s ability to respond.

Head of the Conservation of the Curacao National Archives Mrs. Valerie Martens Monier on a recent visit to the Territory called for a national repository. She also suggested that boxes, tarpaulins and other simple measures can be used to help get the territory ready for the upcoming hurricane season.

To learn how to access information on disaster preparedness, mitigation and recovery for records and archives contact the Archives and Records Management Unit at 468-3044 or



The 2018 Year Round Records Management Tips Flyer themed, ‘Working towards enduring Records Preservation’ is attached (Flyer Credit: Department of Information and Public Relations/GIS)

2 Audio Clips - Chief Records Management Officer Mr. Christopher Varlack


Colene A. Penn

Head of Communications
Recovery and Development Agency
Tel: +1 (284) 345-2776 | Mobile: +1 (284) 345-3387