In November, we talked about how crucial having back-up's of your data will be in the event of a disaster. This month, we will be talking about how to make write and distribute your game plan in case of emergency.
Write Your Plan Out
You should have your data backed up now, right? The next step to disaster planning for your company is to have a plan. Well, it only does you a little bit of good to have a plan, if it's not written out. So. Start a file. Put it somewhere where it is regularly being backed up. There are many disaster plan templates on the internet, but many of them are aimed at VERY large companies. I suggest, for simplicity's sake, to just open up a Word Document or Evernote note. You can always make it pretty later.
Who Gets a Copy?
Not everyone in your company needs to get a copy of your Disaster Recovery Plan. In fact, I would limit it to key employees whom you know you can trust. Think about who those people are. Depending on the size of your company, you may have several different department heads who are ideal for the job of helping. If you are a small firm, you may just have one or two people who know everything about the business and can get it operational again in a matter of hours or days. In your plan, list the key employees who will be getting a copy along with their address, email and phone number.
Where Are the Copies?
Now that you know WHO will get copies of your Disaster Recovery Plan, make a list of who has them and where they are located. I would suggest having them available in both electronic AND paper copy in case of an area-wide disaster that may knock out power and/or internet access. In your document, list who has the documents, where they are kept and how to access the digital copy. This will help you know where updates need to go when you make changes to the document.
How many key people could help you rebuild your business in case of a disaster?
Jen Steed writes about technology, travel and more. You can find her writing for various online and print publications. To talk to Jen or see all of her articles as they are published, you can follow Jen on Google+.