How to Write a Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Business 

Disaster planning isn’t an option for businesses in the Information Age. You know why you need a disaster recovery plan. You’ve put a lot of thought into business continuity issues. But where do you go from here? How do you actually create your plan? To help you get started, we’ve created a roadmap to disaster preparedness.

Assess Risk
What types of disasters are most likely to impact your business? Are you in tornado country, in a region more likely to experience a hurricane, or at risk of power outages from snowstorms? Make a list of the disasters that are most likely to strike and note the systems and people that would be affected by them.

Determine Objectives
Now that you have an idea of what may happen, think about which operations are critical to your business. How much time downtime can you survive? What recovery point would you need to return to? Which systems are necessary to support your critical operations? The answers to these questions will help you shape your disaster recovery plan.

Develop Strategy
Start outlining the recovery strategies necessary to reach your objectives, considering the people, facilities, technology, data, and other systems you’ll need. Computer Weekly suggests charting your needs as well as your prevention, response, and recovery strategies.

Chart courtesy of Computer Weekly

Outline Procedures
Now it’s time to delineate the steps that will need to be executed. For each threat and critical system, document the action steps required. Who will do what, and when? Consider both the immediate response and the longer-time-frame recovery.

Chart courtesy of Computer Weekly

Document Plans
Start your disaster recovery plan documentation with a summary and introduction. Follow them with your roles and responsibilities, rules for activating the plan, then your response and recovery procedures. Lastly, include supporting documentation for an appendix. Don’t forget detailed contact information and notification procedures.

Test, Train, and Practice
Plans are only valuable if they actually work, so equip your team to respond to a disaster and practice that response before actually experiencing one. You can run either a table-top exercise or a full-scale test.

Schedule time annually to review and update your disaster recovery plan. Be sure to update it whenever you deploy new systems or software, or when operations change significantly.

Don’t be one of the majority of businesses that fail after a disaster. Instead, create a disaster recovery plan for your company. Educate yourself about planning for a disaster in advance by checking out Monster Technology’s online backup and disaster recovery services.