This question can be answered by creating a thorough business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) plan. However, implementing this type of plan can be stressful (especially if it's your first attempt).
We know it can be easy to forget some critical items along the way. We talked to a few of our DR coordinators to come up with some questions to remind you of what's important when coordinating your BC/DR plan.
How Will Your Data Be Backed Up?
We've talked about the importance of backing up your business-critical data, but don't forget to:
- Keep a list of passwords in a secure location that more than one person can access in case the designated person is unavailable after a disturbance.
- Arrange for on-site security to prevent someone from gaining unauthorized access to hardware containing your data.
- Know which equipment you'll need to restore your backup data after a disaster and test it beforehand.
How Will You Supply Power to Your Building?
Whatever type of facility you choose to use, make sure you plan how you will power it. Having a generator on hand (or using a third-party vendor to supply you with one) to keep operations running could be useful, but to make sure can keep the lights on during a power outage, don't forget to:
- Preconstruct a manual transfer switch that allows for a quick connection of the generator to your building (if you source a rental generator).
- Have enough fuel on hand to power generators.
- Have a supply of low-wattage light bulbs to reserve generator power for office technology or other crucial equipment.
How Will You Communicate During a Disaster?
Being able to communicate with your employees, customers and the public is crucial during a disaster. When planning how to keep the lines of communication open, don't forget to:
- Develop a list of employees' personal phone numbers and email addresses.
- Plan how to communicate with your employees internally and how to address the incident with the general public.
- Discuss with customers, investors and vendors beforehand how you will contact them after a disaster.
What Resources Do You Need at Your Temporary Workspace?
A business disturbance could leave your office building uninhabitable. You may have provisions for a temporary workspace in your BC/DR plan, but the details are what help keep your business running. When choosing a temporary office space, don't forget to:
- Check the amount of bandwidth offered to make sure employees can work without interruption.
- Make sure bathroom facilities are available.
- Determine if your employees will need special accommodations such as a wheelchair ramp.
- Coordinate the delivery of office equipment such as printers, copiers, fax machines, telephones and other office supplies.
The key to any BC/DR plan is testing. You'll learn where your weaknesses are and have the chance to solve any problems before a real disaster hits. For example, through testing, Mercantil Commercebank employees learned that they forgot small things like pens and paper. To learn about the importance of testing, check out this video featuring our expert disaster recovery coordinators.