Disasters at work happen all the time, ranging from data accidentally deleted to a hard drive that fails or a server that isn’t figured properly. Most of these disasters are more of a hindrance and finding a workaround can sometimes be an acceptable solution. But if a real disaster happens, are you prepared?
A major loss such as a fire, break-in, storm or flooding can be detrimental to your business. Planning ahead is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your business can recover quickly. Here are a few tips to help you minimize the effects of a disaster:
- Focus on prevention, be prepared
- Assess your risks and potential business impacts to determine ways you can minimize the possibility of disasters in advance.
- Conduct regular audits and system checks; have pre-approved expenses.
- Appoint a disaster recovery team
- Create a team of people who know what to do in an emergency and be sure to include someone from all sectors of your business.
- Appoint a leader in charge of developing, managing and updating your disaster recovery plan.
- Plan for consistency of computer operations
- Inventory all IT assets so you know what needs to be recovered.
- Take steps to protect your company’s hardware and software in advance to minimize damage and data loss. Always have spare hardware onsite.
- Hardware protection measures include surge protectors, battery backups, duplicate servers in separate locations such as a cloud or datacenter.
- Software protection includes regular backups of software and data, virus protection, firewalls and servers. Data backups should be stored in a safe, offsite location.
- Protect vital records
- Consolidate important records and assets such as employee records, contracts, financial and insurance records, permits, and other documents.
- Consider keeping these records offsite or storing them where they are safe and accessible.
- Establish an emergency communications plan
- Consider all the functions your business may need to perform in an emergency situation and the communications systems you will need to support them.
- Develop a plan that includes how you will communicate with leadership, employees and their families, outside safety and emergency organizations, customers neighboring businesses and, if necessary, the media.
- Create an internal communications phone tree (with up-to-date contact information) that gets the emergency message passed to your team members.
- Talk to your communications vendors in advance about emergency response capabilities and establish a plan for prioritizing and restoring communications systems.
- Use the media to your advantage
- Appoint a spokesperson to speak on behalf of the company during times of crisis.
- Communicate to your customers and the public as soon as you are able to do so, as many people might assume you are out of business.
- Create a crisis communications plan in advance to help inform the public. A good plan can help diffuse any misperceptions about your business and maintain a positive public image.
- Establish recovery procedures in advance
- Create a recovery plan with goals and objectives for short- and long-term recovery.
- Ensure you have employee support in place, including medical, physical and financial support to keep your employees physically and mentally healthy and able to return to work.
- Know in advance who in your community can help during an emergency such as emergency services and neighboring businesses. Include them in your overall emergency plans and also discuss ways your business could help with recovery.
- Testing and maintenance of the plan
- Once the plan has been developed, ensure the accuracy and validity of the recovery procedures.
- Discover business conditions that could require changes periodically.
- Update your plan during changes within your company and distribute accordingly.
It’s true that disasters don’t happen often. However, when “the big one” hits, it’s better to be prepared than not. Make disaster recovery planning a crucial component of your organization’s strategic plan. For those who may need assistance, Enseva is there to help. Don’t wait until disaster strikes.
For more information or to learn more about disaster recovery options for your organization, call us at 319-450-0550 or visit Enseva.com.