Don't Panic! Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Business

A disaster recovery plan is a documented process designed to help recover and protect a business and its infrastructure in the event of a disaster. It provides a clear plan of action to be taken before, during and after a disaster.

A disaster could be man-made or a natural occurrence. A disaster recovery plan is designed to allow your business to get back on its feet as quickly as possible. In terms of managing risks to your business, a disaster cannot be eliminated from your risk register. You cannot prevent a disaster from occurring but you can manage your business through it.

planningThe first step in creating a disaster recovery plan is to make a list of all the jobs/tasks that would have to be relocated to an alternate location so the business can continue to run. Identify the most critical roles and create a list of the areas that should be prioritised in order to ensure that the business can continue to run during a crisis.

The next step is to identify alternative business premises. This could be a serviced office at a nearby location that can be up and running in a matter of hours. You don’t need to rent this space right now. Instead, you should just identify a number of alternatives that could be up and running quickly, if needed.

You should ensure that your firm has sufficient insurance and budget available to handle a disaster situation. For example, if your office was wiped out due to a fire, you would need to have a budget available to purchase necessary office equipment, computers, etc. to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

Most businesses are highly dependent on I.T. You should have your servers and systems backed up at a secondary data site. This data site should be accessible in a disaster situation so that your business can continue to function.

Finally, you should document a list of key personnel and their contact details. In the event of a disaster, they should be contacted in order to make alternative arrangements for the business.