How to Make a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan

What is ‘Business Continuity’?

Business Continuity refers to a strategic business plan implemented in the event of a disaster. In other words, if a disaster were to take place today how would your business, employees, departments and business partners continue to operate? An unfortunate event could be as minor as a softwaremalfunction, to something as major as a terrorist attack, power outage, or hurricane. Having a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery plan for your business involves planning, preparing, implementing and forever changing and improving steps to ensure your business’ success and future viability after damage has occurred.

Hurricane DamageIf a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery plan is not constructed and put into effect prior to a catastrophe, your business will become extremely susceptible to dangers such as financial hardship and even permanent closure. Making a Business Continuity plan should be part of every business’ start up plan to not only safeguard the location and income, but also to guarantee the safety of employees and longevity of the business’ relationships with both customers and business partners.

Assess Risks'

Day-to-day operations

  • What can your business not function without? (Equipment, computers, scanners, two-way radios, vehicles, suppliers, distributors, etc.)

Location-related weather

  • Does your business’ physical location make your building more susceptible to weather damage from tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, winter storm weather, hail, etc.?

Insurance

Create Plan to Continue Operations

Address the risks identified above

Create a communication guide and a chain-of-command guide

  • Identify all personnel and who their back-up is in the building
  • Create an accessible manual of each employee’s job description and job duties and include a ‘how-to’ guide on their basic job duties in the hopes that anyone could pick up their job if necessary with minimal training in an emergency situation

Create equipment list

  • Document all IT equipment, who has what and what is essential to keep the business running

Create list of important documents

Test Your Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan

Create scenarios

  • What could potentially happen to your business? See how your Business Continuity plan functions amidst chaos.
    • For example: You run a hotel that has just experienced a power outage due to a major storm and your backup generators are down. Run through your disaster plan to address how your hotel would continue functioning in this scenario.

Review & Improve Plan

Think of your Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery plan as a constant first draft.

  • There will be many edits to be made and it will be forever-changing. New technologies and new hazards will emerge in time and your plan must accommodate for all changes.

Dan Craig, VP of Tidal Basin gives advice for those who are preparing a Business Continuity Plan:


Creating a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery plan is essential to the livelihood of your business. Without fully preparing for the unexpected, you are putting yourself and your business at direct risk for failure. For help with your Business Continuity plan, contact us at 800.382.2468.