Disaster recovery parallels disaster prevention. Like prevention planning, disaster recovery planning is good business. Disaster recovery is the process of resuming normal business operations, and reconstructing or salvaging vital and other important business records and equipment after a disaster.
An information disaster recovery plan is a written, approved, implemented, and periodically tested plan to reconstruct or salvage a department's vital and historical records and establishes procedures for the immediate resumption of business.
A comprehensive program that identifies and protects all vital records, particularly records stored electronically or on microforms, optical disk and CD generated records, swings the pendulum of post-disaster recovery from the salvage process to the reconstruction process. With such a program, the initial efforts center around immediate relocation at a pre-established recovery site; the rapid reconstruction of essential records from computer tapes and disks, microfilm, and paper records; the prioritization of this reconstruction; and the actual resumption of normal business operations. In the absence of a comprehensive vital records program, the pendulum moves to the other extreme as the disaster team tries to identify and sort out which records are necessary to resume and continue business operations. The middle of a disaster is not the time to identify and sort records or determine their business resumption value.