Disasters will arrive when you least expect it. These events can be natural or man-made and are very capable of causing prolonged downtime. A lot of businesses have DRP’s (disaster recovery plans) and think that is enough to keep them safe in the event of an emergency. A disaster recovery plan can be complex and include significant roles from a few to many employees in the office. It is very important that everyone involved knows their specific role and has walked through the process until they are comfortable with their responsibility. Below we have provided the basic steps your business should take in order to ensure that everything will go as planned in the face of disaster.

Preparing is the first step that should be taken. Fist make sure all the employees know that there actually is a plan in the face of a disastrous event. You should hold a quick in house meeting to ensure that everyone is aware that a plan exists, and explain a basic outline of the steps that will be taken. One of the most important aspect of disasters is making sure that data does not get destroyed, and that the office can still function in an up and running state. As for the employees that are involved in the disaster recovery plan, make sure they know their exact roles and are comfortable executing them. Roles must be clearly explained in order to prevent confusion during the stressful event of a disaster. Another important aspect that businesses must consider is that if the office is inaccessible, will the employees still be able to access whatever they need to work from home?

Having the proper tools and the knowledge on how to use them is also a key factor to a successful overall disaster recovery plan. Working from home might have to become a reality in the event of a disaster. It is very important to make sure your employees are equipped with everything they need in order to connect to your business network. This might consist of hardware and software upgrades, but it will be well worth it in the event of an emergency. Hosted or Cloud based solutions are ideal for DRP’s, these services allow employees to access important business data from remote locations. VoIP telephone networks are now critical for businesses also. These systems allow employees to forward their work phones to their cell phones and receive call even when they are out of the office. Having these upgrades implemented are only half the battle. You must make sure all the employees arecomfortable with them and know how to utilize them.

Practicing is the best way to make sure everyone knows what do in the event of a disaster, or in the event that the office is inaccessible. This is the best way to make sure everyone knows their roles and are comfortable performing them. We suggest having “test runs” every so often. This means that you should pick a day to test out your actual disaster recovery plan. Have everyone involved simulate what they need to do in the event of a real disaster. Another suggestion is to have employees test their remote connections every so often just to make sure there are no issues when the time comes to use them. The worst thing you can do is to spend all the money investing in the best technologies for disaster scenarios, but not know how to utilize them when the time comes. Practice makes perfect. Be familiar with the capabilities of your technology.

Being cautious
is the last thing you need to do to be fully prepared. It is very important that you pay attention to what’s going on in your surrounding areas, and the areas that effect your business. Be on the lookout for weather alerts as well as any events or conflicts that could potentially disrupt the flow of business. Disasters come unexpected, so it is very important that everyone pays attention to the weather and the news so you can give yourself the most time possible to prepare.

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