In 2018 there were 108 natural disasters in the United States. While you may think this number is small, the cost for these disasters was $366 Billion. This cost includes recovery, repair/rebuild, but does not include lost revenue.
Given the potential financial impact of a natural disaster, continuity planning is important. If your company doesn’t currently have a natural disaster plan, use this business continuity plan template to create one.
Just as a disaster can be a flood, power outage, earthquake, hurricane or other environmental disasters, a disaster continuity plan can be many things.
If you are a large organization, you will need multiple plans for each potential problem or disaster. If you are smaller, you can have a broad plan that is customizable by key personnel as situations arise.
Disaster continuity plans focus on business-critical systems but can include all aspects of your operation. In essence, it creates a mirror of your entire operation to run from an off-site location. The mirror image is called a hot site and would include all electronic information as well as the hardware and software necessary to run your business.
A warm site focuses only on the business-critical systems, this is typically when the company can run for a few weeks independent of significant company data, hardware or software.
A cold site is a location that only provides electricity and shelter and will support your company for months if it has less critical functions and systems.
The goal of the disaster continuity plan is to allow your company to function, after a major event. Disaster Continuity Plans should include the following items, at a minimum:
Your plan should identify the key individuals who will receive the call about the disaster and are in a position to make decisions, should they arise. These individuals must be reachable 24/7.
If you are a brick and mortar company, someone will have to address any damage associated with the disaster. This could be water, fire, or a structural assessment.
You should look for a company that has experience doing restoration work and get on their preferred customer list. These are the customers that will be serviced first when disaster strikes. Do not rely on renting equipment and doing the work yourself. The necessary equipment will be scarce.
Your plan should include who will be contacting customers and who is contacting employees. Employees should be briefed on the plan before the disaster happens and includes who needs to report and what their tasks are during the crisis.
Now that you understand the key pieces of the disaster recovery plan, here is a template you can use to start building your own continuity plan.
Preparing for a disaster is often overlooked, but can mean the difference between your company surviving or not. This business continuity plan template was designed to give you all the components necessary to ensure your success.
Our team can ensure you have all the support you need in place before disaster strikes. Contact our qualified team to start or finalize your disaster continuity plan. We are also available to help with staff training on implementing your plan.