How to Make a Disaster Recovery Plan
By Kassi Burke
A few weeks ago, we took a look at the importance of disaster recovery planning. We discussed how planning and testing for disaster recovery is crucial to prevent data loss, to minimize downtime and lost revenue, and to maintain customer satisfaction. This week we will explore the steps to come up with a solid disaster recovery plan.
You want to create a disaster recovery plan, but you don’t know where to start. Take a look at our list of steps to creating a strong disaster recovery plan.
Disaster Recovery Planning Steps
Step 1: Identify Critical Assets
Decide what assets your business absolutely must have in order to function. These will be at the top of the priority list when drafting a disaster recovery plan. Critical assets typically include data, software, and hardware; buildings, equipment, and inventory; or even employees.
Step 2: Identify Risks
Go through each critical asset and identify what kinds of risk could impact each one. Common scenarios include natural disasters (snowstorm, tornado, earthquake, etc. depending on your geographic location); fire; power outage or another type of connectivity outage; cyber-attack; theft; terrorist attack; public health threat.
Step 3: Setting Goals
Next you will look at your list of assets and risks and determine what the goal would be of disaster recovery in each situation. Think about how much downtime your business can afford in each scenario.
Step 4: Make Plan to Meet Goals
Now it’s time to put your assets, risks, and goals together into an actionable plan.
- In our and our customer’s lines of business, protecting systems and data is of the utmost importance so that’s where we’ll start – make sure you have a plan for backing up critical data regularly and accessing it in case of disaster.
- A disaster recovery plan must also include a plan for employees – what do they do and where do they go in case of emergency to keep them safe. Responsibilities for employees in case of emergency should be listed in this plan as well.
- Communication is key during disaster so include details information for who will communicate what info to whom during an emergency.
- What happens when your main location is disabled by disaster? This is especially important for our customers in the make-to-order manufacturing business to consider because manufacturers rely so much on their inventory and equipment to produce revenue. When considering the best course of action be sure to know what your insurance covers. Manufacturers should also consider having multiple locations so all of its assets are not in the same location and business need to completely shut down in case of emergency.
Step 5: Test, Test, Test
The next step to disaster recovery planning is testing the plan. Simulate the disaster situation and move through the steps of the disaster recovery plan to see if it is successful or not.
Step 6: Reevaluate Periodically
Lastly, be sure to revisit the plan regularly to ensure it’s still working for your organization. As you continually test your disaster recovery plan be sure to revise and make updates if you find something isn’t working for your organization.
Although it seems unlikely, disasters do strike and when they do businesses need a strong disaster recovery plan in place to survive. Creating a solid disaster recovery plan will increase the business’ chances of survival during an emergency situation, so start formulating yours today!