Here are the 3 Things You’ll Probably Overlook in Your DR/BC Plan
It’s never too early to start planning for a disaster. In fact, a good disaster preparedness plan should be reviewed and updated continuously, not just in the aftermath of an event. When Irma hit the Florida coast last September, we had our plans. Because of them, we ultimately made it through with little non-repairable damage. That being said, there is always room for improvement and we’ve learned some things that are commonly overlooked when planning that could’ve made a big difference in the time it took to recover from Irma.
Sustainable, Temporary Power Source
A loss of power should always be expected and accounted for in your disaster recovery plan. The length of time the power is out is going to determine the solution needed to keep things running. UPSs should be implemented to provide surge protection and maintain power temporarily for workstations and servers. Generators as well as fuel should be on hand or available to keep power to essential devices for as long as possible. Keep in mind that power outages can last for weeks, as we saw in some areas with hurricane Irma, and there can be shortages in fuel to keep the generators running. There is only so much you can control when it comes to power outages, but keeping your bases covered may just prevent having to replace all that hardware.
Emergency Contact Information
This can apply to both customers and employees. Communication is king before an event occurs, but in the case that employees need to start working remote or you need to keep your customers updated on the status of your operations, it’s important that you are able to keep in touch. This is something that should be maintained continuously, but becomes critical once you are not able to talk face to face. Another thing to think abut is how you plan on communicating to your staff and customers in the event that internet and phone lines are down. For these cases it’s smart to keep a secondary or emergency form of contact information.
Alternative Base of Operations
If your business is one that needs to be operational at all times, or in the event that your main site is destroyed or un-usable, you should definitely account for the cost and logistics of moving to a temporary recovery site. This part of the plan should account for equipment, personnel and utilities needed to get the secondary site running at capacity. Having a plan that covers all points in case of an event is key, because you never know how extensive damage is going to be or how long normal operations are going to be down.
Having even a basic plan that assesses the unique risks to your business and provides solutions to problems when they arise is better than having no plan at all. Often, especially with small businesses, plans can mean the difference between recovering quickly or not at all.