Disaster Recovery Planning
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Did you know 43% of companies that experience a disaster never reopen? Avoid being a statistic by creating a disaster plan as part of a prevention toolkit. The primary goal in disaster recovery is to limit the business disruption and restore critical services as soon after a disaster as possible. There’s no one size fits all plan for disaster recovery, but there are some best practices that can guide you in your planning.
First, assess your current plan. It’s estimated only 25% of small companies have a disaster recovery plan. Considering the above statistic, that puts most small businesses out of business if they experience a disaster. So, if you don’t have a plan in-place, make that your #1 goal.
As you create or review your recovery plan, consider the following:
- Create a written document that includes step-by-step instructions, emergency calls, and back-up protocols.
- Develop a realistic budget for disaster recovery planning and training. This should be viewed as an investment into your business.
Second, you should identify areas of risk and the potential consequences. Review your vulnerable areas, document all office processes, and develop a contingency plan for each. Some things to consider:
- Plan to communicate with employees, customers, and vendors; who, what, when and how.
- Develop the appropriate protocols to ensure your data is safe and can be accessed.
- Develop a training program for your staff on what needs to happen before, during and after a disaster.
- Address protocols for different types of disasters and prioritize based on the likelihood of that event.
Third, understand and address the three elements of disaster recovery planning: prevention, detection, and correction. Prevention puts measures in-place to mitigate risk; this includes data protection, inspections and equipment acquisition. Detection provides measures for early detection of a potential disaster. Correction uses measures to implement recovery operations after the disaster.
Finally, test your disaster recovery plan. Testing your plan during a disaster is the wrong time to discover issues. You need to test at least annually to ensure the disaster plan as written still reflects your current operations and correcting issues found during testing will save you headaches in the long run.
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