Disaster Recovery Plan
Why do we need a disaster recovery plan? It sure seems like a lot of work, and doing it all for some event that might never happen. Maybe you can find better things do to with your time? The fact is, when a disaster occurs, this is the one tool you’ll wish you had more than anything else.
Can your business afford to be closed for 3 days? How about 3 weeks? Or even 3 months? Do you know if you have the right insurance for every type of disaster? How will your employees get to work? How will your customers reach you?
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in July 2017, now 5 months later several businesses struggle to recover. Many businesses cease to exist. Without a disaster recovery plan, the next steps to recover are a mystery and the last thing you’d want is uncertainty.
It’s a lot to think about. Here’s some of the key areas to make sure your plan has.
First things first – do you have the basics to protect your business? These might seem to be basics but if these things are in disrepair or simply missing, the cost to replace what they protect can be significant. Reviewing them must be part of your disaster recovery plan.
- Smoke alarms
- Fire extinguishers
- Fire detectors
- Secure and clear ingress and egress areas
Next comes your planning. There are a variety of different events we might consider “disasters”. From the sabotage of a disgruntled employee to an earthquake and the many shades in-between, preparations like these can mitigate the damage.
- Emergency Supplies: Should you have food and water if employees are stranded? What communication will you have if phones are disabled? Do you have flashlights?
- Emergency Strategy: Should you shelter in place, or find a safe evacuation point? When do those apply?
- Utility Disruptions: How will you plan for gas, electricity, or internet outages? Do you have arrangements with providers for service or have backup options like generators or cellular data networks?
Employees and Clients
Plans are only good if people know about them. If employees don’t know if they should come to work, or clients don’t have a backup number to call, it’s very hard to conduct business. After you have your plans in place, it’s time to get working on sharing that and keeping them updated.
- Promote Preparedness: Showing that you are on top of things will encourage others to follow suit. Nobody WANTS to be helpless, lose loved ones, or have their business fail. Encourage your employees, clients, and vendors by sharing your plan and resources they can use to create their own.
- Distribute Your Plan: You don’t have to share the entire thing with everyone. Having it broken up into pieces makes updating easy to do and distribute when changes happen.
- Crisis Communication Plan: How do employees know if the business is open? How do clients get updates? Are you using phones, internet, or texting?
Service Providers and Vendors
No business stands alone. We must have partners with utilities, municipal services, and supplies. Services our business relies upon like web servers, even your property manager if you lease space for your business.
- Continuing Business: Do they have a plan in place? How will you get services from them? In what ways will they communicate with you?
- Establish Partnerships: Your business might be able to partner with a complimentary business to operate together. You might need to reach out to another property owner and share the idea for a backup plan. What are the alternatives?
You can protect your business with a disaster recovery plan which includes steps to prevent or recover the loss of property and opportunity. Contact your providers for important preventative services and products.
- Insurance Coverage: Do you have flood insurance? Many businesses don’t, and they might now realize they need it. There’s also insurance to protect against the loss or compromise of your businesses’ data.
- Cyber Security: From theft to hackers, do you have the defenses in place to prevent damage? Do you have the backups in place to recover from a successful attack? Where might you find replacement computers and servers to get your staff back to work?
Are you ready to start a disaster recovery plan? There are many resources available to you from your city, county, and state agencies. Even FEMA has some great literature on the subject.
We have created disaster recovery plans for many businesses and can provide a great deal of assistance to help you determine what steps you need to take.