Disaster is going to strike. Blizzards, fires, floods, tornadoes, and more loom over your business. If you’re not careful, a disaster like this can completely devastate all that you create. Unfortunately, these situations are inevitable and unpredictable, but you can (and should) prepare yourself.
How dependent are you on a physical office? If you lose electricity, or your office building floods or catches fire, will you still be able to move your business forward? Without a disaster recovery plan in place, a natural event like this could uproot your entire operation. The following guidelines can help you create a plan to quickly recover from the worst circumstances:
1. Make sure your employees are safe!
The safety of your employees is always priority. Buildings and technology can be replaced, but you can’t replace people. In an emergency, always make sure your team is safe before enacting your disaster recovery plan.
2. Create an inventory of your office hardware and software.
To get your business up and running quickly, you’ll need help from your vendors. As part of your disaster recovery plan, create a document with all the applications, software, and hardware your company uses. Be sure to include contact information for vendor technical support to reach out to them easily in an emergency.
3. Distribute responsibilities and choose a backup team.
Clearly define the roles and responsibilities for team members in the event of disaster. Who has the power to decide if the situation is an emergency? Who is in charge if the CEO is out of town? Who is responsible for enacting the plan? Who reaches out to vendors for assistance? When you define these roles, you bring peace of mind to your employees and create a unified, organized disaster front.
4. Craft a clear plan for communication.
One crucial piece of a strong disaster recovery plan, which is often overlooked, is a communication strategy. How do you contact your employees in an emergency? How do you contact your clients? Who is responsible for these communications? If your office phone or email is affected, what’s the plan? Perhaps you post a statement on your website or social media channels. Have a written process in place for these events to keep everyone informed and prepared.
5. Choose a backup worksite and tell your employees where to report.
If your primary office is damaged or not available, have an alternative space in mind. Make sure your employees know where to go and how to access the systems they need from that location.
6. Test your plan regularly.Remember fire and tornado drills in grade school? The purpose of those drills was to make sure students and teachers knew where to go and what to do in an emergency. You should treat your disaster recovery plan the same way. Test your plan and employees regularly to make sure everyone is on the same page and is prepared to keep the business running, even when disaster strikes.
Without a clear, written plan for disaster recovery, it can take days or weeks to get your operation up and running like normal. That’s a long time to be away from your business and your clients. Don’t leave anyone in suspense! Create your disaster recovery plan today for peace of mind tomorrow.