How to Make a Disaster Recovery Plan

Every business should know how to make a disaster recovery plan—the COVID-19 global pandemic has proven that without a doubt. With many parts of our world and daily lives still in turmoil, you don’t want to be at a loss of what your company needs to do next in the face of another disaster.

Disasters, including financial recessions, natural disasters, cyber attacks and other man-made catastrophes, have greatly affected many businesses in the past, leaving them out of pocket and struggling to know what to do next. But, those who have taken the time to make a disaster recovery plan fare better in the face of these high-stake circumstances.

Here are some basics to include in a disaster recovery plan to help your business survive, and even thrive, through disasters. 

Allocate Roles

Firstly, you need to allocate specific job assignments to each of your employees. With clearly defined roles, everyone will know what steps they need to take in the event of a disaster. Assignments such as who will redirect phone lines and who is in charge of assessing damage are just a couple of examples.

Ensuring that everyone is clear on their job role is vital so that if or when the time comes, you can move forward effectively and smoothly. It is not a bad idea to run test scenarios during which your staff members can practice fulfilling their roles.

Back Up Systems

One of the job assignments you should allocate is ensuring the servers and data are regularly backed up to a location that won’t be impacted by the disaster—consider creating an accountability chart. This way, in the event of a disaster affecting your physical location or servers, you can be sure that your systems and data are protected.

Additionally, it’s always wise to have everything backed up onto an external hard drive that you can take off site or to utilize cloud solutions at a secondary location. Almost as important as initiating these back up systems is the frequency with which you update the information stored in them. 

Frequent data back ups can be the difference between a successful or failed company when disaster strikes. You don’t have to place all the responsibility on your own team—regular backups typically come standard when your company hires a third party to provide managed IT services.

Create An Inventory

It’s always a good idea to have an inventory of all stock and equipment regardless of whether you are faced with unprecedented calamity. If you don’t have one already, you should think seriously about making one. Ensure your inventory includes printers, computers and phones—everything that is used by employees on a day-to-day basis. Include photos and detailed information in your inventory, as this will help with any insurance claims you need to make if the equipment is damaged in the disaster.

Take Stock of Your Physical Environment

Take a moment to look at the furniture and equipment in your office space. Are there any potential hazards if there were a major earthquake or other physical disaster? Are there clear paths to an exit in case of a fire?

Make sure your furniture is securely fixed in place so as not to fall and injure anyone. You can also remove all equipment from the floor to avoid damage from possible flooding. For equipment that isn’t used regularly, wrap in plastic or seal securely and place in another room, ideally without windows.

Make a Customer Communication Plan

After the disaster clears, you’ll want to return to conducting business as soon as possible. This means being able to contact your customers quickly and efficiently to let them know you’re up and running, as well as any changes to business hours, services offered and location. It can be vital to the survival of your business that your clients know that they can still count on you to provide services or products.

Now you can get started on your disaster recovery plan, make sure you pay attention to the  details and communicate your plan with all employees so they know what to expect. Take your time to ensure the plan is practical and easy to understand. This will save you time and tears when the next disaster hits. 

For help making and implementing a disaster recovery plan, contact AxiaTP today to discuss what can be done to help safeguard your company.