Disaster Recovery Planning: A Survival Guide

Imagine your company in the hands of a natural disaster. All of the hard work and time that had been invested to its success are gone in the blink of an eye. Now imagine this scenario never having taken place. The solution is simple: Get the basic knowledge needed to face the storm. Lucky for you, your decision to read this guide is the first and one of the most important steps that will lead you to your “safe harbor”.
We will explore various reasons your business should have a disaster recovery plan in addition to reviewing disaster recovery best practices to help you start increasing revenues and reducing your business’s risks today. A few reasons to invest in disaster recovery planning are:

  • Understanding the real costs of losing data
  • Understanding Business Continuity Planning
  • Building a Planning and Management Team
  • Identifying and Assesing Hazards

Business Continuity Planning requires one to expect unexpected events. These occurrences will evidently affect serious assignment tasks and procedures for the company. However, with BCP a company can confirm a calculated plan towards any incident.
Firstly, many of the positive features that BCP offers are that it allows companies to monitor the way their company executes their progressions, advance processes and methods, and grow the chances of recovery from disruption and loss. BCP also primarily delivers for the continuation of dire services regardless of any incident.
A very important step in this process is the development of a Planning and Management Team. This team must be dedicated with working with generating, applying, updating, and preserving the plan that best fits your company’s needs.
Some suggestions for keeping your team organized and driven require the formation of key roles such as a team leader. This position will provide direction and motivation for the other team members, as well as an outlet for their ideas to be heard in an organized manner. However, it is highly recommended that a line of respect be recognized between the leader and the other members. This will allow the work to get done faster and more efficiently.
Now that you have your team in place, you can move on to the next step. Realizing the necessary functions that your company relies on to survive is crucial for your Disaster Recovery Planning. It will allow you to prioritize the essentials you need for all aspects of your company.
When trying to determine what your company’s vital products, services, and operations, you should consider the following:

  • What are your business objectives?
  • What does your business represent?
  • What does your business provide to its customers (i.e. services, products)?
  • What procedures, tools, and employees are critical to the continuance of your business?
  • What equipment and locations (i.e. warehouse, factories) are needed to produce your products?
  • What are some necessary support services such as electricity, gas, water, plumbing, communication (i.e. phones, computers), and transportation?
  • What merchandise and services are distributed by providers, particularly individual sellers?

The next step in your Disaster Recovery Process is identifying any hazards and later assessing them. To do this you will have to collect the data needed to determine existing abilities and likely risks, and conducting a study to define your capability to deal with them.
In order to determine likely hazards, it is recommended that you create a list of all of the hazards that can one day hurt your business. Think outside of the box and try to imagine anything that could affect your community or location of work.
Once you have several hazards in place, consider ranking them from least hazardous to most hazardous (i.e. low, medium, high). With this ranking system, think about the hazards impact on people, equipment, and location. Also keep in mind the cost of repair. Would it cost a lot to replace or repair the equipment? How about property damage cost?