How to Prepare Your Organization for a Disaster

How to Prepare Your Organization for a Disaster

Build a TeamBuild a Team

Your disaster recovery team should include mission-critical employees from every department, with backups for each individual. Elect one spokesperson from the group for communications.

Spread the NewsSpread the News

Establish disaster recovery representatives at each remote location to work with the corporate-based team.

Conduct an InventoryConduct an Inventory

Identify all communications—e-mail, toll-free lines, call centers, VPNs and so on—which are most vital to keep business running at acceptable levels.

Produce a Contact SheetProduce a Contact Sheet

Create a list of key operational contacts throughout the organization to keep business running, along with multiple ways to reach them should disaster strike.

Set a Recovery Time ObjectivesSet a Recovery Time Objectives

The recovery time objective is the maximum duration of time allowable for complete restoral after a disruption to maintain acceptable business continuity.

Set a Recovery Point ObjectiveSet a Recovery Point Objective

The recovery point objective is the maximum tolerable period in which data can be lost from an IT service due to an incident.

Rank AccordinglyRank Accordingly

Rank all systems according to low-high recovery time objective and recovery point objective ratings, to prioritize what gets attention first after a disaster.

Incorporate Cloud BackupIncorporate Cloud Backup

Produce a written recovery plan that is hosted remotely in a secure and redundant data center.

Conduct Disaster-Recovery DrillsConduct Disaster-Recovery Drills

Schedule and test your plan at least once a year in accordance with regulatory and compliance requirements. This should include the assurance that employees can access the hosted environment on-site and remotely during fail-over mode.

Get Suppliers On BoardGet Suppliers On Board

Validate their service-level agreements every quarter and make sure that core applications are operating at 99.999% availability.

Stock UpStock Up

Purchase uninterrupted power supplies and provide for generator access where necessary for an on-premise data center. Determine alternative ways to power the system if fuel trucks can’t get to your locations for several days.

Secure the TapesSecure the Tapes

If you use physical tape backup for data, remove those tapes daily and store in a secure, easily accessed public building with at least two to three employees possessing keys.

Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty is a contributor to CIO Insight. He covers topics such as IT leadership, IT strategy, collaboration, and IT for businesses.

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