6 Helpful Tips for An Effective Disaster Recovery Plan

By: Cassandra Henry

All businesses are vulnerable to some form of disaster, be it man-made or natural. Some businesses are more vulnerable due to its geographic location. Anything can happen. For example, an act of terror, an earthquake or a flood could occur and cause chaos. An incident in Kenya just goes to show anything can happen; a monkey was responsible for knocking out power in the whole country! The monkey tripped a transformer which led to a domino effect and all power was lost. It's important to have a recovery plan, so here are a few tips.



Tip 1: Complete Inventory Of Hardware & Software

Make sure that all applications, hardware and software should be itemized and make sure that the vendor support and contracts as well as contact numbers are available in order to get back up and running as soon as possible.


Tip 2: Know How Long You Can Be Down

Depending on your business, you need to know what kind of solution you need to recover. As an example, if you're an electrician, you could carry on without your servers for a while, but what if you're eBay? eBay cannot afford to be down for more than a few seconds. Understanding this allows you to know what solution you'll need. You may need certain applications immediately while you could be alright for a few hours or even days without other applications.


Tip 3: Assign Key Responsibilities To Personnel

Plan in advance and assign key roles to certain staff members. This way, when disaster does strike, everyone is aware of their responsibilities and the recovery process will take place efficiently.


Tip 4: Create A Communication Strategy

If the phones and emails are down, there must be another way to communicate with staff, vendors, customers and suppliers. This may be through your website or social media or whatever platform you choose so that everyone has access to status updates.


Tip 5: Employees Should Know Where To Go

In an emergency, all of your staff must know what to do and where to go. Is there an alternate site available? If there is, staff should know how to get there and access the system. At the alternate site, there should be other strategies available so that the work can still go on.


Tip 6: Test It

You may need to test everything that's planned and put in place. It has to work. If it doesn't, then you actually have no plan at all. Make sure to test employees as well.

You must make sure that everything and everyone is protected. This means systems, data and staff. How is sensitive information protected? Protection of this information must be maintained and it should also be capable of being accessed when necessary. Plan and test and it will be easier to get back up and running as smoothly as possible.