With more unpredictable and extreme weather events as a direct result of climate change; the need for a comprehensive disaster recovery plan (DRP) cannot be overstated. Be it earthquakes, flash floods, tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, arctic blasts, severe droughts, or widespread wildfires; they can all lead to days-long power blackouts, blocks in the supply chain, significant infrastructure repairs, and months-long insurance battles.
Specially created to minimize damages in case of such unpredictable scenarios, disaster recovery plans will help ensure the long-term operability of a business. Such disasters are not a common occurrence, but when they do happen, corporations, big and small, can and will fall by the wayside. One in four companies struck by a natural disaster will never reopen its doors - and the main reason being that they don't have a comprehensive DRP put in place.
And like a seasoned wilderness trekker who's always prepared for things to turn south at a moment's notice, so should you have a contingency plan put in place for the unexpected. Below is a comprehensive checklist of a disaster recovery plan.
The first step is to assess and identify and assess all possible threats as well as their likelihood of impacting your business. You can do this by using a risk matrix. It allows you to classify your risk factors and establish priorities. Once you've analyzed the potential risks, it's time to create a business impact analysis (BIA). It helps you predict the consequences of disruption and gathers data needed to develop various recovery strategies.
Your DRP should include a complete list of all hardware, software, IT infrastructure, and all other assets. Your disaster recovery plan needs to identify how you will reproduce your inventory after a disaster, as well as ensure a smaller list of mission-critical equipment. Every piece of hardware and software needs to have the vendor's technical support contact information so that you can get back up running quickly.
In case of emergencies, decisions need to be made on the spot, so your DRP needs to spell out who is in charge of what as well as how they should approach the issues. So, you will need to know who will manage the relocation, who will monitor sales and cash flow, who is in charge of secure systems and grants authorization to others, etc. You need to identify all the tasks in every department that will restore your operations as soon as possible and assign someone to them.
Data is generally a company's most valuable asset. That said, it's also the most vulnerable to disasters and is a major component that will affect an organization's downtime. It's for this reason why you need to have a reliable data backup solution that will safeguard that information in the event of a disaster.
The Backup Office
Having a backup brick and mortar office available on-hand is not always an option and, in some cases, it's unnecessary. Nevertheless, you need to analyze what options are available to you if your office will not be usable. In some cases, employees could work remotely, or you could make use of a virtual office. But if these are not viable options for you, like for instance, if you have a medical practice, you need to have an up-to-date checklist of available real estate that you can relocate to immediately.
In the event of a natural disaster, common communication methods such as phones, emails, etc., may be unavailable. You need to figure out how your staff members can communicate with each other in this scenario, as well as to know who is in charge of what responsibilities.
Testing and Improving
Having a disaster recovery plan is one thing, but making sure that it works as it should, is another. It is why you should regularly test it out and improve on the parts that don't work as they should.
If you are unsure where to begin with your DPR, Managed Solution is here to help. You can call us today 800-208-3617 to talk through your current plan, or you can fill out our FREE, no-obligation assessment of your current backup solution.