Several natural and unnatural events can threaten a business’s operation and infrastructure, from flood and fire to cyber-attacks to equipment failure, theft, and prolonged power outages. A disaster recovery plan entails the procedure or set of processes used to protect and recover a business during a disaster. Proper disaster recovery planning enables an organization to prepare uncalled-for events and plan accordingly to resume operations while reducing loss of income and downtime.
The more comprehensive a disaster recovery plan, the better the chance for an organization to return to normal business quickly. As per the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 40% of the small and mid-sized companies can never reopen after a disaster, while 25% of the surviving businesses fail within another year. Hence, businesses of all sizes need to consider a disaster recovery plan seriously. Nevertheless, creating one can be painful. So, here are the details of the 4 phases of a successful disaster recovery plan that can save your business and help you sleep better.
This step involves minimizing the effects of a natural or man-made disaster that further safeguards property and people. Mitigation also involves taking the proper steps to decrease risks and the results of a disastrous situation. But even before this step, an organization must consider the different disasters that can endanger its business. The best is to start by taking disaster recovery services where professionals can help businesses from the initial phase of mitigation to recovery.
An organization’s main objective is to reduce vulnerability to disaster impacts, like loss of life, injuries and property damage. So, the mitigation phase may involve
Making changes in the local building codes to fortify buildings,
Strengthening public infrastructure,
Revising land use management and zoning, and
Putting in other efforts to develop a more resilient work community that can manage any kind of catastrophic event in the most professional manner.
Preparedness, or the second phase of a successful disaster recovery plan, is to take the right actions at the right time and even ahead of time to be completely prepared to handle an emergency. During this phase, a company tries to identify how a disaster may affect its overall productivity and all related procedures. The company will also need to provide the correct information to its employees while implementing preparedness measures.
The company works on how outreach, training, and education can build the potential to respond to and recover from any disaster. Essential steps on the part of a company at this stage may include:
Strategically planning everything before a disaster.
Engaging the business community.
Delving deeply into other crucial logistical readiness tasks
This involves protecting property and people in times of crisis, disaster, or emergency. This phase generally occurs in the immediate aftermath of a crisis. During this successful disaster recovery plan stage, an organization must deal with immediate business, property, and people threats. It ensures that people, businesses, and property are out of harm. And a part of this will largely depend on how a company has prepared for a disaster. Occupant well-being and safety will largely depend on an organization’s preparedness level before a crisis strikes.
Once this is done, the company will shift its attention to other damages, implement different disaster response strategies, start with resource distribution as required, and take up clean-up efforts. Organizations also need to assess preliminary damages, hampered communication, and building closures with the stakeholders, like the suppliers, vendors, and staff, because of shutdowns. As the emergency response period progresses, the focus will shift from immediate emergency problems to restoring utilities, conducting repairs, and re-establishing operations.
The response period is a bit chaotic and can last for a month or more, based on the crisis’s nature and the damage it has caused. Business re-entry into the economy starts at this stage. And it is also at this stage that the long-term future of a business base will either be saved or wholly lost.
This phase of a successful disaster recovery plan involves rebuilding post-disaster to get back to normal business operations. By this time, the company has already achieved a minimum level of environmental, social, physical, and economic stability, so it is all about restoring business following the impacts of a disaster. This phase can last from six months to even a year or longer, based on the severity of the crisis.
There are two sub-phases in the recovery phase of a disaster recovery plan. The first is a short-term phase where a business needs immediate recovery services. The second or long-term phase requires proper planning and action to take care of an emergency’s permanent and more serious impacts. While the short-term recovery phase lasts for six months or a year, the long-term sub-phase may take decades. A lot of time goes into investing in the economic development potential of a company to attain new resources, implement effective recovery techniques and plans, create new partnerships and foster economic expansion. It becomes critical for organizations facing a disaster to access and use an assortment of private and public resources to make way for long-term economic recovery.
It is impossible to identify the possibility of a crisis occurring in a business, but a proper disaster plan can work as liability insurance here. It will provide a certain comfort level in knowing that a business will not suffer financially if, by any chance, a catastrophic event takes place. A successful disaster recovery plan is more than just backup processing and off-site storage. It must also address all the crucial functions and operations of a business while including tested and documented procedures. These procedures should ensure the constant availability of crucial resources and undisturbed business operations.