Review Your Company’s Disaster Recovery Plan

Regularly reviewing your company's disaster recovery plan is vital to staying up to date with your company’s current needs and keeping the plan fresh in your mind in case you need to implement it. But actually reviewing it in depth can be a tiresome and thankless task.

To help you get through the next review with your sanity intact, let’s compare your plan to Jurassic Park's.

Plan for More Than Just Natural Disasters

T-Rex in the hotel
Image courtesy of Warner Bros.
Park founder Jon Hammond’s management plan rests on Dennis Nedry, the programmer in charge of everything from the phones to electric fences. When Nedry decides that Hammond isn't paying him enough and locks everyone out of the system, he illustrates just how much the park relied on him.

At this point, the park's recovery plan should have kicked in, but there wasn't one.

This serves as a reminder that natural disasters aren't the only ones that can negatively impact your business. After you plan for the high-profile natural disasters, make sure to plan for the everyday, human-caused disasters. Does more than one person know where the natural gas line shutoff valves are? In the event of an earthquake, a ruptured gas line can cause a devastating fire. If a disgruntled employee shuts down the fence keeping the T-Rex out of your hotel, does anyone else know how to turn it back on?

Be Aware of Your Company’s Vital Needs

It doesn't start off well for Jurassic Park. Besides the guy getting eaten in the first five minutes, Samuel L. Jackson says the park “has all the problems of a major theme park and a major zoo, and we’re not even open yet.” Being aware of those problems should have led the park to develop a flexible disaster recovery plan.

Most companies don’t have the needs of either a theme park or a zoo, but each company has operations that must function properly, whether it’s phone systems, computer workstations or equipment for a paleoveterinarian. Make sure your plan includes the equipment and resources necessary to keep your business running.

Acknowledge What Can Befall Your Company

Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

Remember, the definition of a disaster is up to you. Your definition of a disaster can be a long-term power outage, the complete loss of your facility or a velociraptor infestation.

To make sure that everyone agrees on what disturbances pose a threat to your business, create a list of natural and everyday disasters that could affect your company.

Then classify each event from high to low likelihood depending on your area. For example, if you were a certain dinosaur-themed park off the coast of Costa Rica, you would rank tropical storms and hurricanes as highly likely, triceratops attacks as somewhat likely and blizzards as not likely.

For more tips on creating and maintaining a definitive disaster recovery plan, download our Business Continuity Plan Checklist.

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