Disaster Recovery Planning
Can your business survive a major fire? Do you know what to do if a truckload of hazardous materials spills on the highway next to your building? Is your business prepared for a disaster?
- As many as 43% of businesses that experience disasters will never reopen.
- 29% will close within two years.
Benefits of disaster recovery planning
- Damage or loss caused by a natural or man-made disaster can be minimized.
- Rapid recovery of business operations.
- Improved ability to cope with the unexpected.
Key elements of a disaster recovery plan
- Emergency Response Analysis.
- Categorize emergencies by type such as fire or explosion, severe injuries, hazardous materials release, utility outage, bomb threats, civil disturbances etc.
- Analyze each type of emergency and develop a suitable response.
- Response Planning.
- Determine the functional responses for each individual location.
- Evaluate each risk separately.
- Determine the likelihood of occurrence and the size of the expected loss.
- Develop an appropriate response.
- Personnel Responsibilities.
- Define the responsibilities of personnel including emergency coordinator, response teams, supervisors, security staff and communications teams.
- Preplanning With Emergency Services.
- Establish a good working relationship with police and fire departments and outside medical services.
- Be sure these agencies have prior knowledge of your business and its systems, chemicals and hazards.
- Dealing With the Media.
- Designate a company spokesperson to coordinate and distribute information.
- Give the media factual, timely information about the emergency. They can offer an extremely valuable service by providing information to the community within moments of an emergency.
- Training and Testing.
- Train company employees to deliver prompt, reliable, and correct emergency responses. The amount of training depends on the level of hazard and emergency response activity.
- Periodically test all elements of the response plan. The simulated emergency drill should test the alarm system, communications, response teams and outside emergency services.
The bottom line
To be able to respond correctly to an emergency involves more than just luck. Businesses that have experienced disasters and have developed a plan, conducted training and performed drills have been far more successful in controlling the emergency and saving lives. The time and cost involved with preplanning is small in terms of the price associated with an uncontrolled disaster. It can make the difference between surviving and having to permanently close the business.
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