Your disaster plan ensures that you resume normal operations as soon as possible by listing contingencies for any catastrophic event, not only natural disasters, but theft and equipment failure as well.
A good disaster plan that takes into account a businesses IT needs includes backup plans for Server Outages, Internet Outages, Phone Service Outages, IT Equipment Failure, Theft, and many many more scenario’s.
Four good questions to ask yourself to check your readiness should be:
- What will happen to clients trying to reach my business during an outage?
- Are the files pertinent to my company’s day-to-day operations safely backed up to a secure location/device?
- Will my company be able to function without one or more of my IT connections to the external world (internet service outage, etc.)?
- How does my plan prepare my company to resolve and adapt to any of these problems when they arise?
Talk to your IT consultant to help plan for these, and help implement contingencies should they arise. Some issues have simple resolutions such as during a phone outage some providers can forward your phone calls to another number on a separate phone service. Other issues are not so simple.
Keep in mind during your planing process that some IT complications can cause crucial connections to fail. For instance, issues with a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone solutions can cause external phone calls to fail, including those dialed to 911. A good plan accounts for this and offers a solution in the event of a system failure, such as the installation of a “Red Phone“, or a phone that is directly connected to an activated phone line only in-place for the purpose of dialing 911 (they are called a red phone because usually are red to make them easy to spot in an emergency).
All in all, IT has become so integrated into our lives at work and home, should a disaster strike, not including it in your emergency plans could potential be a costly mistake.