For any organization, being exposed to a variety of risks is inevitable, which means, being prepared for the event of a risk occurrence can be extremely critical. Having a disaster recovery or business continuity plan in place can help reduce the impact felt by a risk occurrence and increase the resilience of your operation. Below are a few tips for creating your disaster recovery plan.
1. Involve Several Members of Your Organization
When conducting a risk assessment and putting disaster recovery or business continuity plans in place, we suggest involving members from various departments across your organization. Not only can a particular event impact each department differently but having individuals with different skill sets at the table will help make sure you do a thorough job considering the possibilities.
And don’t forget to consider how a risk occurrence may impact those outside of your organization. For example, if you’re a risk pool, how would a risk occurrence at your headquarters affect your members? How would it be communicated?
2. Don’t Overlook Prevention
The best way to mitigate risk is to plan to limit or prevent the impact. This might mean considering exposure hazards when constructing a new facility, securing equipment in earthquake prone areas, testing smoke detectors regularly, training staff on any hazards in your workplace, and so on. Don’t just plan for how you’ll react if an incident occurs; be sure to include prevention as part of your disaster recovery plan.
3. Test and Edit Your Plan
If the first time you work through your plan is after a risk event has occurred, we hate to say it, but you’re probably in trouble. Get your business continuity team together regularly and play through different scenarios. This way you not only continue to improve your disaster recovery plan but if you have to act under pressure, you’re already familiar with what to do.
4. Maintain Proof of Loss Documentation
In the unfortunate event that you sustain damage to your buildings or equipment, having accurate, up-to-date, proof-of-loss documentation will be important. Be sure that this type of information is secure and accessible. Having it in a binder in a room that flooded or on the hard drive of a computer that crashed won’t be very helpful. We recommend considering a software solution for storing your data. Of course, those aren’t without risk either so talk to your vendor about how data is backed up and secured.