A disaster prevention and recovery plan is not a substitute for the good sense, sound management, and creativity that are required when responding to a disaster or crisis. The format and elements of a disaster plan vary widely from the comprehensive disaster plan of a multi-national corporation with complex legal, insurance, information, and security needs to the brief disaster prevention and recovery guide for small organizations or departments.
Start your plan by following a disaster prevention and recovery guide and obtain needed training. Here are basic rules to follow:
- Obtain support for the plan from senior management
- Form a committee and write the plan
- Update information as needed
- Obtain supplies, equipment and resources to support recovery efforts
- Test the plan periodically
- Outline the plan's activation
- Involve management and staff from every department, division or business housed in the facility
While no disaster plan assures successful resumption of business operations, such a plan greatly tips the odds in favor of survival or recovery. Prior identification and protection of vital records, a clear plan for reconstruction and salvaging these records, and prior thought about the necessary steps to take after a disaster allows a department to enter a crisis situation with confidence and direction.