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Disaster Recovery Services

How to Prepare a Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Organization

During a disaster, much of the media attention and relief efforts are focused on the human element, and rightfully so. But what about the life of your business? Is your organization capable of weathering an unexpected disaster? Thousands of businesses are affected by environmental and technological disasters every month. Those that do survive often credit the creation of a disaster recovery plan for helping them stay afloat. Just as parents and teachers develop emergency plans for their families and classrooms, business leaders must also create disaster recovery plans to ensure their company is capable of continuing operations during times of increased need.

Five Steps to Start Your Disaster Recovery Plan

1) Identify Disasters
You can't prepare for something you never saw coming, so take some time to really think about the disasters that are most likely to occur in your geographical area or professional industry. Your local Red Cross can help you with this process, as can an area emergency management firm. Remember to consider the possibility of manmade disasters as well (terrorism, computer attacks, etc). Once you've established possible disasters, predict how these situations might affect your company's ability to do business. Think about what could happen to your physical office space, as well as the information that's stored within it. Should you consider protecting business-critical information in a secure offsite document storage facility?

2) Consider the Impact on Your Workforce
A disaster can have devastating effects on your workforce. In most scenarios, many of your staff members may be unable to report to work due to travel impediments or interrupted communications. How many people do you need to keep your operation running? What will happen if public utilities are not working in your building? Can your staff still do their job with limited electricity, or should you invest in a generator? Business leaders also need to address issues such as cash flow, and create policies and procedures to help alleviate confusion during a disaster situation. Is your corporate insurance adequate to cover catastrophic circumstances? Do you have sensitive information in your office that could become compromised during a disaster? Now is the time to decide if you need to ramp up your document security procedures.

3) Make Plans And Alert Your Staff
It's important to have specific plans and procedures in place that deal with disaster recovery. People need to know what to do in the case of emergency, so make sure you provide your staff with plenty of planning and information. Prepare for disasters by taking frequent backups of critical data and storing original documents in a secure offsite location. Determine how clients needs can be met from a secure offsite facility and what key personnel will need to be relocated in order to perform these duties. Your disaster recovery plan should include specific steps outlining how you will prepare, secure, and quickly restore business operations in a variety of disaster-related situations. Remember to review these plans regularly and don't forget to seek objective suggestions for improvement from organizational leaders, emergency management officials, and the experts at Command Records Management.

4) Finalize Your Disaster Recovery Plan
Once you have come up with a disaster recovery plan, turn it into company policy and hold mock tabletop disaster training scenarios to ensure your staff is properly prepared. Bring key officers from your company together to brainstorm responses to various disaster scenarios. It's important to work out all the kinks long before disaster strikes. Preventative training will help ensure that your staff members remain calm and collected during times of great stress.

5) Maintain Your Plan
It's important that your company continually revisits your disaster recovery plan and remain vigilant when it comes to policy changes. One small mistake during a disaster situation could result in the destruction of your company. Remember to prepare for the short and long term affects a disaster can have on the economy that supports your business, the physical location your business operates in, and the leadership of your company.

Does your organization need help with their disaster recovery policy and procedures? Then contact Command Records Management today to learn how their disaster recovery services can help ensure the survival of your business.