How to Prepare Your Business For a Potential Disaster
The purpose of Business Continuity Planning is to ensure that you and your employees are prepared to continue business operations in the event of a disaster. Disasters can come in different forms and levels of severity. Severe weather could damage your facility or cause a power outage. Human error could also cause a disaster for business if an employee accidently deletes a critical file. As you are creating your plan, you should ask yourself some important questions:
In the event of a disaster, how will my business access information? Where is our data and how is it backed up?
Are we prepared for different levels of disaster? For example, what would we do if we needed to recover a deleted file? What would we do if we had to operate at a location other than our facility?
How long can the business operate without access to information, and how much information can it afford to lose?
As you are creating your Business Continuity Plan, your Information and Technology procedures need to be addressed but your plan should also include instructions for how your people should implement the necessary recovery measures so be sure that you include:
- A written procedure detailing the responsibilities of everyone involved in your business when reacting to either impending or current disaster.
- Instructions for proper reactions to different levels of threat, so the most efficient actions can be taken to overcome the problem and get back to work.
- The preparation to let you work as easily out of the office as in it if disaster ever damages your onsite equipment, using virtual systems.
Test your backup and practice your recovery procedures. It is wise to conduct "Fire Drill" type mock recoveries to allow your employees to practice proper reactions and discover potential weaknesses that you need to address. Having a plan is good but your plan is only as good as your implementation.