A business disaster recovery plan can be just as important as a business plan. A business disaster recovery plan is multifaceted and identifies the strategies and procedures your business will use to recover from business interruptions, losses and unexpected tragedies.
The disaster recovery plan prepares the business for the worst possible interruption and explains the steps that it will take to overcome those aspects. It analyzes the business’ core functions and clearly maps out people responsible for procedures taken during the disaster.
Business disaster recovery plans also focus on prevention strategies. During the plan’s analysis, a business can identify aspects of the business that can be refined or implemented for a safer work environment. Because natural and other types of disasters cannot always be avoided, preventative strategies should be designed to reduce, as well as prevent, damages. Prevention strategies include backing up software and data, protecting important financial records, installing fire extinguishers, educating employees on safety procedures, anchoring large equipment, securing combustible materials and installing sewer backflow valves.
Changes in your business will also require changes in your disaster recovery plan. Review your disaster recovery plan periodically and update it, as necessary, to ensure that it continues to meet the business’ needs. This review can be during the scheduled business plan review to ensure consistency between the plans.
The U.S. government provides many resources to assist companies and individuals in developing their business disaster recovery plans. Along with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the government provides free assistance through SCORE, Ready.gov and FEMA. These entities also provide information on recovery grants and loans to make recovery less taxing (see Resources).
Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.