a Disaster Recovery Plan
The tragic events
of September 11, 2001 have prompted many organizations to review their
plans for handling many types of emergencies. Being prepared for any type
of natural or man-made disaster makes good business sense. Here are some
ideas to consider for handling an emergency that make good common sense.
- Store a copy of
all computer operating system and important files off site.
- Back up critical
data on a regular basis and rotate storage disks (floppies, CDs, tapes)
to an off site location.
- Be sure to keep
a list of computer passwords. With many programs having a "remember
this password" feature, it is often easy to lose track of all the
passwords (and IDs) you use.
- For important financial
records, like balance sheets, income statements and tax returns, keep
a copy in a secure location.
- Be sure to keep
copies of critical contracts, licenses and operating agreements off
site. You may want to update the off site materials quarterly.
- Keep a regularly
updated inventory of all your firm's equipment and other fixed assets.
This should include information such as identification numbers, costs
- Make sure your
physical assets are adequately insured.
Keep a supply of usual office supplies off site in case you can't reach
your business location. This includes stationery, envelopes, business
cards and often used brochures.
Keep a file of contacts, phone numbers and email addresses off site. Backing
up your contact management software files can be easily handled. Using
a hand held device makes this easy and convenient. In an emergency, being
able to contact employees, vendors and customers is critical. Be sure
to include pager and cell phone numbers.
Be sure to have a plan on how to contact critical parties. Specific people
should be assigned to handle specific contacts - employees, vendors, customers
and others. You may also want to have a designated media contact. In the
confusion of a disaster, it is critical that accurate and consistent information
is made available.
Common sense, a well thought-out plan and remaining calm are some of the
key ingredients of dealing with an emergency. Make sure you and your business
are ready for whatever the future holds.