Does Your Contingency Plan Include a Disaster Recovery Plan?
Every business should have a contingency plan that lays out what will happen if a disruptive event – such as the death of the owner or a natural disaster – occurs. A business continuity plan will ensure that your business survives even when there’s an upheaval.
At Gilmore Services, we work closely with our business clients to help them develop a contingency plan that includes a disaster recovery plan. Here’s what you need to know.
The Differences between a Contingency Plan and a Disaster Recovery Plan
Sometimes, businesses use the terms contingency plan and disaster recovery plan interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. It’s important to understand the differences, so you can appreciate why you need both.
A contingency plan is sometimes referred to as a business continuity plan. It consists of an action plan that explains how you will keep your business running as usual after a disruption. The disruption might be the death of an officer, the loss of a major client, or a merger. The primary focus of a contingency plan is to keep the business running.
A disaster recovery plan, on the other hand, focuses mostly on how to get business back to normal after a disaster. The term disaster might refer to a natural disaster such as a hurricane – something we’re all familiar with here in Florida – or a manmade disaster such as a terrorist attack.
Disaster recovery usually deals first with how to restore necessary systems to working order. Since a disaster can occur at any time, it’s essential to have a plan in place, so you can get back to work quickly and with a minimum of disruption to your business.
How to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
Since your disaster recovery plan is a subset of your overall contingency plan, you should focus on creating your contingency plan first. That way, you can build your disaster recovery plan into your contingency plan.
Here are some tips to create a disaster recovery plan for your business:
- Designate someone to be in charge of disaster recovery. The person you choose should be someone who has a deep understanding of your business and what’s required to keep it running.
- Work with your disaster recovery leader to create a checklist of areas to include in your plan, including communications, data, employees, operations, and safety.
- Set up an emergency response plan that specifies who’ll be responsible for notifying employees and clients of essential news related to your company and its operations.
- Examine your company’s critical business functions and make plans to protect them. Some examples include imaging and securely storing essential business documents, creating off-site backups for critical business data, and switching to software-as-a-service, so your employees can access their work from home if necessary.
- Create and test a data backup system to ensure that you’ll have a clean and accessible backup of your data if you need it.
- Make a list of your essential business equipment and machinery. You should take photos or videos of all equipment. You should also have an accessible record of rental agreements and equipment leases, model and serial numbers, and contact information for manufacturers and your insurance carrier.
- Assemble and maintain a supply of basic first aid materials on site in the event that a disaster strikes during work hours.
- Conduct a full disaster recovery test to make sure that your plan works as intended and that you and your employees and clients know what to do in the event of an emergency.
To ensure that you have professional images of your essential documents and accurate data backups, you should consider partnering with a specialist like Gilmore Services. We have the experience and know-how to help you create a foolproof contingency plan that includes a plan for disaster recovery.
Creating a contingency plan that includes a disaster recovery plan is a must for every business, particularly in a disaster-prone state such as Florida. The information we’ve included here will help you put together a plan that will keep your business running after a disaster occurs.
Do you need assistance creating a viable contingency plan and disaster recovery plan for your business? Click here to learn how Gilmore Services can help!