Creating a Disaster and Recovery Plan

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We live in uncertain times. Hurricanes, wildfires, cyberattacks; whether natural or manmade, disasters happen. If you’re not prepared, the toll can be devastating. According to FEMA, almost 40% of businesses that experience a disaster will close forever.

Are you prepared? Could you keep your systems running in the event of a significant event, for example, a prolonged power outage? If you answered no, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that 68% of businesses have no written plan for disaster recovery, or business continuity should a disaster strike.

Today, you need a plan that covers any scenario, from a natural disaster to a cyberattack. Creating an effective disaster and recovery plan is critical to protect your livelihood. Here are three key elements to consider.

  1. Develop a Comprehensive and Current Inventory – Inventory your entire system, including hardware, software, and apps. Include serial numbers, vendor contact info, and tech support. List passwords for cloud-based programs, CRM info, and data backups. In the event of a problem, prioritize what needs to get restored first.
  2. Define Everyone’s Responsibilities – When disaster strikes, everyone should know their role. Make sure you define each team member’s responsibilities. Make sure those responsible for deploying your plan are identified and familiar with the recovery process. Who is in charge of systems? Who will make phone calls and send emails? If necessary, who will speak with law enforcement or the media? Make a master list with responsibilities, phone, and email contact info.
  3. Have a Communications Plan – Once everyone understands their role, next they will need to have a clear understanding of how to communicate. During a disaster, communications may be disrupted. If that happens, you’ll need to have an outline of procedures and processes for making contact in the event email or phone lines are down. Communication with your entire team, including vendors and important customers is the key to success.

The heat of a disaster shouldn’t be the first time you run your plan, it should be the last! Make sure you’re prepared. Conduct periodic reviews, update your plans and test them often. Technology and information change over time. The best way to be prepared is to periodically run live tests and reviews to keep your plan effective and your team ready.

While no one wants to think about a disaster, the time to prepare is before it happens. Let us help – give us a call and we’ll help you develop a plan that will keep your business up and running if an unwanted event occurs.


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