What’s a Disaster Recovery Plan, and What Should It Cover?

A disaster recovery plan is a course of action designed to help an organization recover from a major disruptive event. It should be tailored to the specific needs of the organization and cover all aspects of its operations, including critical business processes, IT infrastructure, and employee safety.

What Should it Cover?

The plan should identify who is responsible for each stage of the recovery process and what resources are required. It should also specify the order in which tasks should be completed and the timeline for each task.

A disaster recovery plan should cover all aspects of an organization’s operations, including:

  • Critical business processes: The plan should identify the essential functions of the organization and the order in which they need to be resumed after a disruptive event.
  • IT infrastructure: The plan should detail the steps needed to restore critical systems and data.
  • Employee safety: The plan should include procedures for evacuation and communication in the event of an emergency.
  • Communications: The plan should specify how the organization will communicate with employees, customers, and other stakeholders during and after a disruptive event.
  • Financial losses: The plan should identify steps to minimize financial losses, such as securing insurance coverage and establishing contingency funding.

What is the Goal?

The goal of a disaster recovery plan is to minimize the impact of a disruptive event on an organization and its ability to continue operating.

A well-designed disaster recovery plan can help an organization to:

Quickly resume critical business operations

Protect employees and customers

Minimize financial losses

Maintain its reputation

Reduce the impact of a disruptive event on its operations

Update and Test

A disaster recovery plan should be regularly updated and tested to ensure that it is still relevant and that all stakeholders are familiar with their roles and responsibilities. Testing should include simulations of various disruptive events to assess the plan’s effectiveness and identify any areas that need improvement.

Review Annually

Organizations should review their disaster recovery plans at least annually and update them as needed to reflect changes in the organization, its operations, and the environment.

The plan should be reviewed and updated after any major change, such as a change in leadership, a new product or service launch, or an expansion into new markets. 

Disaster recovery planning is an essential part of risk management and business continuity planning. By taking the time to develop and regularly update a disaster recovery plan, organizations can protect themselves from the potentially devastating effects of a disruptive event.